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Another Reply to Minister Mok In-gil

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Writer admin Date29 Nov 2005 Read8,689 Comment0


When I sent you a peach tree before, you sent a present in return and said in your reply that you have taken on the character “MU” (無: nothing, non-existent) as your hwadu. Since I myself have studied this hwadu from a long time ago, I wanted to relate the news to you personally.However, upon hearing that you were going to take on a different hwadu, I was surprised and apprehensive. By all means, I hope you continue applying your mind to the same hwadu as before. The ancients had their students to settle on one word, or even half a word, and the students were forced to stay with just that word and not allowed to move. Even though if in your daily life, when myriad things change, you keep your mind above it all and not let it waver in accordance with everything else, would you intentionally choose to study a new hwadu
Even if you were to chose a different hwadu, if you were not to give up the MU hwadu, you would gradually grow a bit more accustomed to it. By all means, don’t switch to another hwadu. Just stay with what you have, keeping it in mind all day, every day, no matter whatever else you are doing. When Zhaozhou was asked, “Does a dog also have Buddha nature?” he answered “MU,” putting all his emphasis on that final word. I beg that you don’t concern yourself with when you will or will not become enlightened, whether it is fun or not, or whether your practice goes smoothly or not. If you think of nothing else but MU, as you continue in that way for a while, eventually even when you are not trying to think about it, you will naturally be thinking about it. Even if you aren’t questioning its meaning, the questioning will arise of its own accord.
In this way, with the mind unable to wander and consciousness not functioning, without any amusement, even though you are like a mosquito mounting an iron ox, don’t be afraid to descend into emptiness. This is where many past Buddhas and Patriarchs have cast their minds and bodies and if the minister gives all his energy and relieves his burdens, it is in this place where you will become a Buddha and a Patriarch. There, if you turn over your mind and cast it aside, you will know for the first time that the thing called enlightenment is, first of all, something that is not constructed and second, something that never ceases.  
With one fist, you strike down the Yellow Crane Pavilion
With one kick, Parrot Island is overturned
Vigor only adds to more vigor
Even an inelegant place is elegant

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