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고봉 경욱 / 高峯[古峯, 古峰] 景昱 Gobong Gyeonguk (1890–1962)
Birth name: 박경욱 / 朴景昱 Bak Gyeonguk
(Magyar átírás:) Kobong Kjonguk
Kobong (1890—1962), aka Zen master Ko Bong, was Zen Master Seung Sahn ‘s teacher. He became a monk at an early age at Namjasa, and later attained enlightenment while sitting Kyolche at Tongdosa. Kobong sunim was famous for his wild behavior and heavy drinking. He also refused to teach Korean monks, calling them arrogant, preferring only to teach nuns and laypeople. Until he met Sungsan Sunim, Zen Master Kobong had never given Dharma transmission to any monk. After getting enlightenment, Sungsan sunim went to check his attainment with Zen Master Kobong, who was renowned for being one of the fiercest keen–eyed masters of his generation. Kobong sunim tested his student with many difficult Kong–Ans, all of which the young Sungsan sunim passed with ease. Zen Master Kobong finally stumped him with the Kongan “The cat eats mouse food, but the cat bowl is broken.” The two sat facing each other, eyes locked, for close to an hour, when suddenly Sungsan sunim had a breakthrough and gave him the correct answer. Zen Master Kobong then said “You are the flower and I am the bee” and soon after gave Dharma transmission to the young Sungsan sunim.
Kobong sunim spent his final days at Hwagyesa in Seoul, being cared for by his only Dharma heir, and eventually he passed away in 1962.
Kobong soensanim (Korean: 고봉선사, Hanja: 高峯禪師, 1890–1962), the 77th Korean Buddhist Patriarch in his teaching lineage, was a Korean Zen master.
At an early age, Kobong became a monk at Namjangsa. Known for spontaneous and eccentric teaching, he sometimes said that he preferred to teach laypeople because monks were too lazy to practice hard.
Kobong never held a position at any temple or established a temple of his own. When he was elderly, his student Seungsahn brought him to Hwagyesa in Seoul, South Korea where Kobong died at the temple in 1962. A large granite monument was built in his honor on the hillside overlooking Hwagyesa.
Kobong Sunim was Dharma heir to Man-gong Sunim, who was in turn Dharma heir to Kyongho Sunim. Kobong Sunim's best known student was Seungsahn Sunim (1927–2004), founder of the Kwan Um School of Zen. Seungsahn Sunim received Dharma transmission from Kobong Sunim at 22 years of age. Kobong had never given inka to any monk before he met Seungsahn Sunim and Seungsahn remained his only dharma heir.
Sunim is a Korean word that means ordained Buddhist and can refer to both men and women who have taken ordination vows.
Zen Master Ko Bong (1890 - 1962) was the greatest of Zen Master Man Gong's dharma heirs. He was also the most unorthodox and there are many stories of his "bad" behavior.
For example, one time Ko Bong stayed at small temple. Every day he worked very hard making a new rice field in the mountains. The temple was very poor, so the food was very bad.
One day when temple's master had gone to town, Ko Bong suggested to the other monks that they sell the monastery's cow and go buy wine and meat. Everyone agreed, so they sold the cow and used the money to buy wine and meat. After the evening sitting, they laughed and danced and drank all night in the meditation hall.
When the Zen master returned for the morning sitting, he found all fifty students asleep amidst the debris of the party.
The master wondered where they had gotten the money for this party. He ran to the barn and discovered - no cow! Very angry, he called everyone together in the main hall.
Shouting, the Zen master demanded that his cow be returned. On hearing this, Ko Bong took all his clothes off and crawled around the room on all fours saying, "Moo!"
Delighted, the master hit Ko Bong thirty times on the ass and said, "This is not my cow. This one is too small!'' Everyone was relieved. The subject was not brought up again.
After he became a teacher, Ko Bong agreed to give the Five Precepts to the layperson Chung Dong Go Sanim. The ceremony went smoothly until Ko Bong asked the traditional question: "Can these precepts be kept by you or not?"
The layman stood up and said, "If I cannot drink, I die!" Now there was a problem.
But Ko Bong immediately responded, "Then you take only four precepts" Chung Dong Go Sanim became the "Four Precepts Layman," and got "four precepts enlightenment."
Ko Bong would frequently test his students with an obscure kong-an:
The mouse eats cat food, but the cat bowl is broken.
What does this mean?
It was through this kong-an that Zen Master Seung Sahn attained his great enlightenment and became Ko Bong's only dharma heir.
Meditation is Not Special
by Master Go Bong
There are three poisons: greed, anger and ignorance. If you put these down then your Buddha nature is like a clear mirror, clear ice, an autumn sky or a very clear lake. The whole universe is in your Danjeon (center). Then your body and mind will calm down and you will be at peace. Your heart will be fresh like an autumn wind - not competitive.
If you attain this level, you're one half a Zen monk. But, if you are merely satisfied with this you are still ignorant of the way of Buddhas and patriarchs. This is a big mistake because demons will soon drag you to their lair.
Meditation is originally nothing special. Just keep a strong practice mind. If you want to get rid of distractions and get enlightenment, this too is a mistake. Throw away this kind of thinking; only keep a strong mind and practice. Then you will gradually enter "just do it."
Ko Bong Holds a Ceremony
by Zen Master Seung Sahn
© 2008 Kwan Um School of Zen
In a Dharma Talk, Zen Master Seung Sahn once told this story about his
teacher, Zen Master Ko Bong.
When he was a young monk, my teacher, Ko Bong Sunim, was travelling in the
mountains. He visited a small chanting temple in a beautiful spot and decided
to stay there for a week. There was only one other monk there, the abbot of the
temple. After a few days the abbot asked Ko Bong Sunim to stay alone in the
temple while he went to visit the house of a student. Ko Bong Sunim. said,
"O.K., no problem," and the abbot left.
At noon a woman came to the temple carrying a large amount of rice and fruit
and asked for the abbot. "He is visiting a student," said Ko Bong Sunim.
"Oh, I wanted to have a ceremony," said the woman.
"Fine, we can have a ceremony," said Ko Bong Sunim. So she cooked the rice,
got everything ready, and put the rice and fruit on the altar.
Ko Bong Sunim. did not understand the first thing about ceremonies. He had
been a monk for a few years, but he had stayed in a Zen temple, where the
monks only sit Zen. In Korea, ceremony monks take care of ceremonies; sutra
monks study the sutras; Zen monks just sit. So Ko Bong Sunim didn't know
when to bow or how to hit the moktak.
"Time to begin," said the woman.
Ko Bong Su Nim read the sutras a little, but he didn't have them memorized.
However, he did remember some Taoist texts he had studied before he
became a monk. So he began hitting the moktak and chanting a Taoist sutra.
Sometimes he would bow. He just made it up as he went along, and he kept it
up for about an hour, just chanting. At the end, the woman said, "Thank you
very much. That was a wonderful ceremony!" Then she left.
On her way down the mountain she met the abbot of the temple coming home.
"Oh," he said, "did you visit the temple?"
"Yes, and we had a wonderful ceremony."
"Ceremony? That monk knows nothing about ceremonies!"
"We had a Taoist ceremony."
The woman had been a nun, so she knew all about Buddhist ceremonies.
During Ko Bong Sunim's ceremony she had sat in the back of the hall,
laughing and laughing. But she said to the abbot, "It was wonderful.
Throughout the whole ceremony he kept one mind. Sweat was pouring down
his face. It was all wrong, but it was wonderful!"
When the abbot returned, he said to Ko Bong Sunim, "I hear you had a good
"It was terrible! All I could remember were some Taoist texts."
"The woman said it was wonderful." said the abbot. "She used to be a
ceremony nun. She said you went straight ahead, with completely no
hindrance, so she said it was a wonderful ceremony."
"Really?" Ko Bong Sunim and the abbot had a good laugh.
"She was very happy. She said you hit the moktak as if your life depended on
it. Only one mind.''
So this is a correct ceremony: only one mind. Whether it is a Buddhist text or a
Taoist text doesn't matter. Understanding or not understanding the correct
form is not important. What is important is this child's mind; we call this
Buddha's mind, just going straight, without thinking, keeping try mind. So you
must attain this Buddha's mind, O.K.? O.K.
Long ago in China, there was a famous Zen Master, Ko Bong. Before he became a Zen Master, he always kept the kong-an, “Where are you coming from; where are you going?” He only kept don't-know mind, always, everywhere. One day, he was sweeping the yard in front of the Dharma Room. At that time, the great Zen Master Ang Sahn appeared and asked him, “What are you doing?”
He said, “I am working on my kong-an.”
“What is your kong-an?”
”My kong-an is, ‘Where are you coming from; where are you going?”'
“Oh? Then, I ask you, who is coming; who is going?”
He could not answer. Then, the Zen Master became very angry, grabbed his shirt at the neck, and shouted, “Why are you pulling around a corpse!?” Then, he pushed him very hard; Ko Bong fell back on the ground, and the Zen Master went away.
Ko Bong's whole world was dark. There was only a big question, and he was very angry. “Why don't I know myself? What am I?” Don't know. He couldn't see anything; he couldn't hear anything; he couldn't taste anything; he couldn't feel anything; he couldn't smell anything. For seven days this went on. After seven days, he saw the Fifth Patriarch's picture. Beneath the picture, it said,
One hundred years,
Before, I am you.
Now, you are me.
He saw this, and his don't-know mind exploded. Inside and outside became one. Subject and object, all opposites worlds disappeared. Complete absolute. He could see the sky – only blue. He could hear a sound – only a bird's song. All, just like this, is the truth. After that, he got Transmission from Zen Master Ang Sahn and became a great Zen Master.
The Avatamsaka Sutra says, “Drinking and sex are no-hindrance Prajna.” In other words, when you can control your karma — your desire, anger, and ignorance — then any action is no problem; whatever action you do will teach other people. My teacher, Zen Master Ko Bong, taught this way. At Jung Hae Sa Temple in Korea, the schedule consists of three months of sitting followed by three months of vacation. During vacation, everyone collects money or food and brings them back for the sitting period. When Zen Master Man Gong, my grand-teacher, was just beginning the temple, there was no money at all. The students would go around to the homes of lay people, recite the Heart Sutra, get rice or money, and return to the monastery. But when my teacher Ko Bong got rice, he'd sell it at the end of the day and go out drinking. Everyone else came back at the end of a vacation with sacks of rice. All Ko Bong brought back was wine. When he was full of wine he was also full of complaints: “This temple is no good! Man Gong doesn't understand anything! He's low-class!”
Once Zen Master Man Gong showed up during one of Ko Bong's tirades and screamed at him, “What do you understand?” Everybody was waiting to see what would happen. “KO BONG!!!”
“Why are you always insulting me behind my back?”
Ko Bong looked completely surprised and offended. “Zen Master! I never said anything about you! I was talking about this good-for-nothing Man Gong!”
“Man Gong? What do you mean, Man Gong? I'M Man Gong! What's the difference between Man Gong and me?”
“KAAAATZ!” Ko Bong yelled, loud enough to split everyone's eardrums. That ended it.
“Go sleep it off,” Man Gong said, and he left the room.
My teacher was always drunk, used abusive speech, and showed disrespectful behavior. But he always kept a clear mind. “Man Gong? What's the difference between Man Gong and me?” “KAAAATZ!” That katz is very important — better than money or bags of rice. Ko Bong completely believed in himself.
If you believe completely in yourself, your actions will teach other people. Also you will be able to do any action to help other people. This is the Great Bodhisattva Way.
Zen Master Ko Bong Sells A Cow
Long ago, Zen Master Ko Bong, teacher of Seung Sahn Soen Sa Nim, was a student staying at Yang San Temple in Korea. Every day he worked very hard making a new rice field in the mountains. The temple was very poor, so the food was very bad.
One day when Zen Master Hae Wol had gone to town, Ko Bong suggested that they sell the monastery's cow and go buy wine and meat with the money. Everyone agreed, so they sold the cow, and with the money bought wine and meat and good food. After the evening sitting, they laughed and danced and drank all night in the Dharma Room.
When the Zen Master returned for the morning sitting, he found all fifty students asleep amidst the debris of the party. Where had they gotten the money for their revelling? The Master ran to the barn. No cow! Very angry, he called everyone together in the main hall, and they were all afraid. When the Zen Master demanded that his cow be returned, Ko Bong took all his clothes off and crawled around the room on all fours saying, "Moo!"
Delighted, the Master hit Ko Bong thirty times on the ass and said, "This is not my cow. This one is too small!''
Everyone was relieved. The subject was not brought up again.
Zen Master Ko Bong (1890-1962) was one of the greatest teachers of his time. He was renowned for refusing to teach monks, considering them too lazy and arrogant to be Zen students. He was also very well known for his unconventional behavior.
Ko Bong Sunim didn't like chanting. He only did sitting meditation, no matter what. That was his practice. One time, as a young monk, he was staying in a small mountain temple. The abbot was away for a few days, so Ko Bong Sunim was the only one around. One morning an old woman climbed the steep road to the temple carrying fruit and a bag of rice on her back. When she reached the main Buddha Hall, she found Ko Bong Sunim seated alone in meditation.
“Oh, Sunim, I am sorry to bother you,” she said. “I have just climbed this mountain to offer these things to the Buddha. My family is having a lot of problems, and I want someone to chant to the Buddha for them. Can you please help me?”
Ko Bong Sunim looked up. Her face was very sad and very sincere. “Of course,” he said. “I'd be happy to chant for you. No problem.” Then he took the bag of rice off her back and they went to the kitchen to prepare the food offering. As they started to wash the fruit he said to her, “I don't know how to cook rice. You cook the rice, and I'll go start chanting.”
“Yes, Sunim. Thank you very much.”
Ko Bong Sunim returned to his room to put on his formal robes. But, because he never chanted, he didn't know any Buddhist chants. So, he dug out an old Taoist sutra from among his things and brought it back to the Buddha Hall. Then he picked up the moktak and started hitting it while reading out of the Taoist book. Usually it's appropriate to do certain chants for different occasions, like the Thousand Eyes and Hands Sutra , but Ko Bong Sunim didn't know about this. He only banged the moktak and chanted the Taoist sutra out loud, right from the book. After an hour or so of this, he finished.
The old woman was very, very happy. “Oh, thank you, Sunim. You are very kind. I feel much better now!” She left the temple. As she was walking down the mountain road, she passed the abbot, who was returning to the temple. “Hello, Mrs. Lee, are you coming from the temple?”
“Yes,” she said. “There are many problems in my family right now, so I went up to pray to the Buddha. Ko Bong Sunim helped me.”
“Oh, that's too bad,” the abbot said.
“Because Ko Bong Sunim doesn't know how to do any chanting. Maybe someone else could…”
“No, no,” she said. “He did very well. He helped me very much!”
The abbot looked at her. “How do you know how well he did? These are very special chants! Ko Bong Sunim doesn't know how to do them – he doesn't know chanting.”
“Yes, I understand.” This woman used to be a nun, so she was quite familiar with all the various chants. She knew that Ko Bong Sunim was only chanting a Taoist sutra. “What is correct chanting? He did it very well. He only chanted one hundred percent. Words are not important. The only important thing is how you keep your mind. He had only try mind – only do it.”
“Oh, yes, of course,” the abbot said. “I suppose mind is very important.” They said good-bye and went their separate ways. When the abbot reached the temple, he found Ko Bong Sunim, seated in meditation. “Did you just chant for Mrs. Lee?”
“But you don't know anything about chanting.”
“That's right,” Ko Bong Sunim said. “I don't know anything about chanting. So I just chanted.”
“Then what kind of chants did you do?” the abbot asked.
“I used an old Taoist book.”
The abbot walked away, scratching his head.
This is a very interesting try-mind story. It means, from moment to moment only “do it.” Only keep a try mind, only one mind: do it mind. When chanting, sitting or bowing, only do it. Practicing will not help if you are attached to your thinking, if your mind is moving. Taoist chanting, Confucian chanting, Christian chanting, Buddhist chanting: it doesn't matter. Even chanting, “Coca Cola, Coca Cola, Coca Cola…” can be just as good if you keep a clear mind. But, if you don't keep a clear mind, even Buddha cannot help you. The most important thing is, only do it. When you only do something one hundred percent, then there is no subject, no object. There's no inside or outside. Inside and outside are already one. That means you and the whole universe are one and never separate.
The Bible says, “Be still, and know that I am God.” When you are still, then you don't make anything, and you are always connected to God. Being still means keeping a still mind, even if your body is moving or you are doing some activity. Then there's no subject, no object, a mind of complete stillness. That's the Buddha's complete stillness mind. When sitting, be still. When chanting, be still. When bowing, eating, talking, walking, reading or driving, only be still. This is keeping a not moving mind, which is only do it mind. We call that try mind.
Ko Bong Sunim by Zen Master Seung Sahn
In: The Whole World is a Single Flower: 365 Kong-ans for Everyday Life
49. Why Are You Saying These Bad Things About Me?
Ko Bong Sunim had been drinking too much liquor. He went to his room and lay down and began saying bad things about his teacher, Zen Master Man Gong. "Man Gong doesn't under stand anything . . . He's not correct . . . His speech is bullshit."
Just then, Man Gong walked past Ko Bong's room and heard him. He opened the door and shouted, "Ko Bong, why are you saying these bad things about me?"
Surprised, Ko Bong sat up and said, "Zen Master, I am not saying any bad things about you. I am only saying these things about Man Gong."
The Zen Master asked, "Man Gong and me, are they the same or different?"
Ko Bong shouted, "KATZ!"
Man Gong smiled. "You've had too much to drink. Now go to sleep."
1. "Man Gong and me, are they the same or different?" What does this mean?
2. Ko Bong shouted, "KATZ!" How many pounds does it weigh?
COMMENTARY: Ko Bong thinks about this world as if it were a small coin. He sees the road as if it were a thread. All Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are his attendants. His teacher, Man Gong, is like a baby. So, Ko Bong is a great, free person. But he doesn't understand one thing: his condition. He only understands his situation. So who can take care of him? A stone girl appears. She shouts at him, "You must sleep!" Ko Bong only says, "Yes, Ma'am," and goes to sleep.
50. Ko Bong's Enlightenment
One summer, before he became a great Zen Master, Ko Bong Sunim sat summer Kyol Che at Tong Do Sah Temple. It was very hot that summer, so many retreatants could not stay in the meditation hall. Some sat on the veranda, some sat under the trees, while others sat by a nearby stream. Ko Bong sat on some rocks, under a big tree, courageously keeping don't-know mind one hundred percent. Above him, a cicada was singing in the tree. Ko Bong heard that and instantly his mind opened - he got enlightenment. He hit the rocks with a fan and the fan broke. "That's it!" he shouted, laughing, "Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!!"
1. Ko Bong heard the cicada's song and got enlightenment. What did he attain?
2. He hit the rocks with a fan and broke the fan, then shouted, "That's it!" What does this mean?
3. Loud laughter: "Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!!" What does this mean?
COMMENTARY: One day, sometime before this summer Kyol Che, Ko Bong visited Tong Do Sah Temple. He stood at the gate and shouted, "Somebody come here and cut my hair, please. I want to become a monk." Many monks were angered by his arrogant behavior. They grabbed some sticks and went out to beat him. Ko Bong only said, "You can hit my body but you cannot hit my mind. If you can hit my mind, I will become your disciple." But none of the monks could hit his mind.
Another time, outside Nam Ja Sah Temple, he shouted the same kinds of things, and again all of the monks were very angry and wanted to beat him. Ko Bong again asked if anyone could hit his mind. At that time, Zen Master Hae Bong heard this and came to see Ko Bong. He asked, "How many pounds does your mind weigh?" Ko Bong could not answer, so he cut off all his hair and became a monk.
51. My Cow Is Not This Small My Cow Is Bigger
One summer, Ko Bong Sunim sat Kyol Che at Won Sah Temple, where the famous Zen Master Hae Wol was teaching. There were thirty monks sitting mornings and evenings, and working in the garden during the day. The work was hard and they were all very tired by evening. Also, they had no money and very little food, and the food that they had was awful. There were many complaints among the monks.
One morning, Zen Master Hae Wol left his students for a few days to visit the head temple. After he left, Ko Bong talked his fellow monks into selling the temple's cow. (They needed this cow for work in the garden, so without it, they would not be able to work.) After selling the cow, Ko Bong suggested they buy good food and drink for everyone. That night, instead of sitting, they had a big party. They ate, drank, shouted, danced, and sang songs. They were very happy. They went to sleep quite late and did not get up for morning chanting.
As he returned to the temple early the next morning, with the sun already rising, the Zen Master could not hear any chanting. He noticed that the cow was missing. Upon opening the temple door, he was hit with the bad smell from all the food and drink. His students lay all about, snoring loudly.
Perceiving what they had done, he became very angry and shouted, "Wake up! Wake up!!" Everyone jumped up, very afraid, but could say nothing. Walking toward the Buddha statue, he looked from student to student. His eyes were big, like a lion's. "Who stole my cow?" he shouted. Everyone jumped nervously, and became even more afraid. But they said nothing. They all just looked at Ko Bong Sunim. For his part, Ko Bong just sat there. He was not afraid. Again the Zen Master shouted, "Who stole my cow?"
Suddenly, Ko Bong stood up and removed all his clothes. Getting down on his hands and knees he crawled in front of Hae Wol, saying, "Moo! Moooo!"
Zen Master Hae Wol only smiled, and hit Ko Bong on his bare ass, saying, "My cow is not this small." Hitting him again, he added, "My cow is bigger."
Then Ko Bong got up and returned to his room. The cow was never mentioned again.
1. Ko Bong said, "Moo!" What did he mean?
2. Ko Bong's body and the cow's body-are they the same or different?
3. Why did the Zen Master never mention the cow again?
COMMENTARY: If you are not attached to anything, then you are free. If you hold something you are hindered. When you see, when you hear, and when you smell, you are never separate from the universe. But when thinking appears, then everything falls away and becomes separated. So when you are hungry, eat; when you are tired, sleep. Then you are already better than Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.
82. Old Clothes
One day Zen Master Hyang Gok put on very old, tattered clothes and visited several temples.
At one temple, Zen Master Ko Bong saw him and asked, "How can you fix those old clothes?"
1. If you were Hyang Gok, how would you answer?
2. How much do Hyang Gok's old clothes weigh?
COMMENTARY: In winter, you must use heavy winter clothes. In summer, use light summer clothes.
100. Ko Bong's Master
Even before he became a great Zen teacher, the Chinese Master Ko Bong understood many kong-ans. One day, Zen Master Ang Sahn asked him this question: "In your everyday life, while you are walking, sitting, and talking, is your master clear?"
"Yes, my master is very clear."
"Then I ask you, when you are completely asleep, so deeply that you're not even dreaming, and have no mind, when you cannot see or hear; at that time, where is your master then?"
Ko Bong was completely stuck, and could not answer. He decided only to practice with this question, resolving never to quit, even if it drove him completely crazy. Six years passed. Then one night, as they were doing a walking pilgrimage to the North of China, Ko Bong and a friend stopped at an inn. His friend went straight to sleep, but Ko Bong stayed up to meditate through the night. Suddenly, as his friend moved in his sleep, his wooden pillow dropped to the floor. Ko Bong heard that noise, and got enlightenment. At last, he understood not only the kong-an his teacher had given him, but all the kong-ans handed down by Buddha and the eminent teachers.
1. When you are awake and when you are dreaming - is your master the same or different?
2. What is your master when you are awake?
3. What is your master when you are dreaming?
4. When you are in a deep sleep, where there is no dream and no mind, where is your master?
COMMENTARY: Eyes have eyes job, ears have ears job, mouth has mouth job, mind has mind job. If you have no eyes, no ears, no mouth, and no mind, then what kind of job do you have? If you still cannot find your job, then go drink tea.
123. Departure Poem
Ko Bong Sunim went into Zen Master Man Gong's room, bowed to his teacher, and said, "I will soon leave and travel around the country." "If you are leaving, give me a departure poem," Man Gong said.
But Ko Bong only waved his hands in denial and said, "Today I am very busy. I cannot write a poem."
"I'll see you next time," his teacher said. "Have a good trip."
1. If you had been there, what would your departure poem have been?
2. Ko Bong waved his hands and said, "Today I am very busy. I cannot write a poem." Is that reply correct?
COMMENTARY: Already everything is very clear: staying, coming and going. A beautiful poem is already in front of you.
124. Let's Drink Tea
Ko Bong Sunim went into Zen Master Man Gong's room and bowed to him.
"Welcome, Ko Bong. Let's drink some tea." Ko Bong then helped Man Gong, bowed, and sat down. Man Gong was very happy.
1. Man Gong said, "Let's drink some tea." At that time, what would you have done?
2. How did Ko Bong help Man Gong?
COMMENTARY: Ko Bong has two hands. Man Gong has one mouth. Teatime and dinnertime have already passed. Open the door and go downtown.
174. Transmission Poem for Ko Bong by Zen Master Man Gong
The ancient Buddha never gave transmission.
How can I give transmission to you?
The cloud disappears, the moon by itself is bright.
Seung Sahn is Ko Bong.
1. "The Ancient Buddha never gave transmission." What does this mean?
2. "The cloud disappears, the moon by itself is bright." Then what?
3. Seung Sahn and Ko Bong - are they the same or different?
COMMENTARY: Form is emptiness, emptiness is form. Is the moonlight form or emptiness? Its face is very bright and beautiful.
196. 25 O'clock
Sitting on the high rostrum, Zen Master Ko Bong hit his Zen stick three times and said, "The Buddha and all the eminent teachers don't understand this point and cannot give transmission of this point. If you go one step forward, you die; if you go one step backward, you die. Also, you cannot stay at this point. Nobody can help you. You can neither open your mouth nor move your body.
"How do you stay alive? If you stay alive, you are the same as the Buddha and all the eminent teachers, but you lose one leg and one eye. So where do you find one leg and one eye? Only go straight don't-know. If you pass 25 o'clock, you can find one leg and one eye. So how do you pass 25 o'clock?"
He held up the Zen stick, then hit the table three times and said, "Be careful! Be careful!!"
1. Zen Master Ko Bong hit the table three times. Why can't the Buddha and all the eminent teachers attain this point?
2. You cannot do anything. How do you stay alive?
3. How do you pass 25 o 'clock?
4. "Be careful! Be careful!!" What does this mean?
COMMENTARY: Swallowed the ten directions, but still hungry.
Zen Master Ko Bong, sitting on a high rostrum, hit his Zen stick three times and said, "All great Zen Masters teach the whole world about one point. But this one point cannot be seen or heard, and it has no name and no form, so opening their mouths is already a big mistake. How can you make these great Zen Masters' teaching correct? If you want to do that, don't check good and bad, don't hold life and death, and put down your opinion and condition. Only go straight through the raging fires and attain no form, no emptiness. Then you will wake up to the wooden chicken's crowing."
Holding up his stick, he asked, "Do you see?" Then, hitting it on the table, "Do you hear?" He paused for a second, and then asked, "Did you find your original face? How many eyes are there?"
After a moment of silence he shouted, "KATZ!"
Then he said, "KAN!" ("Look!")
1. All Zen Masters teach one point, but that one point is nothing. How do you teach nothing?
2. How do you get through the raging fire?
3. Did you hear the wooden chicken crowing?
4. What does "KAN!" mean?
COMMENTARY: If you open your mouth, you go to hell like an arrow. Close your mouth, you lose your life. What do you see now, what do you hear now? Just do it.
198. "MYUNG! MYUNG!"
One day Zen Master Ko Bong said from the high rostrum, "If you have no Dharma, you have no demon, but you fall into emptiness. If you are attached to emptiness, even the Buddha and Bodhidharma cannot save you. So it is important to make your Dharma very strong.
"How can you kill your demon? If you are a strong student your weapons are Great Faith, Great Courage and Great Question. But where do Great Faith, Great Courage and Great Question come from?
"If you make something, you cannot use these three weapons. If you don't make anything, you still cannot use them. What can you do? If you open your mouth, you go to hell. If you close your mouth, you are a rockhead. Do you understand that? I am giving you good medicine which will make all your sicknesses disappear. Then everything is complete."
Holding up his Zen stick and hitting the table, he said, "MYUNG! MYUNG!" ("Clear!")
1. Dharma and demon, which one do you like?
2. How do you kill your demon?
3. How do you find Great Faith, Great Courage and Great Question?
4. "MYUNG! MYUNG!" What does it mean?
COMMENTARY: The Buddha sat under the Bodhi tree for six years. Bodhidharma sat in Sorim for nine years. If you attain the true meaning of this, be careful about opening your mouth.
232. Ko Bong's No Hindrance Person
Many years ago, the Chinese Zen Master Ko Bong said to a group of monks, "There is a person who is made of nothing but skin with holes, rotting flesh, and broken bones, but still this person's speech is no hindrance. How wonderful! This person's actions, coming and going, hit and break all space, and swallow the big ocean.
"If you want to know who this is, you must understand the following: The mud cow eats the steel stick and spits blood on the guardian angel."
1. Nothing but skin with holes, rotting flesh, and broken bones. How do you become a person with no hindrance?
2. How does the person with no hindrance swallow the big ocean?
3. Where is the mud cow?
4. Who is the guardian angel?
COMMENTARY: Blood fills the sky. Bone appears all over the earth. How can you breathe clean air? How do you walk around in the ten directions? Watch your step!
363. Ko Bong's "Mouse Eats Cat Food"
Seung Sahn visited his teacher, Zen Master Ko Bong, who asked him many difficult kong-ans which Seung Sahn answered easily. After many exchanges, Ko Bong said, "All right, one last question. The mouse eats cat food, but the cat bowl is broken. What does this mean?"
Seung Sahn gave many answers, but to each Ko Bong only said, "No." Seung Sahn became angry and frustrated, completely stuck. After staring into Ko Bong's eyes for fifty minutes, his mind broke open like lightning striking.
1. What is "kong-an?"
2. What is "completely stuck?"
3. What did Seung Sahn attain?
COMMENTARY: Mouse eats cat food, cat bowl is broken, then what? A quarter is twenty-five cents, twenty-five cents buys ice cream; ice cream into the stomach, very good feeling. Ah, wonderful!
Dropping Ashes on the Buddha (PDF) > (DOC)
The Teachings of Zen Master Seung Sahn
Compiled and edited by Stephen Mitchell.
Grove Press, 1976.
98. Ko Bong Explains a Poem
A student came to Zen Master Ko Bong, Seung Sahn Soen-sa's teacher, and said,
“‘From the ten directions all people come together.
Each one learns not-doing.
This is the field of becoming Buddha.
Empty mind passes the test and comes back.'
“Do these words help people or not?”
Ko Bong said, “They do.”
“Which sentence helps them?”
“Bring each one here.”
“What is the first sentence: ‘From the ten directions all people come together'?”
“The dragon and the snake combine. Enlightenment and ignorance become mutual.”
“Who learns not-doing?”
“Buddha and eminent teachers are swallowed; the eye links ground and sky.”
“What is the field of becoming Buddha?”
“From West to East there are one hundred thousand, from North to South eight thousand.”
“What is the last sentence: ‘Empty mind passes the test and comes back'?”
“In action and in nonaction, the ancient way appears. The way is not dragged down into the chasm of turbulence.”
“So in each sentence nature is seen. Each one is the truth.”
“What have you seen and attained?”
The student shouted “KATZ!!!”
Ko Bong said, “This is taking a stick and trying to hit the moon.”
Ko Bong zen mester élettörténete
In: A zen: önmagunk megismerése
Szung Szán zen mester tanítása
ford., szerk. és vál. Szigeti György
Farkas Lőrinc Imre Kiadó, 1997, 100-107. oldal
Ko Bong zen mester 1890. szeprember 29-én született Kjong-
bug megye Tegu városában. Buddhista nevéül a Kjongug nevet,
zen mester nevéül a Ko Bong nevet kapta. Gyermekkorától
fogva bölcs volt. Tizenöt éves koráig már kiolvasta és tökéletesen
megértette a négy klasszikus kínai könyvet és a három ősi szent-
1911-ben Szángdzsuban a Námdzsáng kolostorban tanító-
jául Hjé Bong zen mestert kapta. Négy évvel később, 1915 áp-
rilisában buddhista papnak avatták fel, majd amikor a Pálgong-
hegy Págjé kolostor-szentély kertjében sziklákon zen-meditáció-
ban ült, hirtelen elérte a megvilágosodást.
Azután bejárta az egész országot, miközben zen-tanulmá-
nyokat folytatott Buddha tanításának szellemében.
1922-ben a Csonghjé kolostorban Mán Gong zen mester ta-
nítványa lett. Azután Hjé Vol zen mestert is kísérte. Széles baráti
körével, Küm Bong, Jang Üm, Un Bong, Szog U, Hjé Ám,
Csun Szong, Cson Káng és más szerzetesekkel együtt aszketikus
gyakorlatokat végeztek, és az evéstől is tartózkodtak.
Ko Bong Küm Bong szerzeressel együtt Mán Gong zen mes-
tertél kapták meg a Tant. Azután mindketten fehér papíron
péniszt rajzoltak, mire Mán Gong zen mester lábikrán ütötte
őket, majd megadta nekik az engedélyt a tanításhoz. Igazán
nagy emberek találkozása volt ez.
Hogy Ko Bong és Mán Gong zen mester között milyen rnély
barátság volt, azt jól érzékelteti az a történet, amely arról mesél,
amikor Ko Bong Mán Gong zen rnesternél, a Csonghjé kolos-
"Akkoriban ott sok zen szerzetes élt, s így sok étel fogyott el.
A szerzetesek mind elmentek koldulni, hogy a napi háromszori
étkezéshez megszerezzék a betevő falatokat. Több mint tíz nap-
pal később a szerzetesek egytől egyig visszatértek a hegyi kolos-
torba. Ko Bong ugyan nem kapott rizst, mégis büszkén vissza-
tért egy szamárral. Majd megkérte Mán Gong zen mesrert, hogy
fizesse ki a kölcsönkért szamarat.
Mán Gong zen mester meghökkenve így szólt:
- Hol a rizs? Visszajöttél pénz nélkül, és még van pofád arra
kérni, hogy fizessem ki a szamarat?!
- Amit koldultam, azt mind odaadtam a szegény emberek-
nek - válaszolta Ko Bong. - Mivel tizenöt napon át másutt vol-
tam, ezért egy csomó ételt és pénzt takarítottam meg, amit ha itt
maradtam volna, biztosan elhasználtarn volna. Ha kifizetnéd a
szamár árát, mindenki jól járna.
Mán Gong zen mester felnevetett és így szólt:
- Nem hétköznapi ember vagy, hanem kiváló!"
E történet alapján azt mondhatjuk, hogy Ko Bong a min-
dennapokban különleges ember volt. Ezt támasztja alá a követ-
kező anekdota is, amely Hjé Vol zen mesternél játszódott.
"Jáng-hegy Nevon kolostorában történt. Hjé Vol zen rnester
az összes szerzetest mozgósította, hogy a terméketlen talajt te-
gyék termővé, A szerzereseket kemény munkára kényszerítették,
miközben étkeztetésüket elhanyagolták.
Egy napon Hjé Vol zen mester elment a kolostorból. Akkor
Ko Bong néhány zen szerzetessel együtt elhagyta a kolostor
területét, és elmentek a piacra, ahol eladták a kolostor tehenét.
A pénzen pálinkát vettek és ittak, a maradék pénzből finom ételt
kértek a tulajdonostól. A többi szerzetest is ellátták bőségesen
Néhány nappal később Hjé Vol zen mester visszatért. Nem
látta a tehenet sehol.
- Ki vitte el a tehenemet?
Majd keresésére indult. A szerzetesek úgy megijedtek, hogy
nem tudtak megszólalni. Ko Bong hirtelen levette a ruháját,
majd belépen a zen mester szobájába, és a borjú hangját utánoz-
va ide-oda mászkált. Hjé Vol zen mester ekkor már tudta, hogy
Ko Bong lopta el a tehenet. Csupasz valagára sózott, és így szólt:
- Tehenem nem borjú volt, hanem apa vagy anya tehén.
Ezután kikergette Ko Bongot a szobájából. Később is nagyon
jó barátságban voltak."
A köverkező anekdota is nagyon híres.
"Egyszer Ko Bong egyik szerzetestársával, Tán Onggal együtt
a Kümgáng-hegyen tartózkodott, s mire eljött a hosszú nyári
monszun ideje, addigra sajnos elfogyott az ennivalójuk. Csupán
egyetlen maréknyi rizsük maradt, ezért megállapodtak abban,
hogy körülbelül egy hétig nem esznek semmit sem, majd ami-
kor a monszun véget ér, és az áradat a völgybe ömlik, rizslevest
főznek, utána lemennek a nagy templomba. Bár odafigyeltek
egymásra, mégsem jutott eszükbe, hogy levest főzzenek. Tán
Ong végül képtelen volt elviselni az éhséget, és így szólt:
- Ha ez így megy tovább, mindketten éhen halunk.
Majd megfőzte a rizslevest. Mihelyt megették, Tán Ong
nyomban morogni kezdett:
- Az lett volna a megoldás, ha mindketten éhen halunk?
Ko Bong így válaszolt:
- Mi van, fiam, félsz a haláltól? Nekem valójában azért nincs
életem vagy halálom, mert nem érdekel, hogy élek-e vagy halok.
Erre mindketten jót nevettek."
Általában az összes nagy zen mester a nincs-tudatot valamint
az egyszerű és tiszta tudatot együtt valósította meg.
Ko Bong zen mester világi buddhistáknak mindig szívesen
adott tanítást. Az, hogy Hvágjészában, az ország szívében a vilá-
gi buddhizmus nagy mértékben elterjedt, Ko Bong rendkívüli
tanításának volt köszönhető. Manapság közösségüket a Bódhi-
dharma közösségnek nevezik. Itt az első egybehívott világi
buddhisták mind Ko Bong zen mester tanítványai voltak. Például
Jon Ho Goszá (Dzson Pjong Il) a Bódhidharma közösség vezető-
je és volt igazságügyi miniszter, Szong Dong Goszá (I Csáng
Ho) a Bódhidharma közösség volt vezetője, valamint Hvál Jon
Goszá (Kim Szüng Te). A Bódhidharma gyülekezet huszonhét
fővel indult útjára, s 1957 -ben a Művelődési Minisztériumban
az ország legelső világi buddhista közösségeként jegyezték be. A
gyülekezetben sok ügyvéd és bíró van, s jelenleg Pák Von Szo
vezeti a gyülekezetet, aki egyben ügyvéd is.
Ko Bong zen mester Csonghjészában Pongamszá mestere-
ként sok tanítványnak adott zen tanítást, és a koreai háború
után Kongdzsu Undzsong remeteségben, Ászán Pongjog kolos-
rorban, Tedzson Pogdzson remeteségben, valamint Szöul Mitá
kolostorban mesterként dolgozott.
Ko Bong zen mester mindenkinél jobban szerette a hazáját.
Amikor a kínai Sanghájban volt, titokban segítene a nemzeti
függetlenségi harcosokat. Mindig nagyon sajnálta az otthonta-
lanokat. Miután a japán rendőrség leleplezte őt, körülbelül egy
évig börtönben volt.
Ko Bong zen mester tanítványainak mindig konganokat
adott fel, és azt kérte tőlük, hogy azokat és önmagukat a zen
meditáción keresztül haladják meg. Valamint mindig a transz-
cendentális tudat megélését hangsúlyozta, és azt, hogy önmaguk
bensőjét ezen keresztül tisztítsák meg.
Amikor tanítványai megkeresték és a tanításról kérdezték, ő
- Miért nem magatokba néztek? Miért keresitek Buddhát
Azt is tanította, hogy a Dharmát szívünkben, bensőnkben
keressük. Valamint azt is rnondta az őt meglátogató tanítványai-
nak, akiknek fájt a szívük:
- Azért fáj a szívetek, mert bonyolítjátok az életet.
Az egyik napon egy világi tanítvány megkérdezte:
- Zen mester, miért nincs megvilágosodási verse?
- Valójában a Dharmát a nincs-Dharmán keresztül éred el,
nos van-e vagy nincs meghatározott Dharma? - felelte Ko Bong.
Ko Bong zen mester 1961. augusztus 19-én egybehívott ta-
nítványai előtt, Szongbug kerület Hvágjészá kolostorban meg-
tért a nirvánába. Hetvenkét éves korában halt meg, ötvenegy
évnyi zen szerzetesi élet után.
A Gyémánt páramitá
Miután Ko Bong zen mester elfoglalta helyét a szószékben, fel-
mutatta a zen botját és így szólt:
- Belül világos, kívül világos, mindenütt világos, mi ez?
Mindenki hallgatott. Ko Bong zen mester így folytatta:
- Ez a Gyémánt páramitá.
Letette a zen botját, és tovább beszélt:
- Amikor az arany a föld mélyén van, akkor világos. Ha a
forró kemencébe teszed, akkor is világos. Miután kiveszed a
kemencéből. még mindig világos. Mielőtt betetted a kemen-
cébe, semmire sem lehetett használni. Mikor a kemence mélyén
volt, akkor sem. De miután kivetted a kemencéból, sok min-
dent tudtál készíteni belőle: gyűrűt, fülbevalót vagy hajtűt.
Akkor mi a kemence? A kemence az adás, az erény, a
türelem, a gyakorlás, a meditáció és a bölcsesség. Amikor adsz
valamit, legyen az szellemi vagy anyagi jellegű segítség, ne tegyél
különbségct az alany és a tárgy, a férfi és a nő, a fiatal és az öreg
között, felejtsd el ezt a fajta gondolkodást. Felejtsd el ezt a
három dolgot: én, te és adás.
A következő, amiről beszélek, az erény. Akár adsz vagy kapsz,
csak tedd azt, ami a helyes, és akkor a jó és a rossz tisztává válik.
Akkor a tiszta cselekedeted megöli a jót és a rosszat. De ne ra-
gaszkodj a jóhoz és a rosszhoz. Ez az erény párarnitá.
Ha valami kellemetlenség ér, akkor légy türelmes és elnéző.
A türelem-tudat boldoggá tesz. Akkor a bensődben büszkeséget
érzel és megerősödik próbálkozó tudatod. Ez a türelem pára-
mitá. A büszkeség olyan, mint egy művirág, amelynek nincsen
gyökere - szabadon jön és megy. Egyedül attól félj, nehogy
elmerülj a megbocsátásban.
Ha mindig különbséget teszel az emberek és a tárgyak kö-
zött, de a tudatod nem mozdul rá semmire sem, akkor ez a me-
Ha valami jön, ne légy boldog. Ha valami elmegy, ne légy
szomorú. Amikor sírsz, csak sírj. Amikor nevetsz, csak nevess. A
dolgok megreremtődnek, léteznek, elmúlnak és végül ürességé
válnak. Az érzelmek megváltoznak, a boldogságból szomorúság,
az örömből harag lesz. Az országok megjelennek és virágoznak,
majd hanyatlásnak indulnak és végül eltűnnek a föld színéről.
Ha ezt ragaszkodás nélkül szemléled, tapasztalod, akkor ez a
A nap az égen van, akár tiszta az égbolt, akár felhős. Az arany
arany, akár a föld mélyén van, akár a kemencében, vagy a kezed-
ben. A Gyémánt párarnitá olyan, mint ez - nem függ élettől és
haláltól, jövéstől vagy menéstől, időtől vagy tértől. Nos, látod a
Gyémánt páramitát, vagy nem? Ha látod, akkor harminc ütést
adok neked. Ha nem látod, akkor is harminc ütést adok. Nos,
Hatszor hat az harminchat.
Ko Bong zen mester lelépett a szószékről.
Ko Bong zen mester egyszer azt mondta:
- Három méreg van: a mohóság, a düh és a tudatlanság. Ha
leteszed ezeket, akkor a buddha-természeted olyan lesz, mint a
tiszta tükör, mint az áttetsző jég, mint az őszi ég vagy akár az
átlátszó tó. A világmindenség a bensődből fakad. (Amikor ezt
megtapasztalod), akkor a tested és a tudatod megnyugszik, és
megbékülsz. Szíved üde lesz, akár az őszi szellő. Ha eléred ezt a
szintet, akkor félig már zen szerzetes vagy. De, ha megelégszel
ezzel, akkor még nincs tudomásod a buddhák és a pátriárkák
útjáról. Ez nagy hiba, rnert a démonok hamar odújukba von-
A meditáció nem különleges. Csak tartsd fenn az erős gya-
korló tudatot. Ha meg akarsz szabadulni a megkülönböztető
gondolkodástól, és el akarod érni a megvilágosodást, akkor is
hibázol. Haladd meg ezt a fajta gondolkodást. Csak tartsd fenn
az erős tudatot és gyakorlást. Akkor fokozatosan belépsz a csak-
Mindenki meditálni akar, mégis sokan a gyógymódok és
betegségek jegyében gondolkodnak felőle. Ne félj attól, hogy
amit gondolsz, az olyan, mint egy betegség. Egyedül attól félj,
nehogy túl lassan haladjál. Egy napon el fogod érni a megvilá-
Csak menj át a tűzön!
Ko Bong zen mester szónoki székében ült, háromszor ütött a zen
botjával, és így szólt:
- Az összes kiváló zen mester a világmindenség egy pontjáról
tanít. De ez a pont nem látható vagy hallható, nincs neve és
nincs formája, tehát amikor kinyitják a szájukat, nagyot hibáz-
nak. Hogyan tudnád kijavítani ezeknek a kiváló zen mesterek-
nek a tanítását? Ha ki akarod őket javítani, akkor ne ellenőrizd
a jót és a rosszat, ne ragaszkodj az élethez és a halálhoz, tedd le
véleményedet és feltételedet. Csak menj egyenesen át a tomboló
tűzön. és valósítsd meg a nincs-formát és a nincs-ürességet. Ak-
kor majd a fakakas kukorékolására ébredsz fel.
Felmutatta botját és megkérdezte:
Az asztalra ürött.
Várt egy picikét. majd megkérdezte:
- Megtaláltad az igazi arcodat? Hány szemed van?
Egy pillanatnyi hallgatás után egy KACU!-t kiáltott, majd
- Nézd csak!
PDF: Egyetlen szál virág az egész világ
365 buddhista, keresztény, taoista és zen példázat és kóan / [Szung Szán zen mester kérdéseivel és kommentárjaival, ... Stephen Mitchell előszavával];
[ford. Szigeti György]. [Budapest] : Farkas Lőrinc Imre Kiadó, 1997, XVII, 260 p.
Szung Szán zen mester mestere: Ko Bong élete és cselekedetei a következő alfejezetekben olvashatók: 49-51, 82, 100, 123-124, 174, 196-198, 232, 363.