The Whole World Is A Single Flower: 365 Kong-ans for Everyday Life
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This remarkable book is of great importance not only for the variety of the 365 kong-ans, but for Zen Master Seung Sahn's own questions and commentary which accompany each kong-an. This prodding and guidance serve as guideposts along a difficult road to enlightenment. The kong-ans themselves and practice for life-practice for life-practice for answering the questions which are profound and practical arising everyday.
Zen Center, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form, by any means, including mechanical, electronic, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission from the publisher. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Seung Sahn. The whole world is a single flower: 365 kong-ans for everyday life / Seung Sahn ; with a foreword by Stephen Mitchell; edited by Jane McLaughlin and Paul
took a child in his arms, they were saying the same thing. We can point to that thing with words from any religious language. So emptiness equals fullness, and the kingdom of God equals the Bodhisattva mind. (As a postscript, I would like to add one Jewish kong-an: The Bible says that God's true name is "I am." What is this "I am"?) Dae Soen Sa Nim has asked me to say something about kong-ans and the Tao. I would like to make two points. The first is that all the answers are already inside us.
The second point is that all our understanding is useless if we want to truly understand. "Don't be too intelligent," Dae Soen Sa Nim used to say. "It's like hitting a golf ball with a putter: when you hit the ball too hard, it jumps out of the cup, even if your aim is perfect." The best way to enter the vivid current of the Tao is to let go of everything we think we know. The simplest mind is the best. If kong-ans are questions that we work on only in the interview room or on our meditation
reprinted from Tao Te Ching, A New English Version by Stephen Mitchell, by permission of Harper Collins Publishers and Macmillan London Ltd. First lines of selections from the Tao Te Ching used in The Whole World Is A Single Flower: "The Tao that can be told", "Therefore the Master", "The Master leads by emptying people's minds", "The Tao doesn't take sides", "The Tao is called the Great Mother", "The Tao is infinite, eternal", "The supreme good is like water", "Do your work, then step back",
prepared for Buddhism by the teachings of the I Ching (incorporated in Taoism), which emphasize compassion and self-reliance, egolessness and enlightenment, service for the good of all, deeds without selfish profit, non-violence and tranquillity, and the recognition of eternal change, or transformation. All these elements are clearly explained in Lao-tzu's Tao Te Ching, which expressed the Bodhisattva ideal of the Mahayana more than five hundred years before the introduction of Buddhism in China.