The Difference between the Mind of Rapid Result and the Mind of Indignant Outburst

What is the Mind of Rapid Result?

The mind of rapid result (sohyo sim) means the preceding mind that has a desire that “I must rapidly achieve” or “I must be awakened rapidly.” One must definitely not produce this mind of rapid result. The mind of rapid result fosters an impatient mind, putting the nerves on edge, and also induces the illness of the rising gi (sanggi byeong) in which this fervor rises up to the head. Therefore, the more this mind of rapid result arises, the more one has to earnestly and distinctly manage the hwadu so that the mind is more at ease and disinterested. The more the mind of rapid result appears, the more the study of hwadu is slowed.

If we look at the root cause of the mind of rapid result, we see it is due to the fact that the correct mental resolution has not been made. The mind that wants to perfect something or other through rapidly being awakened produces an impetuous mind. One cannot be enlightened at all if one produces the mind of rapid result. The mind that wants to be awakened becomes a delusion, and instead obstructs enlightenment because it only makes the mind impatient.

Seon Master Dahui had the following to say about this:
    The point that one must bear in mind above all is that one must not produce the mind and move thought trying to be suddenly enlightened burning one’s insides. If such a thought arises for even a little bit, that thought will block the path of practice and cut it off, and one never will be enlightened. (Shuzhuang, Reply to Prefectural Governor Huang)
Just as Seon Master Dahui indicated, “If you produce the mind of rapid result even a little bit, you will never be enlightened,” the mind of rapid result is a major malfunction that must be warned against in the practice of Ganhwa Seon.

What is the Mind of Indignant Outburst?

The mind of indignant outburst (bunbal sim) is a mind that must be held by people who cannot do the hwadu and by people who do not advance much despite being devoted to the hwadu. When the study of it does not work, an indignant mind may also emerge, and one also becomes ashamed of oneself and one will produce a depressed mind. As I myself am Buddha, why can’t I find that place? The Buddha and generations of patriarchs found that place and led true lives, so why can’t I? One must sincerely harbor such an indignant mind.

If so, how are the mind of rapid result and the mind of indignant outburst different? The mind of indignant outburst is the study that establishes the genuine power of the vow and the correct views about the principles of one’s own existence, but if it is preceded by a desire that wants to be rapidly enlightened without the power of the vow or the correct views, that is the mind of rapid result. If one proceeds to hasten study with an impatient mind that (thinks I) must rapidly achieve the Way in the condition that has not made a mental resolve properly, instead one will induce an illness that will make it an obstacle to the study and so one definitely must not produce the mind of rapid result.

Methods of Removing Ten Malfunctions in the Investigation of Hwadu

Cleverness produces a mind that considers things are this way or that way. This is a function that understands, discriminates and judges with the head and knowledge. Our consciousness, in using the relativistic discriminative consciousness, while comparing, opposing and involving, not only injures others, it also lives on while injuring ourselves.

Cleverness is a style of mistaken knowing that summons up a thorough distortion of knowing. And so in studying hwadu, there are many cases of considering the hwadu with the mind but without producing doubt. Therefore, one cannot be awakened even if one takes up the hwadu. Cleverness functions as a malfunction and is an obstacle to enlightenment.

In the Shuzhuang, Seon Master Dahui said in taking up the hwadu of the character mu as an example, there are ten malfunctions related to cleverness. Practitioners of meditation enter into a doubt, for the Buddha said that all sentient beings have a Buddha-nature, so how could Seon Master Zhaozhou say they do not? That is the characteristic of the mu character hwadu.
Let us introduce the ten malfunctions of the hwadu one by one:
  1. Do not consider that it has or has not.
    This is not considering whether a dog “has a Buddha-nature” or “does not” while taking up the mu character hwadu. The moment one considers it in this way it is impossible to advance any further.
  2. Do not consider it in terms of principle.
    This means do not think that in the hwadu there is any profound principle. When one takes up the hwadu it is a mistake to discriminate and interpret the hwadu as this or that on the basis of a special theoretical foundation.
  3. Do not try to conjecture or consider it via the discriminative consciousness.
    This is that while meditating, one must not seek for an answer by considering it through thought.
  4. Do not use cleverness by moving one’s eyebrows or winking.
    This means to not give it a meaning with cleverness in respect of the extraordinary actions shown by the patriarchs, such as the movement of the eyebrows or winking the eyes.
  5. Do not make a livelihood in the framework of language and writings.
    In saying one has to doubt the hwadu given by the teacher, one must not try to consider and discriminate this and that in the words and characters and be captivated by the phrases of the hwadu.
  6. Do not fall into doing nothing at all.
    It is a malfunction to empty the mind and in a solitary and quiet place to rest without doing anything, and not take up the hwadu, but just to vacantly sit. This means one must not fall into an entirely quiet realm, not doing anything at all and not taking up the hwadu.
  7. Do not inform about where one took it up and give rise to a hwadu.
    It is a malfunction to inform the hwadu just with consciousness, not giving rise earnestly to doubt about the hwadu.
  8. Do not make evidence or draw on characters.
    This is, do not try to prove this way or that about the hwadu by drawing on characters of the scriptures or recorded sayings.
  9. Do not think that there is a true mu that transcends existence and non-existence.
    This is a criticism of the concept that there is a mu that transcends the relativistic existence and non-existence.
  10. Do not wait for enlightenment with the mind.
    This means do not await enlightenment with the discriminative consciousness. One must not have a mind that seeks enlightenment consciously. The practice that waits for enlightenment consciously in this way is called waiting-for-enlightenment Seon.

If one consciously waits for enlightenment, this is akin to denying that one originally is Buddha. Moreover, because it is consciously waiting for enlightenment, it creates an obstacle to advancing on the Way by having a mind of such cleverness. If one is seen as a self-deluded existence, while considering enlightenment and waiting for it, this is like seeking enlightenment while deluded, so no matter that one has practiced for numberless eons, one definitely cannot be enlightened.

The Buddha also said, “The mind that wants to be awakened gives pain.”

Seon Master Dahui repeatedly stressed not to wait for enlightenment with an intentional mind. Seon Master Hyesim emphasized faith as a means to overcome waiting-for-enlightenment Seon. This is not something that is different for saints and commoners; it is a faith that stands in the place of the original share (of enlightenment) that is shared by all. It is not a half-hearted dubious faith, but a thoroughly decisive faith that can overcome the mind that waits for enlightenment. The world of enlightenment is not that distant, separate thing, but one must be aware that it is here in this place where we see, hear and act.

Chapter 4: Overcoming the Malfunctions

Methods of Removing Ten Malfunctions in the Investigation of Hwadu

Cleverness produces a mind that considers things are this way or that way. This is a function that understands, discriminates and judges with the head and knowledge. Our consciousness, in using the relativistic discriminative consciousness, while comparing, opposing and involving, not only injures others, it also lives on while injuring ourselves.

Cleverness is a style of mistaken knowing that summons up a thorough distortion of knowing. And so in studying hwadu, there are many cases of considering the hwadu with the mind but without producing doubt. Therefore, one cannot be awakened even if one takes up the hwadu. Cleverness functions as a malfunction and is an obstacle to enlightenment.

In the Shuzhuang, Seon Master Dahui said in taking up the hwadu of the character mu as an example, there are ten malfunctions related to cleverness. Practitioners of meditation enter into a doubt, for the Buddha said that all sentient beings have a Buddha-nature, so how could Seon Master Zhaozhou say they do not? That is the characteristic of the mu character hwadu.

Let us introduce the ten malfunctions of the hwadu one by one:
  1. Do not consider that it has or has not.
    This is not considering whether a dog “has a Buddha-nature” or “does not” while taking up the mu character hwadu. The moment one considers it in this way it is impossible to advance any further.
  2. Do not consider it in terms of principle.
    This means do not think that in the hwadu there is any profound principle. When one takes up the hwadu it is a mistake to discriminate and interpret the hwadu as this or that on the basis of a special theoretical foundation.
  3. Do not try to conjecture or consider it via the discriminative consciousness.
    This is that while meditating, one must not seek for an answer by considering it through thought.
  4. Do not use cleverness by moving one’s eyebrows or winking.
    This means to not give it a meaning with cleverness in respect of the extraordinary actions shown by the patriarchs, such as the movement of the eyebrows or winking the eyes.
  5. Do not make a livelihood in the framework of language and writings.
    In saying one has to doubt the hwadu given by the teacher, one must not try to consider and discriminate this and that in the words and characters and be captivated by the phrases of the hwadu.
  6. Do not fall into doing nothing at all.
    It is a malfunction to empty the mind and in a solitary and quiet place to rest without doing anything, and not take up the hwadu, but just to vacantly sit. This means one must not fall into an entirely quiet realm, not doing anything at all and not taking up the hwadu.
  7. Do not inform about where one took it up and give rise to a hwadu.
    It is a malfunction to inform the hwadu just with consciousness, not giving rise earnestly to doubt about the hwadu.
  8. Do not make evidence or draw on characters.
    This is, do not try to prove this way or that about the hwadu by drawing on characters of the scriptures or recorded sayings.
  9. Do not think that there is a true mu that transcends existence and non-existence.
    This is a criticism of the concept that there is a mu that transcends the relativistic existence and non-existence.
  10. Do not wait for enlightenment with the mind.
    This means do not await enlightenment with the discriminative consciousness. One must not have a mind that seeks enlightenment consciously. The practice that waits for enlightenment consciously in this way is called waiting-for-enlightenment Seon.

If one consciously waits for enlightenment, this is akin to denying that one originally is Buddha. Moreover, because it is consciously waiting for enlightenment, it creates an obstacle to advancing on the Way by having a mind of such cleverness. If one is seen as a self-deluded existence, while considering enlightenment and waiting for it, this is like seeking enlightenment while deluded, so no matter that one has practiced for numberless eons, one definitely cannot be enlightened.

The Buddha also said, “The mind that wants to be awakened gives pain.”

Seon Master Dahui repeatedly stressed not to wait for enlightenment with an intentional mind. Seon Master Hyesim emphasized faith as a means to overcome waiting-for-enlightenment Seon. This is not something that is different for saints and commoners; it is a faith that stands in the place of the original share (of enlightenment) that is shared by all. It is not a half-hearted dubious faith, but a thoroughly decisive faith that can overcome the mind that waits for enlightenment. The world of enlightenment is not that distant, separate thing, but one must be aware that it is here in this place where we see, hear and act.

Live Phrases and Dead Phrases

Seon Master Seosan said in his Seon-ga gwi-gam that, “Learners must investigate live phrases (hwalgu) and they must not investigate dead phrases (sagu).” This point was stressed by all Seon masters. The core of Ganhwa Seon is in the taking up of the hwadu and the investigation of the live phrases. Live phrases are living words, true words, vivid words. They are not words that have cleverness attached. On the other hand, dead phrases are empty words, dead words. These are words that have discrimination attached. One definitely cannot enter into the world of awakening through dead words. Seon Master Bojo Jinul said, “If one investigates dead phrases I will not be able to save even myself.”

    Generally, those who study hwadu must investigate live phrases, they must not investigate dead phrases. If one is wakened by live phrases, one will never forget it for eternity, but if one is wakened by dead phrases I will not be able to save even my own body. (Ganhwa gyeoleui ron)

If so, what are the criteria for discriminating between dead phrases and live phrases? Live phrases mean phrases of the Buddha and patriarchs of opportune conditions that take a direct short-cut and are concise and which transcend the discriminative consciousness and all delusions. That is, live phrases are where the paths of language and thought are cut off, the places where language and thought have no corner anywhere for expectation or groping after and dissatisfaction. That is a vacant, empty place where there is no taste or smell or shape.

Doing this won’t do, doing that won’t do, if you go left it is not right, and if you go right it is not correct, and so one cannot comprehend it even through silence. This live phrase that has cut off the path of the mind cannot be attained by philosophical gropings or any thought, even the doctrines of the eighty-thousand page Buddhist canon. Live phrases are a style of linguistic existence of the original face that here and now vigorously lives and moves.

If one’s practice is filled with the shadows of words and permeated with the discriminative thoughts, that is, a dead phrase. If one follows after words, dead phrases are dead words. This is because this leaves signs and causes discrimination, and has one twisted by other’s opinions. Even though one is said to be wakened in pursuing words that live in the path of thought, because that is an enlightenment that understands through the form of thought, it can in no way be a genuine enlightenment. If one says that it is enlightenment that is a huge error. That place of life cannot be experienced in the introspection via language or thought. Therefore if one is enlightened via dead phrases, it is said one cannot save even one’s own self.

If one’s hwadu does not become a live phrase and if one is subordinated to the frames of various theories and concepts, it certainly will end up falling into a dead phrase. Although there are numberless excellent words and writings in the world, they are all dead phrases that are caught up in the function of discrimination or have fallen into theory. All the frameworks of theory and concepts are cleverness that obstructs fundamental doubt.

The point that one must be careful of is that according to the person, even though they investigate live phrases, those can become dead phrases. If one takes up the hwadu without doubt or considers it with the discriminating mind, it will be such (a dead phrase). Ultimately, hwadu without doubt or hwadu that do not engage doubt as they should can be nothing but dead phrases.

When one is not possessed by hwadu, may one use mantic power or chant hwadu or be mindful of hwadu?

The cardinal point of hwadu study is to take up a hwadu that has no path to grope for or seek, and to earnestly give rise to doubt and smash that doubt. One must not open up and use any rational thought at all. In the condition in which thought is thoroughly intercepted, there is entry into and doubt about hwadu. If one chants the hwadu that one has to doubt in this way as if one was chanting the name of the Buddha, this is the casting off of the original path of the investigation of the hwadu. Thus even if one is not possessed by the hwadu, one must not use mantic power or chanting of the hwadu or being mindful of the hwadu.

Chanting hwadu (song hwadu) is making the sound of the hwadu such as “What is this?” or the character mu and to endlessly and continuously recite it. For example, saying “What is it?” “What is it?” “What is it?” or “mu” “mu” “mu” is the continuous recital without any doubt.

Mindfulness of hwadu (yeom hwadu) is not making such sounds of hwadu as “What is it?” or “mu”, but reciting it in the mind. When one takes up Zhaozhou’s mu character hwadu, this is taking it up just repeating “mu” “mu” without any doubt. But whether or not one makes the sound or not, when one looks at it in Ganhwa Seon, this is a mistaken method. No matter when one is going on the path, it is mu, when sitting is mu, when wearing clothes and eating food is mu, no matter whether it is mu at any time, this method is not a proper method of taking up a hwadu. And even more, one must not use thought to think of mu.

Mantic power is the chanting of “Om mani padme hum” or the Dharani of the Gwaneum Bodhisattva of a Thousand Hands or the Lengyanjing mantra. Because these incantations are the mysterious words of the Buddha, one can gain power through chanting them. But in Ganhwa Seon one must earnestly doubt the hwadu alone. Due to not resolving the mind properly or not knowing well the investigation method of hwadu, the hwadu is not taken up well. And so there are those who gain confidence through such mindfulness of hwadu or the chanting of hwadu.

However, the life of the investigation of hwadu lies in exciting the feeling of doubt. If one does not give rise to the feeling of doubt one cannot be said to be investigating the hwadu. Even though one continues to devote oneself to the hwadu by constantly chanting it and are without worldly thoughts, one definitely will not be able to conquer the hwadu by such methods. People who devote themselves to the mantic powers and the chanting or mindfulness of the hwadu without the feeling of doubt will often not give rise to mental resolution as they should.

The Differences between Investigating the Hwadu and Contemplating the Hwadu

The Investigation of the Hwadu and the Contemplation of the Hwadu

The investigation of the hwadu and its contemplation are definitely different. The investigation of the hwadu means to give rise to the feeling of doubt about the hwadu, whereas the contemplation means to concentrate the mind on the hwadu. One must investigate the hwadu, for it is difficult to produce a genuine doubt only by concentration. While investigation is the endless persistence in the condition that achieves the feeling of doubt fully, on the other hand, contemplation is the continuing concentration and observation of any phenomena or things as they are. So there are large differences on this point.

If one contemplates hwadu, the contemplating I and the observed hwadu come to be divided from each other. In such a condition of the separation of host and guest, if the hwadu is objectified and contemplated, this is not taking up the hwadu, but is the observation that follows after the hwadu. If one divides the subject I and the object hwadu, inevitably that separates I and the object, the subject and the object, I and hwadu. Therefore when one looks at contemplation of the hwadu structurally, one cannot deny that it is a relativistic standpoint.

Of course, through such contemplation one can achieve a mental unification. Excluding the wandering mind, one can unify the mind and enter into the state of clarity. However, this is not a hwadu samādhi in which the hwadu and I are one. Wherever, it is only a relativistic state that is projected into my consciousness. Thus the object that is illuminated in this realm is not a pure feature that is an object that surfaces in my consciousness. Because that does not cast off the subject and object completely, it cannot be thorough.

The investigation of hwadu must transcend all dichotomous realms of subject and object, I and you. If it cannot be so, one will not be able to cast off completely the oppositional discriminative consciousness. It is called being at the top of a hundred foot pole and advancing one step. One has to step one pace forward on top of a pole one hundred feet in length. To reach the origin, this means that one can be free and independent once one has transcended even the origin.

Why mustn’t one contemplate the hwadu?

Seon Master Huineng, the Sixth Patriarch, who founded Patriarchal Seon, criticized the watching of the mind and the watching of purity in sitting meditation as mistaken. In short, in achieving sudden enlightenment and seeing the nature, seeing the mind and even seeing it as pure becomes an obstacle. All objectifying methods of contemplation are incorrect.

If one tries to find a pure mind or tries to see the mind, Seon Master Huineng warned against vainly giving rise to the delusion of “the pure mind.” Moreover, he indicated the mind that one tries to find itself is a delusion. This is the same principle as the eyeball cannot see the eyeball. If one tries to find the mind with the mind, not only can one not find the mind, that seeking mind itself is a delusion.

Therefore, Seon Master Huineng also said, “One cannot calm the mind with the mind, one cannot halt the mind with the mind, and one cannot operate the mind with the mind.” This is because this is to create yet another mind and objectify it. If one happens to try to find the pure mind, on the contrary, one will fall into the discriminated mind of the pure mind and the false mind, and fall into the objectified mind. If one objectifies and contemplates the mind, as Seon Master Huineng indicates, it becomes the discriminating mind and the relativistic mind.

What are the feeling of doubt, the ball of doubt, form into one piece, and the silver mountains and iron walls?

Wumen Huihai said:
    Isn’t there a person who will penetrate the barrier gate of the patriarchs? With the three hundred and sixty bones of the body and the eighty-four thousand pores, the entire body must give rise to the ball of doubt. In investigating the charactermu, one must take this character mu up day and night, all the time. Do not understand it in the sense of “it is empty”; do not understand it even through the sense of “is” or “is not.” Just like a molten lump of metal, it will not come out no matter how much one tries to spit it out. In this way one must get wholly rid of that mistaken cleverness one had until now. Continue steadily in this way, and if one’s study matures, then automatically the body and the mind will become a single lump together with the character mu and one will form them into one piece. This is just like a deaf-mute who, although he dreams, still only knows of it himself, and cannot tell it to anybody.

    And so suddenly if the hwadu is broken, a vigor that shakes heaven and earth is produced. This is just as if one snatched the great sword away from General Guan Yu (the god of war), picked it up in one’s hand, and so if you met the Buddha you killed the Buddha, and if you met a patriarch you killed the patriarch. And even on the hill of birth and death you gain a great freedom, and even in the life of a sentient being you can enjoy the samadhi of play.
    (Wumen’ guan case 1)
The feeling of doubt

In order to directly enter into hwadu one must certainly give rise to doubt. If one takes up a hwadu, one asks, “Why is it said that a dog has no Buddha-nature?” and “Why is it said the Buddha-dharma is a dried shit stick?” One must earnestly enter into doubt. One does not doubt with one’s head, one must doubt with the whole body. Therefore Seon Master Wumen Huikai said that doubt is “with the three hundred and sixty bones of the body and the eighty-four thousand pores, one must use all the body.”

If one tries to make an extreme and earnest doubt by giving rise to doubt in the hwadu, at any moment, while that doubt persists, that is called the feeling of doubt (uijeong). If we speak simply of what the feeling of doubt is, it means the state of doubt that naturally occurs when one purely doubts the hwadu. It is not consciously doubting as much as one can, but is the maintaining of the doubt like a kind of feeling.

If one takes up the feeling of doubt in this way, even if one does not forcibly doubt the hwadu, one will automatically be immersed inside the hwadu. Even if one does not doubt, naturally one will come to doubt, and even if one does not take up the hwadu, naturally one will be obsessed by the hwadu. And therefore Seon Master Mengshan Deyi said, “If the doubt deepens, even if one does not take up the hwadu, naturally the hwadu will appear.”

The ball of doubt and the formation into one piece

If one tries to enter earnestly into doubt about the hwadu, the feeling of doubt conglomerates into a lump and that is called the ball of doubt (uidan). The doubt that is wound round and round and massed together is the ball of doubt. Therefore, later this ball of doubt is revealed alone. That is called “the ball of doubt alone on the road” (uidan doglo). If that ball of doubt is alone on the road, the hwadu and I become one, and we make a body that cannot be divided one from the other. The mass of doubt becomes a ball of flames and it is a condition wherein there are no gaps into which other things can intervene. This condition is called “formed into one piece” (taseong ilpyeon). The hwadu clearly has become one piece. If it is formed into one piece, the habits of unintentionally pondering, calculating and comparing are left behind, and one merges into one with the many and varied things.

Seon Master Huangbo took up the hwadu of the character mu and fiercely investigated it, saying, “If one sees the days and months go by, at any moment one may become one piece, and if suddenly the flower of the mind blooms, one will be enlightened to the sphere of the Buddha and the patriarchs.” Just as if when a plum blossom gives off a fragrance, this means it has tolerated the depths of winter. Seon Master sung of that season as follows:

                 The discarding of frustrations and illusions is an unusual thing.
                 Hold the hwadu tightly and struggle on a single field.
                 If one does not know the taste of the bone-chilling cold,
                 How can one have the fragrance of the plum blossom assault one’s nose?
                 (Huangbo Duanji Chanshi Wanlinglu)
Although the practice of the hwadu thus displays the concrete process of shifting from the stage of the feeling of doubt to the ball of doubt, and then that forms one piece, there are also occasions when, according to the recorded sayings, the feeling of doubt, the ball of doubt and the formation into one piece are written of as the same concept.

The Penetration and Enlightenment of the Silver Mountains and Iron Walls

If the feeling of doubt matures, then it becomes like a silver mountain and iron walls, where all the exits of thinking are intercepted. Seon Master Boshan emphasized that only when one had smashed the silver mountain and iron walls could one go on to be enlightened.

Silver mountains and iron walls indicate a realm that is solid, hard and precipitous, and difficult bore through or leap over. This means an acute condition where there is no opposite shore, and is inescapable, not to the left or right, front or back, and the feeling of doubt is pure. Silver mountains and iron walls means an iron wall made of silver whose thickness cannot be known. This iron wall obstructs in all directions, left and right, front and back. Therefore one cannot advance or retreat even a step. Likewise, only if one can bore through and get out will the brilliant news come for the first time.

The Reasons one must possess the Mind of Great Faith, the Mind of Great Indignation, the Mind of Great Doubt

Seon Master Gaofeng Yuanmiao (1238-1295) in his Chanyao emphasized that a student of the hwadu must possess the three elements, “the mind of great faith, mind of great indignation, and mind of great doubt.”

What is the Mind of Great Faith

First, the meditator must have great faith (dae sinsim) in the hwadu. This faith means the attitude that proceeds with study that is definitely undisturbed and is the firm faith that if one studies the hwadu one is sure to waken to the one great matter. Seon Master Naong said:

    If one is certain to be awakened to this one great matter, by all means give rise to great faith and establish a firm intention, and at one sweep of the broom, sweep away the views of the Buddha and Dharma that one has learnt previously, into the ocean and so one is not disturbed any more. (Naong eorok)

The great faith is the faith that one originally had become Buddha. There is no difference between me and the Buddha. Even though there are differences in the characteristics and the ability that is manifested, there is no difference with the original, pure Buddha-nature.

I myself am not at all different to the mind of the Buddha. The mind of the Buddha is as eternal as empty space, unchanging and is absolutely not damaged. It has no increase or decrease. It cannot be concealed by dirt or shaken by any oppression or temptation, or be captivated by it, or be divided by it. Even though one falls into a miserable state that is stigmatized by the world, or momentarily fall into foolishness in which there is no wisdom, one’s own original nature already is a pure and bright appearance that is not buried by dirt. I myself am the governor who perfectly possesses truth from the start.

Because one’s self is the true subject, one is full of endless wisdom, courage and moral nature. One possesses in abundance the ability and wisdom that can embody that which one intends. One is not discouraged by any difficulty and produces an indomitable fortitude that burns with hope in any situation.

Likewise, the production of a great faith can raise an indomitable power of zealous practice as soon as one is without shaking just like Mt Sumeru. And further, one must have a certainty that one can conquer the hwadu and be greatly enlightened.

What is the mind of great indignation?

The second is the mind of great indignation (dae bunsim). What is the mind of great indignation? The hwadu is the revelation in front of one’s eyes of one’s own original face by the Buddha and patriarch monks. Here the patriarchs of the past restore one’s original share (of enlightenment) and one becomes a person of great freedom.

But now how should I live? Compared to the patriarchs of the past, what do I lack and why can’t I directly see myself? Even so, since by myself I do not know the endless embarrassment of my own pride and foolishness, and am tied to the life of deluded thougths, isn’t it truly a sad and hard lot?

Even though one is originally Buddha, wouldn’t one regard oneself as a sentient being and resign oneself to the lot of a sentient being, and so live day by day? For endless eons we have lived in this way. That being so, at some time doesn’t that mean I can find my original face? Does not that mean that the brilliant sun in my mind is hidden and wanders around outside in the dark?

Until now I have done as I wanted with this body. If I wished to eat as my taste buds desired, I ate; and if I wanted to sleep I slept; and if I had a futile desire to satisfy, I would try to possess whatever that was. Furthermore, in order to gain fame and benefit for myself, I would discriminate between myself and others and engage in discrimination of right and wrong, and so wound myself and others. In this way we fall into the illusion that forgets our original face, and we live with desires and foolishness.

However, fortunately now, I have come into contact with the path of Seon practice and see directly the frustrations and stupidity, and have met with the greatest opportunity of life (ildaesa inyeon) that leads me to live as a person of great freedom. This very hwadu study is a razor-sharp sword that will cut off my past life of darkness and my current ignorance.

The practitioner of meditation in the investigation of the hwadu like this must suddenly well up in a mind of indignation that rages out of a guilty conscience.

What is the mind of great doubt?

The third is the mind of great doubt (dae uisim). The mind of great doubt is the exhaustive doubt about the hwadu. The hwadu cannot be fully grasped by any method and nor can it be described figuratively. It cannot be known by something non-existent, it cannot be known by something existent; it cannot be grasped, it cannot be put down. So the practitioner here reaches the point of doubt so as to devote his entire strength to it and can do nothing but play the game head on. This means that in hwadu practice that doubting is putting it in the state of mind at just such times.

The Buddha and all the patriarchs showed us the Dharma in the form of the hwadu clearly in front of our eyes. While the Buddha thus shows us the inner original thing clearly before our eyes, does that mean I cannot see it anyway? Although the distinct, internal principle is made lucidly clear as a hwadu for us, why is it that we do not know it? Why, how don’t I know it?

In this way, if the great doubt rushes forth, the whole body and all thought is converted into a mass of hwadu. If one lies down as hwadu and falls asleep as hwadu, the thought, “Ultimately what principle is this?” becomes continuous and a clear, calm and distinct doubt appears before one’s eyes. If one can gain strength in making it this way, at last the good times of practice will have been made to arrive. It is impossible for there to be hwadu study without doubt.

The greater the doubt, the greater the enlightenment. An earnestly held doubt is a huge doubt, called the great doubt. That is the place where the doubting I disappears in the explosive, fundamental doubt. This great doubt meets with opportune conditions and in the end when that great doubt is smashed, the practitioner in one fell swoop dies greatly, and heaven and earth are renewed.

How is the hwadu concretely investigated?

The entering into and producing of a doubt about the hwadu is the investigation of the hwadu. Only when the doubt is penetrating and one is in a condition of when only doubt is lumped firmly together, is the hwadu taken up well. What should one do to produce doubt by taking up the hwadu?

Let us try to explain it through the example of hwadu that are most often used, the hwadu of the “character mu” and the hwadu of “What?” One either takes up the entire proposition attached to the front of the “mu character” hwadu, or just the mu itself, although it is a bit vague. The entire proposition means the entire content related to the hwadu.


Let’s take up the example of the hwadu of the character mu:

    A monk asked, “Does a dog have the Buddha-nature?”
    Zhaozhou replied, “It does not (mu).”

The Buddha said, “All sentient beings have the Buddha-nature,” so why did Zhaozhou say the dog does not have the Buddha-nature?


The lines quoted above are the entire proposition concerning the hwadu of the character mu, that is, the entire content. On the other hand, the lone proposition is explained as “mu” or “why did he say mu?” When one starts to meditate, although at first the entire proposition and the lone proposition are used mixed together, if one becomes versed in it, the entire proposition is burdensome. If one is familiar with it, the entire proposition enters totally into the lone proposition. Automatically it then becomes the lone proposition.

The essentials of investigation are thus:

    “Does a dog also have a Buddha-nature?”
    “No.”
    “Why say no?”
    “Why no?”
    “Why?”

Likewise with the hwadu, “What is it?” (i-mwot-go)

    “What is that fellow who eats, wears clothes, talks, looks and hears, the governor who is bright and numinous whenever and wherever?”
    “It is not mind, not Buddha, not a single thing. What is it?”
    “Before my parents were born, what is my original face?”
    “What is the fellow who pulls along this lump of a body?”

For the hwadu, “What is this?” one should select just one of the various hwadu above and it may create doubt. If one tries to expand it by just one more, when one takes up the hwadu through the entire proposition, one must take up only one entire proposition. Of course there are no differences of superiority or inferiority between these entire propositions. One should select only one and earnestly take it up. A possible tip for practicing a hwadu is, when one takes up “What is it?”, one must give rise to doubt, while making ‘this’ (i) slightly long, mentally that the fellow who is doing the ‘this’ is ‘what?’. Or, although it is a bit vague, one would lengthen and sophisticate the doubt by making the hwadu lengthened like ‘this (i) – what (mwot) – is (go)?’. The essential though is to have it earnestly. If one must make the entire proposition, this must become simple not become the source of delusion.


When doubt does not emerge well, one takes up the entire proposition again and again, one (asks) “What is the fellow that moves this body?” and there is no other clever plan but to endlessly take up hwadu. Endlessly, one must enter into them earnestly and intensely.


If one tries to investigate hwadu in this way, one must have an extremely earnest mind. Just as in a desert, feeling thirsty one only thinks of water. A birth mother who sends her only sons to the warfront, day and night thinks of her children. Likewise, one must have a mind of urgency that investigates only one hwadu. Such an urgent mind occurs when one stakes one’s entire life on it. If one tries to take up the hwadu this earnestly, one day suddenly a genuine doubt occurs, and the hwadu vividly manifests itself in front of one. At such a time the mind internally becomes calm, and the illusions of frustrations also automatically disappear.


In truly devoting one’s life and proceeding by controlling it thought by thought, this study has difficulties. If one completely believes that one is originally Buddha and does not look forward or back, since I have departed from the same conditions as all teachers of the past, and so I also am diligent, it is sure that I will be thoroughly and greatly enlightened (hwakcheol daeo), and can see the nature and become Buddha. With this thorough faith, one must vigorously advance in practice.

Chapter 3. The Stage of Investigation of the Hwadu

How is the hwadu concretely investigated?


The entering into and producing of a doubt about the hwadu is the investigation of the hwadu. Only when the doubt is penetrating and one is in a condition of when only doubt is lumped firmly together, is the hwadu taken up well. What should one do to produce doubt by taking up the hwadu?


Let us try to explain it through the example of hwadu that are most often used, the hwadu of the “character mu” and the hwadu of “What?” One either takes up the entire proposition attached to the front of the “mu character” hwadu, or just the mu itself, although it is a bit vague. The entire proposition means the entire content related to the hwadu.


Let’s take up the example of the hwadu of the character mu:

    A monk asked, “Does a dog have the Buddha-nature?”
    Zhaozhou replied, “It does not (mu).”

The Buddha said, “All sentient beings have the Buddha-nature,” so why did Zhaozhou say the dog does not have the Buddha-nature?


The lines quoted above are the entire proposition concerning the hwadu of the character mu, that is, the entire content. On the other hand, the lone proposition is explained as “mu” or “why did he say mu?” When one starts to meditate, although at first the entire proposition and the lone proposition are used mixed together, if one becomes versed in it, the entire proposition is burdensome. If one is familiar with it, the entire proposition enters totally into the lone proposition. Automatically it then becomes the lone proposition.


The essentials of investigation are thus:

    “Does a dog also have a Buddha-nature?”
    “No.”
    “Why say no?”
    “Why no?”
    “Why?”

Likewise with the hwadu, “What is it?” (i-mwot-go)


“What is that fellow who eats, wears clothes, talks, looks and hears, the governor who is bright and numinous whenever and wherever?”
“It is not mind, not Buddha, not a single thing. What is it?”
“Before my parents were born, what is my original face?”
“What is the fellow who pulls along this lump of a body?”


For the hwadu, “What is this?” one should select just one of the various hwadu above and it may create doubt. If one tries to expand it by just one more, when one takes up the hwadu through the entire proposition, one must take up only one entire proposition. Of course there are no differences of superiority or inferiority between these entire propositions. One should select only one and earnestly take it up. A possible tip for practicing a hwadu is, when one takes up “What is it?”, one must give rise to doubt, while making ‘this’ (i) slightly long, mentally that the fellow who is doing the ‘this’ is ‘what?’. Or, although it is a bit vague, one would lengthen and sophisticate the doubt by making the hwadu lengthened like ‘this (i) – what (mwot) – is (go)?’. The essential though is to have it earnestly. If one must make the entire proposition, this must become simple not become the source of delusion.


When doubt does not emerge well, one takes up the entire proposition again and again, one (asks) “What is the fellow that moves this body?” and there is no other clever plan but to endlessly take up hwadu. Endlessly, one must enter into them earnestly and intensely.


If one tries to investigate hwadu in this way, one must have an extremely earnest mind. Just as in a desert, feeling thirsty one only thinks of water. A birth mother who sends her only sons to the warfront, day and night thinks of her children. Likewise, one must have a mind of urgency that investigates only one hwadu. Such an urgent mind occurs when one stakes one’s entire life on it. If one tries to take up the hwadu this earnestly, one day suddenly a genuine doubt occurs, and the hwadu vividly manifests itself in front of one. At such a time the mind internally becomes calm, and the illusions of frustrations also automatically disappear.


In truly devoting one’s life and proceeding by controlling it thought by thought, this study has difficulties. If one completely believes that one is originally Buddha and does not look forward or back, since I have departed from the same conditions as all teachers of the past, and so I also am diligent, it is sure that I will be thoroughly and greatly enlightened (hwakcheol daeo), and can see the nature and become Buddha. With this thorough faith, one must vigorously advance in practice.