Venerable Master Hye-Am(1886-1985),Successor of the 76th Korean Son patriarch, Venerable Master Mann-Gong of Dok-Sung Mountain
Venerable Master Hye-Am was born Soon-Chon(the follower of heaven), the only son of three generations of only sons. He wes born in the Yellow Sea(Hwang-Hae)Province, of Sea-Moon County, in the Sea- Rock City, just north of Seoul, Korea on January 5, 1886. These names imply Buddha(i.e., the sea), Mind (i.e.,the moon), and Sangha (i.e., the rock where the temple or shrine is). By the lunar calendar it was December 1, 2429.
The day of Soon-Chon’s birth, in a dream, an unnamed Bodhisattva, riding a white elephant, emerged from the sky’s edge and descended to the location of his expectant mother. At the spot was a holy rock adorned with flowers and jewels. Upon this rock the Bodhisattva sat and entered Samadhi. After sitting for some time he arose, reached deeply into his chest, and brought out a jar of holy milk. He handed it to the woman-with-child, then disappeared. Later that morning while his mother gave suddenly appeared from no-where, hovered above the house, and steadfastly for some time.
His father died when Soon-Chon was ten (1896). At that same age, he had a chance to visit the Hung-guk temple in Yangju City Kyonggi Province. As soon as he entered through its gate, he insisted on remaining at the temple. He behaved as one who, after aeons of searching, had, at last. found his home. Who could have even imagined that that would be the last day of his worldly life. Finally, his mother had to move into the temple as well.
At age fourteen (1900), he became a monk under Po-Am S’nim and thereafter remained the monk named Song-Am (rock of Self-nature). Song-Am S’nim never received a formal education and thus, throughout his life, relied on others to read write for him.
At age sixteen(1902) his mother passed away and he became very lonely. Orphaned and feeling great sorrow and depression, he set out on an endless journey. For over six years he was a hobo-style monk, employing charity chanting to beg for food, clothes, and money. Wherever mind led, wherever foot stopped, one tattered cloth and spindly staff was all his life:
With one tattered and spindly staff
Travelled east and west; it was endless.
If someone asked, “Where have you travelled?”
Everywhere in the world has been all-encompassing.
At age twenty-two (1908) he heard, for the first time, about Son meditation and raised the great faith. Giving up his endless journey, he attended the seasonal retreats in Diamond Mountain, in Myo-Hyang (Profound Incense) Mountain, and others, in order to do the original task of the sramana (Buddhist priest).
After four years had passed and his study had not progressed, he realized that the expected results of further study would require a teacher. In 1911 the Master Song-Wol in Tongdo Temple gave him a Hwa-du(Kong-an) and in the same year he had a chance to meet the Venerable Master Mann-Gong in Sudok-Sa.
Yesterday was new spring, today is already autumn. Yearly, daily, monthly, it flows like valley streams. Looking for fame and fortune, Returning gray-haired before the desires were accomplished.
He began realize what the right teacher could do, and it was becoming apparent to him what the only task for a human-being was. How lucky!
Even parents are not close.
if asked who the closest is,
Blind tortoise and one gimp-legged turtle.
Hye-Am S’nim’s first meeting with Venerable Master Hye-Wol and Master Yong-Song was also very significant. “Without them,” he commented, “how could I am?”
Blind tortoise met the wood-board in the ocean;
The meeting with superior mind in the Eagle’s Peak
(Where Buddha held up the lotus flower).
Master Mann-Gong was a great, powerful master, while Master Hye-Wol was like a compassionate father or almost a mindless Buddha; but, both were the honey-dew tea of dharma for Hye-Am S’nim. There were many great monks under Mann-Gong. Especially great were Tae-An and Song-Wol (sometimes called Ha’m-Wol), both of whom were actually older than Master Mann-Gong.
Other monks who were related to Master Hye-Am included his well-known colleagues, Jon-Kang, Go-Bong, and Choon-Song. Hye-Am S’nim’s lifelong foundation of enlightenment and sea of great accomplishment included the Venerable Master Yong-Song of O-Dae Mountain, an expert in dodtrinal and patriarchal teachings, as well as other great figures: Mann-Gong, Hye-Wol, Song-Wol, and his closest colleague, Jon-Kang.
Fifteen years passed during which there were continuous retreats and ceaseless re-examination for Hye-Am S’nim. Finally, on the day of Master Mann-Gong’s bifthday. April 18, 1929 (March 7th, 2473), when Hye-Am S’nim was forty-three, the Master was at Sudok-Sa and recalled everyone in the mountain. He cheerfully rolled up his sleeves, filled his brush with ink, and without hesitation, composed the following patriarchal transmission Gatha on silk to Hye-Am S’nim:
To: Son Master Hye-Am (Wisdom Hut)
Clouds and mountains are not the same or different,
Also has no great family tradition:
This, the wordless seal
Transmitting to you, Hye-Am.
From: Mann-Gong: Wol-Myon (Moon Face)
March 7th, 2473rd year from Buddha
(April 18, 1929)
This patriarchal transmission was derived directly from Kyung-Ho and Mann-Gong, both in the modern Korean Buddhest lineage, the ancestry of which goss back to Bodhidharma and includes the Sixth atriarch Hui-Neng (Hye-Nung), and hes lineage of Lin-Chi (Yhm-Je). This Korean lineage, at the end of the Koryo Dynasty, includes the Patriarch Na-Ong (1380-1436) and Chong-Ho (1520-1604) in the Yi Dynasty; after which was a three hundred and fifty year dark age for Korean Buddhism.
After this dark age, however, modern Korean Son Buddhism flourished. We must mention this because it really began with Kyung-Ho S’nim (1849-1912). Just prior to his time, Korean Buddhism was still faded from a lineage that had slept deeply. The great life of Buddhism had been awry until Master Kyung-Ho’s time.
As the 75th generation from Buddha, the 31st from Lin-Chi, and the 12th generation from the Korean Patriarch Chong-Ho, Kyung-Ho S’nim was able to reestablish the foundation of Bodhidharma and the Sixth Patriarch, Hui-Neng. Kyung-Ho S’inm was the modern revival of Korean Son Buddhism. Mann-Gong and Hye-Wol S’nimm were in the first generation after him, but it was to Mann-Gong S’nim (1871-1946) that Master Kyung-Ho transmitted the dharma with the following Gatha:
To: Mann-Gong, the Moon-Face
Cloud, moon, stream, mountain are same everywhere.
‘Tis Mann-Gong Moon-Face’s
(this was Mann-Gong’s monk name) family tradition.
Secretly transmit the wordless seal by sharing with you,
One wonderful power overflows in your unmovable living eye.
From: Kyung-Ho; Sung-Woo (Awakened Ox)
March 27th, 2448th year from Buddha (1904)
When Mann-Gong S’nim, composed the Gatha to Hye-Am S’nim, the direct lineage was suddenly transmitted to Master Hye-Am who, without regard for fame or fortune, continued to just examine day and night. At that time, however, this young “bud of enlightenment” did not understand what had happened, so he immediately asked,
“Master, my study is still far behind; I did not accomplish the great enlightenment. What dharma are you going to transmit to the one who did not yet accmplish the Tao?”
To this question, headmaster Mann-Gong smiled slightly and snswered, “This dharma is a so-called, birthday surprise.”
He, however, did not understand this unexpected, extraordinary surprise, and declared, “There are many good students of yours on this mountain; I am yet the un-perfected bowl.”
Master Mann-Gong suddenly stood up, took out his own bowl from the wall closet and abruptly said,
“If so, then keep this bowl.”
Hye-Am S’nim’s words were severed. Suddenly one aucient phrase dawned on him.
People of the true mind
Have no shape to see and no form at which to look.
word and utterance are severed,
Thought and its abiding place are also annihilated.
Mann-Gong S’nim wrapped up the Gatha in red silk and proclaimed him. No one understood it and no one questioned concerning it.
Who said, The circle does not know the circular?
After receiving the bowl and robe, Hye-Am S’nim continued to study under the great masters, caring for nothing but study. He preserved himself under the re-examination with the Good-and-Wise Ones.
“Only by the power of continuous re-examination, until the moment of death, can one be free from the suffering of Hell. Do not jump into the ocean of life-and-death by haughty foolishness.
Studying without the Master-Mentor is death.
Studying without refinement is insanity.
Studying without re-examination is disease.”
He also said that without a Master-Mentor life is only miserable; worse than having no parents.
Here is a Gatha sung by Ch’an Master Tu-Sun:
A cow in northern city had hay.
A horse in southern city had indigestion.
Looking for a good doctor everywhere,
Treating a pig’s shoulder with burning moxa.
The rewards after continuous refinement and re-examination under the true Master-Mentor have nothing to do with the rewards of this ordinary world’s pursuits. The goal of the homeless one is this invisible work.
One time, an attendant asked the Venerable Master, “By virtue of what seeing can the direct lineage of Buddhas and Patriarchs be transmitted to the one who is not enlightened?”
Master Hye-Am sad,
“Enlightened and not enlightened are just names indicating how they are examining. If you let the word of resolve become the contents of your faith, then that is the enlightenment. If there is no faith in the mind, then the re-examination will be cut off and cause a final entry into the ocean of life-and-death. That is why it is called not enlightened.” -p 31-
This is what the Master Mann-Gong called birth day surprise and the bowl of dharma, which is nothing but the holding bowl of re-examination. Because of that, it is called greatly awakened, not because of a certain enlightenment to be attained.
The Sixth Patriarch said,
Seeing Self-nature is the virtue (of re-examination), Equanimity is its excellence.
The Patriarch once sang a Gatha:
Since re-examining the Buddha-Patriarchs’ words is
The Tathagata’s enlightening mind -as-it-is,
If fire can emerge by rubbing sticks,
Red lotus will definitely bloom in the mud.
When night is deep, dawn is near. When the mind is deep, word is little. When examination is deep, enlightenment is supreme.
By chance, Master Yong-Song once asked the following Kong-an of Master Mann-Gong:
Yong-Song: Tell me, merely departing from speaking silence, movement, and stillness.
Yong Song: Is that the Good-Silence?
Mann-Gong: No, not at all.
This dharma discussion was dropped here. Later, Hye-Am S’nim’s life-long colleague, Jon-Kang S’nim, discussed this with Master Mann-Gong.
Jon-Kang: It us as though both of you masters entered the muddy water while strangling each other. -p 33
Mann-Gong: Then how would you respond?
Jon-Kang: What could possibly be said merely departing from speaking, silence, movement, and stillness?
Mann-Gong: Very good. Very good.
Master Hye-Am did not overlook this Kong-an but examined it and had a chance to meet with Master Jon-Kang.
Hye-Am: Do you believe what you said to the Master, “What could possibly be said merely departing from speaking, silence, movement, and stillness,” was right? Since it has something from which to depart, why can’t you say something?
Hye-Am: Why don’t you ask me?
Jon-Kang: Tell me, merely departing from speaking, silence, movement, and stillness. “In order to answer this Kong-an you have to discover the moment before entry into the womb.
If someone asked me, ‘What is the discovery of the moment before entry into the womb?’ I would say, Broken glass is non-cohesive.”
He then sang a Gatha:
One word for Speaking silence-movement-stillness, Who could possibly break through it?
If one asked me to comment after departing from them,
I’d say, “Broken glass is non-cohesive.”
Everyone called this the enlightenment Gatha of Master Hye-Am. Every mountain was surprised by this discovery and speechless, like a person who had just slightly awakened from sleep.
As Master Jon-Kang commented, “Patriarchs are nothing but the ones who re-examine Buddha’s words.” Without ceaseless refinement of the Kong-ans, one cannot be claimed as a disciple of Buddha.
After Master Mann-Gong passed away, Sudok-Sa became an empty temple in need of a new head master. Some elder monks recommended Master Hye-Am, but at that time he refused, saying, “To be head master is worse than going to a fiery hell. Why are you concerned with such titles? Why can’t we just study together?”
Within the political turmoil of a new born country on old traditional soil and after the Korean war, Buddhism was no longer an interest of the people. It was worship attended for miracles of escape from anxiety and hunger and by the wealthy for good fortune, while the priesthood brotherhood of landholders under the name of Buddhist work. The abbot of the temple was usually a property manager or landlord. By way of criticism, Venerable Master Mann-Gong once roared out:
What is the dirtiest thing in the world?
Dirtier than dung is the maggot;
Still dirtier than maggots are all abbots in the main temples.
The true students were very few. Korean Buddhist sects became vehicles for achieving fame and wealth.
Thieves were many, feigning mastery:
No good people claimed themselves as students.
When Master Hye-Am, who had never been an abbot of any temple, was nominated as head of Dok-Sung Chonglim (Sudok-Sa Temple affiliates), he bellowed out:
Who wishes to hold the dog’s collar?
It’s hollow gourd.
All the disciples were in utter agreement and appreciation of his discerning assessment of the outside world. The times were topsy-turvy. Rather than monks, many lay people came to see him and a score lf thousands studied; but only sixty lay people, twenty Bhikunis (female monks), and less than a handful of Bhikus (male monks) saw the Selfnature. Most came, not to study, but to accrue a popular affiliation. Verily, the times were such that instead of students looking for a master, a master, the master had to look for the students.
No need to blame the world. This kind of situation was not new; it existed in Buddha’s and Bodhidharma’s times as well as in Kyung-Ho’s time.
Even after becoming disabled from an accident, Master Hye-Am deeply sighed, citing Master Kyung-Ho’s living thunderbolt-in-daylight:
The one word breaking through the empty space,
True voice of giving and snatching away:
Looking around, there is no one;
To whom should I transmit this bowl and robe?
Why is it called bad?
Because of not believing in the dharma.
Why does one receive the sufferings of hell?
Because of not following the word of the Good-and-Wise Ones.
What is the trouble?
Letting thought arise in the mind.
The Master summarized his one hundred years of life with one word: re-examination.
While examining what you have awakened, naturally, the major Hwa-du from Buddhas and Patriarchs will be pierced through.
Even if one has seen the Self-nature, without re-examination, seeing Self-nature will soon be obscured and totally useless.
In the study of Son, the three requisite pillars are great faith, a great bundle of doubt, and great provocation.
To the one who saw the Self-nature,
What else can be the great faith other than re-examination?
To the one who saw the Self-nature,
How possibly can the bundle of doubt not be vivid while in re-examination?
To the one who saw the Self-nature,
Re-examination cannot be perfected without the great provocation.
Because of faith, it examines. Because a bundle of doubt is vivid, it examines. Since the mind is provoked, nothing else can do except re-examination.
Today’s students deal with patriarchal Kong-ans carelessly as if they were children playing with a ball, with the idea that awakening is easy, merely saying, “understood it.”
But the old Master, using his dharma sword, destroyed them mercilessly, which is the same way that all the patriarchs have brightened Buddha’s Teaching by re-examination. That is the patriarchal spirit.
Re-examining the Hwa-do of Buddhas and Patriarchs is the true nature of enlightenment, i.e.,Buddha-as-it-is.
Here is a Gatha sung by Ch’an Master Hwang-Pyok (d. 849):
Liberating ourselves from the six sensual dusts is extraordinary.
Playing tug-of-war while holding tightly the end of the reins;
Without passing through the one time chilled-to-the-bone cold,
How dare exotic plum blossom fragrance reach to the tip of the nose?
This old Good-and-Wise One, already past the dusk of life, eight years before his death, slipped and fell, rendering his hip and knee useless. He barely managed to live with only several spoonfuls of rice in plain hot water; sometimes one spoonful of honey with some pine nuts for nutrition. Food was as simple as his life.
However, layman students and the lines of the laywomen never stopped whether he was in Sudok-Sa Temple, at Non-Dual Shrine in On-Yang City, or in -p45- the Dong-A Hospital in Seoul. Wherever he was, it became the Chonglim; the sitting and the dharma discussions never stopped. It contented him because this was the old Good-and-Wise One’s karmic task. The weakened body, seeing the world as a shadow, was unable to distinguish voice, was unable to distinguish drum and bell. He fell into the soundless abyss; his hearing was like waiting for the echo from the horizon. Several broken teeth protruded like tombstones from his otherwise toothless mouth.
However, even in front of this old, weak, and sick corpse, why did the strong and not knowing what to do?
Why could someone else have strong teeth, a better and healthier jaw, and yet not open it? Why?
What did they see?
What could they not see?
In contrast, as goes the ordinary world, people are only interested in power and gold; and the Korean Buddhist sects were no different. In fact, they were the monsters who only looked after the benefit of their own family members and pursued power with the Outlaw Kingdom. Through the eyes of power holders, Master Hye-Am was just a helpless monk -p47- and an irascible old fellow. However, even for this kind of criticism, the Master scolded his attendants who spoke ill of those people.
“After all, dragon lives among snakes!
Mind which better condition is wicked.
If you pursue something outside, then already you have slain the Buddhas and Patriarchs, not to mention having lost your life.
Do not become a follower of them; while you debase them, you become the same kind of indigent-being. While you criticize them, you become a disciple of devils.
Talking hard; useless, ’til blood pours from the throat.
Prefer shut mouth for the rest of life.”
Study, Study, and again Study!
Once the great Son Master Na-Ong sang a Gatha:
The primary concern of Son is faith;
Study carefully but sharpen it more enthusiastically.
When the bundle of doubt is pierced through unexpectedly,
Mud-ox ploughing in the farm at the entrance of Aeon.
Days and months were faster than thunderbolt, knowing that his time would soon come.
Ask without delay.
Nineteen eighty-four, this old Good-and-Wise One became Korean Ancient Buddha who lived twenty years more than Buddha.
On one of the hottest days in Sudok-Sa Temple, Master Hye-Am recalled all of the students to review one-by-one. He called his attendant, Myo-Bong:
In this soil, seeds are sufficient,
The West will be the new fountain.
Quickly but secretly proceed!
Not easy to spread the true Teaching.
“Where can you go with your health?”
“Teaching of the seeing the Self-nature cannot be delayed by any means. This is a first in history. There are some who, under the name of Zen, gather the people and teach the Sutras, or raise the fist and make the Hal(shout), or compose the Gathas without knowing even how to distinguish between black and white; all the while claiming themselves to be teachers of Zen life, of Zen chanting, or even proclaiming themselves to be paatriarchs. However, no one does direct teaching of the Buddha-Patriarchs’ Hwa-du work, by which one sees the Self-nature.
I have been waiting for this opportunity for over twenty years and I cannot postpone it.
Claiming themselves to be enlightened; gathering the people everywhere; but, hungry students have nothing to eat. Imitating their teacher as a cub somersaulting, what will be their excuse on the Day of Judgement?
One who knows has word.
One who speaks cannot know.
Not knowing how to teach the disciples, their disease will become critical. Both teachers and disciples will become descendents of the devil.
One mink who resides in America said,
‘There are many different books published on Byddhism. Many kindw of prescriptions have been introduced, but, there is no real doctor who can properly determine how to treat the patients!’
Let’s pack up! Accomplish it as soon as possible.
Like a mouse-catching cat.
Like a birth-giring mother.
If it fails this time, there is no hope for the Buddha-dharma in the West.”
Leaving behind all the deceitful gossip and insults owing to jealousy, this old Good-and-Wise One still eagerly did his work in order to repay all the Buddhas.
Twenty-seventh day of November in 2528 (1984),
Finally faith reached ultimate peak where “faith” is no longer.
An ancient trace of Kyung-Ho and Mann-Gong; the highest teaching of mankind, Have moved to the western world to be begetter of the beginning.
Finally, the wicked ones shut their mouths for a while to find out what was going on, but the ignorant ones continued the chattering of debasement behind his back. This old Good-and-Wise One was accomplishing his only purpose: whatever the cost, he would direct seeing the Self-nature to the world.
Around scenic Los Angeles there were many communities: industrial, educational, and especially excellent scientists and artists, and many religiously open-minded people. Just south of Los Angeles, in Orange County, there were at least three million people of upper intelligence from South East Asia, Northern Europe, England, and South America. Truly, some might say that America was the “Department of the Human Race.”
One journalist, originally from Denmark, was -p55- asked to come and interview this oldest and highest Korean Buddhist leader. She published this historic event. Everyday many visitors, sometimes thirty or forty, came to see him. During the three months he was in America, about one thousand people were interviewed. Among them, three or four, after several interviews, reached high levels of dharma understanding. They were given dharma names and encouraged by the Master to accomplish the Buddhahood, But, what heavy work for this old body!
A one hundred-year-old international birthday party was held and still he continued to see the people. Finally he became dramatically weak and could not swallow even a grain of rice. This far journey to the West was new explained.
“I am ready to depart from you.”
“When are you going?”
When the temple bell crown is softened.
“To where are you going?”
To the fiery hell.
Afterward, what should we do?
“If I die in the city, put this corpse in the hearse, carry it to the mortuary, and cremate it immediately. If I depart from this world in the mountain, do not even make a coffin, but rather carry my body just like a coffin, but rather carry my body just like a dried piece of wood and cremate it with a bowl of gasoline. After the cremation, return to the main altar, burn one piece of incense and prostrate three times. Then, go to the altar of spirits (for the deceased ones) and again burn one stick of incense and chant The Heart Sutra one time. Do not waste any materials for my body.
Also, I would not produce any sarira from my body, because I do not even respect Buddha’s sarira. Even if sarira were produced, it would not be the same kind as Buddha had. If something emerges from this corpse, immediately bury or scatter it. If anyone gathers my ashes, builds a pagoda or a mausoleum, he will be my worst enemy.
Sarira originally were to be examined by the Good-and-Wise One with the true dharma eye. If the Good-and-Wise One perceives them in his palm with the dharma eye, the licentious sarira will become bloody pus, and greedy sarira will become a snake or serpent. The ignorant sarira will become a snake or serpent. The ignorant sarira will become a wandering ghost. The ignorant sarira will become a wandering ghost. Only the sarira examined by the master of the brightened-eye can be acknowledged as the true sarira.
Even if there is the true sarira, including Buddha’s whole body sarira, one should not ct,respe bow, or pray in front of them, for all of these behaviors will be the main karmic cause of entering the hell. Prayers, bows, and displays of respect are derived from attachment to the truth of all that Buddha taught us.
Whatever has the form
As a whole, is all delusory.
There is no definite substance;
Even illusion has no definite illusion.
This is The Dharma-of-Formlessness.
By not assuming the form, one will coincide with the Saint.
Departing from each and every form is called,
Now, listen to my own Gatha:
At the summit of Buddha’s and Patriarchs’ peak,
Ancient buried sarira have been disclosed.
Instead of seeing one’s own sarira,
Everyone busily scurries after them.
I just carefully looked at Buddha’s sarira,
Buddha is not in sarira.
Even though sarira came from the Buddha,
Buddha-of-seeing is watching Buddha’s sarira.
Therefore, from now on, people of the True-Mind should strive hard, alert and bright, in Study. Purify and cultivate the uncountable vows for the uncountable indigent-beings until this body is completely dis-integrated.”
Blue-eyed students asked,
“How should we Study from now on?”
“Let the examination become your teacher; there is no other work to do besides this. I heard that even Socrates said, The unexamined life is not worth living for man.”
“What, then, would be the last word?”
“Good-bye,” he said in English.
After this short word he turned away. He concluded his difficult three-month journey to the Western world in this way. He insisted on passing away in America. However, his attendants knelt down and beseeched him to return to Korea for the sake of his many followers there. He returned on February 16, 1985.
He locked up his room and forbade entrance to anyone; then spent three more months before he entered Nirvana.
Anxious disciples asked,
“To whom did you transmit the Chamber of the True-Dharma-Eye?”
To the one who examine.
Since the disciples did not say a word, the old Master continued.
“Listen to my Gatha:
No form is,
No emptiness is,
No non-emptiness is.”
“Is there anything more to say?”
There is nothing more to say.
He entered Samadhi for a while; then opening his eyes wide, embraced the whole universe. He then made three strokes in the air horizontally and one vertically. No one knew what he meant.
The Master’s last day was eight days before Buddha’s Birthday, May 19th, nineteen eighty-five (March 30, 2529 by the lunar calendar).
Many eminent monks attended his funeral from throughout the nation. Throngs of people attended the ceremony, forming an ocean of people. Who are they? Suddenly a colorful aura, as appeared at his birth, arced in the sky. Everyone was enraptured by this marvelous phenomenon and called it his power of dharma. What an auspicious occasion!
One short shrill honk from hollow goose pierced through to the stratosphere.
Now where is our old Master? Here is something we cannot forget.
Venerable Master Mann-Gong once wrote a Gatha for Venerable Master Kyung-Ho’s (Empty Mirror) true Self image. The Gatha is:
The empty mirror originally has no Mirror.
Awakened ox is already not an Ox.
Everywhere where there is neither Ox nor Mirror.
Living eye freely abides with inebriety and indulgence.
For comparison Venerable Master Mann-Gong wrote for his Self-image:
I am not departed from Thou;
Thou art not departed from me.
Before Thou and I were born,
I don’t know; what is this?
Venerable Master Hye-Am concluded with a Gatha for his Self-image:
Thou art not the Thou of Thou.
I am not the I of I.
Since I and Thou are non-dual,
Immediately here is true Thou-and-I.
This is the Nirvana: his worldly-age was 99, dharmaage was 85 and 77th generation from Shakyamuni Buddha (in Korea).
Here I would like to conclude this story with the Master’s own Gatha which he composed shortly before he entered Nirvana.
By birth limpid air blew in the horizon,
By death the shadow of moon flew in the tranquil pond;
Departing from body out of Karmic circle: Where did it go?
River flows toward east outside of the Capital City.
October 15, 2529 (1985)
Recorded by His Disciple
妙 峰 Myo-Bong (Profound Summit)
How to Study Kong-an
The Original Face
Re-Examination Is the Faith
What to Love