Kyol Che opening talk by Zen Master Seung Sahn at Shin Won Sah in December 1995.
Nowadays our world is very complicated. Also, there are many problems; many people are killing each other. The more complicated our consciousness becomes, the more problems we have. If your consciousness is a little complicated you will have a little problem; if it’s very complicated then you will have a big problem. People want something but they cannot get anything. Then their minds become narrower and narrower. Narrow mind means “only me” mind. This “I, my, me” mind is animal mind. Animal mind only goes one way. Dog, only dog way. Cat, only cat way. Snake, snake way–only my way. They don’t understand other beings so they don’t get anything; they don’t understand this world.
These days human beings are the same as animals–only my way, only my situation, my condition. Then they fight each other. Just like in Russia. The Soviet Union disappeared, then many small countries appeared and are all fighting each other. Now the whole world is becoming like this. Big countries are not fighting each other so much, but inside countries, small groups are fighting each other. So, the whole world has a problem.
This problem appears because animal consciousness is coming into human beings consciousness. Now there are too many human beings. After World War II there were only two billion people; now there are over five billion. Where do all these new consciousness come from? From animals. Why? Humans kill many animals and then they eat the meat. People at this retreat are very lucky because here you can’t eat meat. If you eat meat, then animal consciousness comes in. In the outside world people eat a lot of meat, so animal consciousness comes in. Then dog mind, snake mind, pig mind, any kind of animal consciousness can take control–only me! So, everyone is fighting each other.
Coming here to practice strongly for three months is very wonderful. If you look at this world, how many people practice correctly for three months? How many people want to find their true self–not very many! So, coming here to find the correct way, truth and correct life to help all beings is very important. Only a very high class consciousness will do that. So, you are all very lucky to be here.