Hundred Proof Dragon

Sometimes a student will decide to fast during Yong Maeng Jong Jin or make a seven day retreat. He begins strong. First day, second day, only water. Third day: “… maybe I’ll have a little orange juice…” Fourth day: just a half slice of bread…” Fifth day, headache. “… think I’ll take a little nap…” Seventh day, starving, so he stuffs himself. This is what’s called “head like a dragon, tail like a snake.”

You decide something then you don’t do it. This means you don’t believe in yourself. Or in an interview, the Zen Master says: “What color is the wall?”

“White.”

“Is that correct?”

You hesitate. In that gap, you’re already dead. It’s like fighting. The master attacks. How can you defend yourself? You have to attack!

“Is that correct?”

“Are you hungry?”

Ask a child, “What’s one plus two?”

“Three.”

“Is that correct?”

“Sure it’s correct.” He believes in himself, so he doesn’t think about it.

“One plus two doesn’t equal three…”

“It does too! My teacher said so!” A child’s mind doesn’t shake so easily. But Zen students! They cling to their thinking.

Throw a ball hard against the wall, it comes back hard. Slow, it comes back slow. If the master grabs a sword, you grab one too! This is a clear mirror. “What color is that?” This is a terrible question!

“You already know.”

“I don’t!”

“No? Then I’ll teach you: white!” This is only so-so. You have to attack.

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