Question: The world is changing all the time; why is it that there is only one answer to kong-ans?
Zen Master Seung Sahn: This world is changing? [Laughter from-audience.] That’s the first I heard that this world is changing. No, this world is empty. If you have an empty world, is it changing? But you say this world, your world, is changing. OK. Somebody else’s world is completely empty. Form is emptiness, emptiness is form — complete emptiness. For someone else this world is truth: sky is blue; tree is green; the dog is barking, woof, woof; sugar is sweet; everything is the truth. When you see, when you hear, when you smell, when you’re thinking, everything is the truth. That’s truth world. Then somebody else says, “No, no, no, not truth world, this world is compassion world; great love, great compassion, great bodhisattva world, only help all beings.” But your world is changing world. Why do you make changing world? Do you like that?
Q: Yes, I’m probably attached to it.
ZMSS: You’re attached to that? No problem! You’re attached-no problem. But, if you’re attached to this world when you die, you will have a problem. [Laughter] Maybe “no problem.” But, when your karma is put into a new body, you won’t understand where you will go. Maybe you will go to hell, maybe you will get an animal body, perhaps a dog’s; around and around — where you don’t know. So, you must make your direction clear, OK? What is the direction of your life? So, put it all down; cut down, cut down, then “empty world” appears. However, if you only stay in this empty world, then you will have another problem. When you die, you will never come back to this world. So, take one more step, then “truth world” appears. Sky is blue, tree is green, the dog is barking — woof, woof — sugar is sweet. Then, when you see, when you hear, everything is the truth; truth and you become one. But, truth world is not enough; take one more step, bump! Then “function world” appears. Only help all beings. Not only this life. Life after life after life continue to help all beings. That’s “bodhisattva world”; bodhisattva world is number one. That’s Buddha’s teaching. Try that, then kong-ans will be no problem.