By Zen Master Seung Sahn
Question : How does Zen practicing take away karma? Zen Master
Seung Sahn : Zen practice does not take away karma. If you practice Zen, your karma becomes clear. If you are not practicing, your karma controls you. But if you are practicing, you control your karma. So your karma becomes clear. Good karma, bad karma, whatever karma you have becomes clear; then only help other people. That’s the point.
Sometimes when a person first starts practicing Zen we talk about “taking away karma,” but those are only teaching words.
Bodhisattvas have bodhisattva karma. Karma means mind action. So, karma controls me, or I control my karma and help other people. These two are different, but same karma.
Our teaching is kong-an practicing. In the past, kong-an practice meant checking attainment, checking someone’s enlightenment. Now we use kong-ans to make our lives correct
Question : How does Zen practicing take away karma? Zen Master Seung Sahn : Zen practice does not take away karma. If you practice Zen, your karma becomes clear
One Sunday evening, after a Dharma talk at the International Zen Center of New York, a student asked Seung Sahn Soen-sa, “Why do you chant? Isn’t sitting Zen enough?”