The Correct Way, Truth, and Correct Life

Dae Soensanim Seung Sahn

   During a Dharma talk at the Lexington Zen Center, Zen Master Seung Sahn said to the assembly, "In the Bible, Jesus says, 'I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.' Zen also says that if you attain your true self, then you attain the correct way, truth, and correct life." 

   "So what is the correct way?" a student asked Zen Master Seung Sahn.

   "Why do you eat every day?  Only for your body, because of personal desire?  Only for you?  That is the same as being an animal.  On the other hand, if your eating is for all beings, then your life and direction are clear.  The name for that is the correct way."

   "Then what is truth?" the student asked.

   "If you attain the true way, your mind is clear like space.  Then when you see and hear clearly, everything is truth."

   "What is correct life?" the student asked.

   "Zen Master Seung Sahn answered, "If you attain the truth, then you must correctly function as truth, by keeping correct situation, correct relationship, and correct function, moment to moment.  The names for this are Great Love, Great Compassion or the Great Bodhisattva Way.  That is correct life."

   The student bowed and said, "Thank you very much."


[Excerpted from The Whole World is a Single Flower, 1992, by Zen Master Seung Sahn]