Mirror of Zen Blog

Zen Master Seung Sahn’s Great Dharani Practice (1)

A fascinating snippet about Dae Soen Sa Nim’s (Zen Master Seung Sahn) personal practice in the midst of his busy, daily life, as told by the Kwan Um School of Zen teacher Zen Master Hae Kwang (Stanley Lombardo):

Once, before a retreat in Boulder, I asked him what he did when he sat. He told me he recited the Great Dharani over and over, very fast, one repetition per breath. “Then your mind is like a washing machine on spin cycle, moving very fast. All the dirty water goes out, but the center is not moving.” The Great Dharani (or Dharani of Great Compassion) is a very long mantra—about 450 syllables. I asked him if he actually pronounced, sub-vocally, every syllable. He said he perceived each syllable, moment to moment. He was fond of the notion that in Buddhist psychology moments of perception go by at about the same fraction-per-second rate that frames of film must be projected in order to create the illusion of motion.

Quoted in https://www.lionsroar.com/spring-comes-the-grass-grows-by-itself-remembering-zen-master-seung-sahn-1927-2004/ [emphasis mine]

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