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 Dharma Talk to Conclude 2013 Summer Retreat

Supreme Patriarch, His Eminence the Most Venerable Jinje


"Unlock the Critical Phrase <一句> and Awaken All Men to Discerning Mind"

His Eminence, the Most Venerable Jinje, the Supreme Patriarch of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism, delivered a Dharma talk on August 21 in conclusion of the intensive summer retreat for the Buddhist Era 2557 (2013 C.E.).


The great master proclaimed, “We must awaken to the critical phrase that even thousands of Seon Masters may not have realized. In this summer retreat, abide to the absolute non-substantiality all the past Buddhas and eminent teachers have awakened to.” He thereby exhorted all the monastics to steadily exert effort in their practice.    


Master Jinje also taught, “Do not give into hindrances but find poise, fervently investigating the critical phrase whether in your highs or lows. Thus, each person must awaken to the True Self and not be distracted by what comes before and after.” He then continued, “Practitioners in every direction must reach such a level. Only then, can you finally become a Great Seon Master to help beings open their eyes and attain great wisdom.”


Approximately 2190 Bhikkhus and Bhikkhunis from over 96 Seon Centers nationwide have entered this year’s Summer Retreat to investigate the hwadu.




Three Transformative Teachings (三轉語) by Master Yunmen (雲門)


[His Eminence the Most Venerable Jinje, the Supreme Patriarch of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism entered the Dharma Hall and raised his Dharma staff to the assembly.]


Under the scorching summer sun,

This body feels hot and is dampened with perspiration;

The critical phrase inspires all humans and celestial beings

How could I acknowledge my existence this early on?

If the current carries you into Samadhi, realizing the True Self,

Everything in this world is nothing but priceless treasure.



The establishment of Mt. Palgongsan’s Donghwa-sa Comprehensive Monastic College in conjunction with the summer retreat in the water-snake year will not only help achieve perfect unification in Buddha-dharma, but it will help it to flourish all the more. This is a most auspicious contribution to the revival of Buddhism and world peace – truly a blessing for the fourfold assembly and all sentient beings.


The critical phrase, residing on the peak, may not have been realized by a thousand saints. Only if you have penetrated it and had gone through the phrase, piercing the crown, can you finally claim to have attained the ordinance of youngsimcheo (where mind functions). Hold on to tongs and hammers, as the Buddhas and spiritual patriarchs have done, to cut off the torrent of afflictions. Sometimes rising to the east but sinking to the west, going vertically and then horizontally, liberating in between giving and receiving. Therefore, combine methods in looking into the minds of the practitioner, to see through his or her capabilities; with skillful means assist students in attaining enlightenment. Gathering and dispersing, a great function is instantaneously present and there is no need to set any archetypes.


Sometimes taking hold of a blade of grass through the form of a grand Buddhist statue, at other times taking on a grand Buddhist statue as simple as a blade of grass. Holding on to the strand-removing sword on hand, you will attain unobstructed freedom – finding life at the time of death and yet finding death in the time of life.


Bring out your treasure and fervently investigate the critical phrase, whether in the highs or in the lows. Each practitioner must awaken to their faultless existence, while not becoming distracted by what comes before and after.


Master Yumen once gave a speech on Three Transformative Teachings to the great assembly.


What is Dharma?

What is the Sata-shastra of Aryadeva?

What is the strand-removing sword of truth?


He trained many young practitioners with such a Dharma speech. I urge the mighty practitioners of Donghwa-sa Comprehensive Monastic College on Mt. Palgongsan to cultivate themselves with this Dharma speech. I expect all practitioners from all directions to realize the truth at this level and once and for all put an end to cultivation and striving in the Buddha-way. Become a great master and lead sentient beings to open their eyes to great wisdom.


“How do you reflect on the ultimate critical phrase?”


A child seen through your own eyes reflects your true self

The golden crow reflected on water becomes a beautiful sun in the sky.


[Master Jinje hits the Dharma desk (法床) once with the Dharma staff (拄杖子) and descends from the platform.] 


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