15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
you might taste why gong-an's are necessary in Zen buddhism?,
This review is from: Only Don't Know: Selected Teaching Letters of Zen Master Seung Sahn (Paperback)
I read this book right after 'The Compass of Zen', which are written by the same author, Korean Zen Master, Seung Sahn Sunim and the same editor, Hyon Gak Sunim, who is one of his American students. Another book, 'Dropping Ashes on the Buddha' and this 'Only Don't Know' used the same style of many corespondences between the master and his students. You might taste how other people had faced with the confusion and the attraction in the paradoxical 'gong-ans'questions in Zen Buddhism. I was also very confused about the paradoxical gong-an questions and the unclear answers at 'The Compass of Zen' like other people who wrote many letters in the book. I often felt the pradoxical questions sounded funny, but something like words play. However, when I finished reading this book, I could slightly understand why the pradoxical questions are necessary and what the main purposes are? Zen practice seems to be one of the tools to "wake up" from the ignorance of self, and then to see the self as an universal existence. To reach the point,the beginners seem to train their minds detaching from the "forms and names" that they have learned, but attaining the clear minds, "like mirrors", to be able to see the unverse as it is."form is form, emptiness is emptiness". It is still paradoxical, but it is still attract. I you are interested in Zen Buddhism, you must read it.