Sickness, Life and Death
by Zen Master Seung Sahn
Our physical body is not our true self. What is our true self, our true I? Every human being must find their true I. If you find the answer to this question then freedom from suffering and freedom from life and death appears.
Don’t be afraid of your sickness. At times everybody is afraid of what will happen to their body. However, the only difference between human beings when it comes to death is: go early, go late. So again, what is a human being? You must find this! Then when you die, your direction will be clear.
Some people are strong, very smart, and have a lot of power. But still, if the direction of their life is not clear, when they die their consciousness will go round and round.
Being alive is very lucky. At this time you must find your owner, your master. You must ask yourself, who is my master? If you find your master, then throwing away your body at any time will not be a problem for you. Don’t be afraid of life and death. This body is like a floating cloud that appears and then disappears. What are you?
No matter what the disease, your true self has no sickness; only your body is sick. Sickness, any sickness, helps your practice. Without sickness, there is only more wanting and desire, wanting and wanting; so you don’t understand your true self, and your direction is not clear. If you die at that time, you will have a big problem.
To know that you are dying is very important. For a dying person, completely putting it all down is very easy. Letting go of desires and attachments is easy because at that time you cannot get anything. Now you are sick. What do you want? Money? Sex? Power? What do you want? Finding your true self when you know that you are dying is the easiest way. So this sickness helps your true self.