True Dharma Is No Dharma
by Zen Master Seung Sahn
The student asked, “What is dharma?”
Dae Soen Sa Nim said, “When I’m hungry I eat; when I’m tired I sleep. Do you understand?”
“I think so, but I’m not sure this is understanding.”
“Then ask me again,” said Dae Soen Sa Nim.
“What is dharma?”
“Today I left Krakow at 8:40 and arrived here after half an hour. Is that enough? Dharma is not dharma. The sun, the moon, the stars do not say, ‘I am the sun, I am the moon, I am the stars.’ Buddha did not say, ‘I am Buddha.’ God does not say, ‘I am God.’ The true God and the true Buddha have no name. Also the true sun, the true moon, the true stars have no name. All names are made by thinking. Dharma, karma, Buddha nature are also all names. So the only true dharma is no dharma. True truth is no truth. True karma is also no karma. If you make dharma, you have dharma. If you make karma, you have karma. If you cut off all thinking, everything and you become one. But if you have something, you only have something, you lose everything. If you throw away everything of your own, then you will get everything. This means, throw away dharma, Buddha, God, throw away your understanding. Then you will get true dharma, true Buddha, true nature, true substance—you will get everything. Then everything you can see, you can hear, you can smell—everything is dharma, everything is Buddha, everything is truth. If your mind is correct dharma, then everything is correct dharma. If your mind is truth, everything is truth. If your way is correct, then everything is the correct way. That is Buddha’s teaching. Everything is made by thinking. So how, just now, moment to moment, do you keep your correct situation? That point. So if you make your idea completely disappear, then everything you see, you hear, you do, all is dharma.