Home Master Jinje Biography Enlightenment

Enlightenment :

Breaking open, “Hsiang-yen: Up a Tree”
Jinje sunim devoted his life to this hwadu, after 2 years of practice one morning he tripped on a rock whiel walking up the stairs. While he began to get up the hwadu suddenly broke open. He wrote this enlightenment gatha:

How many people know about the truth in this staff?
The Buddhas of the past, present, and future don’t know it
This staff suddenly turns into a dragon of gold
And performs all sorts of wonders.

When Master Hyanggok heard this he immediately asked,
“If you were this dragon and you met a garuda (a legendary bird which eats dragons) what would you do then?”
“I would bow and take three steps back,” Jinje sunim replied.
Master Hyanggok praised his student, “You’re right. Very good!”
After this Jinje sunim could answer without hesitation, everything except for the kong-an ‘Sun faced Buddha, Moon faced Buddha(日面佛月面佛)’.
This was the hwadu made famous by the renown Master Xuedou(雪竇) who struggled with this hwadu for nearly 20 years despite clearly seeing through every other kong-an.

One day a monk came to pay his respects to the Great Master Mazu. He asked, “How did you sleep last night?” Mazu replied, “Sun faced Buddha, Moon faced Buddha (Sun faced Buddha lived for 1800 years, Moon faced Buddha lived for 1 day)”.

Breaking open ‘Sun faced Buddha, Moon faced Buddha’
Once again for 5 years Jinje sunim put forth all of his efforts towards this hwadu until finally one winter, when everything was white and covered with snow, he walked up to a cistern with snow piled up on its edges. When he looked down he saw, not snow, but only clear, still water. This hwadu suddenly broke open, the question had been resolved. He was able to discern the countless teachings of the ancient masters and wrote this gatha:

With one strike from this staff
The head of Vairocana topples over
One thunderous shout,
And all of these conflicts vanish
In this one room hermitage
I stretch out my legs
The fresh wind over the ocean feels new everyday
Though it will blow for thousands of years.

Confirmation and Transmission
It was during the last Dharma lecture of the summer retreat in 1967 when Jinje sunim asked Master Hyanggok, “I’m not asking about what the Buddhas and Patriarchs know, but tell me what they don’t know.”
“Nine times nine is eighty one,” the Master replied.
“All of the Buddhas and Patriarchs know that.”
“Six times six is thirty six.”
Jinje sunim bowed and without a word left the hall. The Master came down from his seat and returned to his room. The next day Jinje sunim put on his robes and asked the Master again,
“I’m not asking about the eye of the Buddha or the Eye of Wisdom, please tell me what the Eye of the enlightened monk is.”
“The duties of a Bhikkuni are those done by women,” the Master responded.
“Today I have truly seen you for the first time, Master.”
“From where are you seeing me?” the Master asked.
“Kwan(關)!” Jinje sunim shouted (this character has many different meanings, “gate” or “the wooden bolt that locks the gate”).
Master Hyanggok was delighted, “You are right! You are right!”
At this time the Master made Jinje sunim his Dharma successor and the 79th Patriarch of the lineage passed on through Master Huineng and Master Linji of China, one of the few intact lineages in the world. He wrote this transmission gatha:

Entrusting this Dharma to my successor, Jinje Beopwon:
The great, living Dharma of the Buddhas and Patriarchs,
Can be neither transmitted nor received.
As I am transmitting this living Dharma,
To gather or to spread, it is up to you.