Part Two: Dharma Discourses

Chapter Fourteen: Birth and Death


14. At the final deliverance service for his younger brother Song Tosŏng (Chusan; 1907-1946), the Master delivered a dharma discourse: “On a sad day like today, there is not much I can say; but seeing you all grieve more than I, I can well appreciate the affection you had for him. Not only is the unanimous and sincere grief at losing him a nice gesture toward Chusan, but I also sense good energy circulating in our Order because of it. The other day, one of our members said tearfully, ‘The Founding Master passed away at a critical moment in our Order’s development, and now Chusan has also left us. Aren’t these great misfortunes for us?’ I replied, ‘Have you ever been to a big construction site? The head supervisor of a large construction project does not stay at a single site from beginning to end; rather, before the work is completed, he leaves to visit other sites as they require attention, brings along whatever needs to be prepared in advance, and takes occasional rests whenever necessary. Likewise, the great masters of an order also may have things to prepare in a hurry, now in the east and now in the west, or have times when they need to take a rest. From a broad perspective, though, it is ultimately a single work site and a single enterprise. So, do not lament too much!’ Hence, although our Founding Master and various senior members may have passed away too quickly, we must have faith that they are not gone for good but have left temporarily in order to make additional preparations; we should all remain at peace in this belief and make progress together by carrying on well with the work they have left for us. If we redouble our efforts in developing this Order with sincerity and wholehearted affection, its fortunes will be bright over an eternity of heavens and earths.”