A person once came to me who was studying Christianity but who had run into a stone wall in his study. He could make no further progress at the time, so he came to me to try Zen meditation.

We discussed this and that, and I finally said to him, “If you wish to resolve the basic problem, you must meditate, but there is one condition.”

“A condition?”

“Yes. When monks enter the Zen meditative process, they must abandon Buddhism. Likewise, if you don’t abandon Christianity, you will never be successful in your study. You must abandon Christianity not because it is Christianity, but because it is a belief system. You must rid yourself of the constraint called Christianity just as a monk must rid himself of the constraint called Buddhism.”

“Well, Sunim, I’ll come back after I think it over.”

“You’re really saying that you’re not going to come back, aren’t you?
Well, if you can’t abandon Christianity, then don’t come back. You could meditate for a hundred years, but you’d just be wasting your time.

– Echoes from Mt Kaya, p. 101

Ven. Tong Songchol (1912~1993), also SeongCheol, one of the great Zen masters in the last century was also called the ‘Living Buddha of Korea’.

Comment by master e: You must give up Christianity to be a true Christian.

To be Christian is to have faith and trust in the mystery of life.

To let go of our petty wants and not wants and follow the great way of the loving heart.

Jesus constantly was tell people to let go. To empty themselves.

The rich were blinded by their riches.
The religious were blinded by their religious rules and rituals. The people who judged were blinded by their judgements.

Yeshua (Jesus) continually put it all down.

We say this at the sangha gatherings alot:


And a fourth sometimes – embrace.

Embrace the mystery of this very moment.

See with fresh eyes.

Ask yourself “What is this?” and look deeply.