The Zen Master Ungo had many disciples. One monk, who came from Korea, said to him, “I have realized something within me that I cannot describe at all.”
“Why is that so?” asked Ungo. “It cannot be that difficult.”
“Then you must do it for me,” the monk replied.
Ungo said, “Korea! Korea!” and closed the dialogue.
The pith-instruction of Zen
Ungo, a great Master, was the founder of the Chinese Soto school of Zen and was credited with more than 1,500 students. The student in this dialogue wants the Master to put his experience of enlightenment into words.
It is as though a man in love were to say to a woman, “I love you; I feel something, but I cannot describe it.”
The woman would reply, “Why not? It cannot be so difficult!”
“Then you describe it for me,” he would plead.
She would answer, “Oh you, you!” and throw her arms around him.
Enlightenment is the actuality of life’s reality itself and, like love, can best be known by experience only. All words fall short. Enlightenment is the only experience in the world that cannot be faked because it is purely based on a subtle and inner flowering that doesn’t rely on forms – words, language, status, class, race and so on. It is an inner evolution that transcends all other worldly experiences.