BST517 - Dropping Ashes on the Buddha (3 Units) 
No Prerequisites
Textbook: Dropping Ashes on the Buddha 
9 week course 

“Somebody comes into the Zen center with a lighted cigarette, walks up to the Buddha statue, blows smoke in its face, and drops ashes on its lap. You are standing there. What can you do?” This is a problem that Zen Master Seung Sahn is fond of posing to his American students who attend his Zen centers. Dropping Ashes on the Buddha is a delightful, irreverent, and often hilariously funny living record of the dialogue between Korean Zen Master Seung Sahn and his American students. Consisting of dialogues, stories, formal Zen interviews, Dharma speeches, and letters using the Zen Master’s actual words in spontaneous, living interaction with his students, this book is a fresh presentation of the Zen teaching method of “instant dialogue” between Master and student which, through the use of astonishment and paradox, leads to an understanding of ultimate reality.

Zen Master Seung Sahn taught Zen in the United States for over 30 years after receiving Dharma transmission in Korea. This collection of Dharma talks, letters, and interchanges with his students is from his early years in the US, the mid-1970s. It is a wonderful record of how a true master worked with his students to help them wake up.

In this course, we will study Zen Master Seung Sahn's teachings/teaching style as presented in this great book. The class will consist of reading assignments, lectures, forum discussions, quizzes and a final paper. The goals of this class are to study the words of Zen Master Seung Sahn, to see how he taught his students, and to apply these teachings in our own lives.