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Published on Mar 28, 2010
Korean Zen Master Kusan said: "In 1943... I decided to fight my drowsiness by meditating in the standing posture with palms together in front of me (hapchang). ... Remaining alone, I decided that I wouldn't give up under any pretext, even if I were about to die - such was my determination to continue. In standing meditation, the hardest part is to get past the first two hours without moving, after which the main difficulties are overcome. Whether sitting, reclining, or standing, it is finally all the same as the body settles into samadhi. Consequently, although seven full days had passed since I had begun this nonsleeping practice, I felt neither tiredness nor pain in my legs. ... As it drew near to 9 pm on the last day before the ceremony, the clock on the wall made a click just before striking the hour. When I heard that click I took one step over in to enlightenment. .... What did it mean when the clock struck nine? My instense standing practice had removed the obstructions of torpor and restlessness. Its effect was like that of a clear sky completely devoid of clouds. It instantaneously allowed me to enter and abide at the original place. It was in this manner that I stood throughout those seven days and nights. .... Those who have their minds set on cultivation should be endowed with spirits that are willing, if necessary, to bore through rocks with their fingers in order to become enlightened." - p65-67, 'The Zen monastic Experience', Robert E. Buswell, Jr. (Princeton: 1992),