I Want!

Weekly teaching
Monday, 2016 April 18. to Sunday, 2016 April 24.

by Zen Master Wu Kwang on Oct 10, 2012

A kong-an interview with Zen Master Wu Kwang


We used to have a different translation of the second great vow:

Desires are in- exhaustible. We vow to extinguish them all.

Once, during an interview, a student asked Zen Master Wu Kwang:

Desires are inexhaustible. What does this mean?

Zen Master Wu Kwang: I want!

Student: Then how do you extinguish them all?

ZMWK: I want!


Human life is I want! Even to direct yourself toward extinguishing desires is a want or desire. Strictly speaking, desire or even preference is not the problem. Clinging and self-centered craving is really the core of the issue. Why do I want, and for whom? How do I use the energy of desire to go beyond just I, my, me?

When you’re hungry, eat; when someone else is hungry, give them some food.