All beings sharing

This is my all-time favorite verse, from Daehaeng Kun Sunim’s translation of the Heart Sutra. It causes everything within me to settle down, and shows me how I need to be living.



all beings share the same life,

the same mind,

the same body,

and work together as one,

giving and receiving whatever is needed,

ceaselessly manifesting and changing.

But because unenlightened beings don’t know this,

they walk the path of suffering.

20150809_060338_Richtone(HDR) Here’s a great comment and answer from a Dharma talk I’m currently translating. I particularly enjoyed this one, because so often it happens when we strive for something, we are subtly despising where we are at, and desiring to be someplace other than where we are right now. The longer I practice, the more I think the key is having goals but still accepting the place we are in this moment. 

Questioner 1: When I hear your teachings like this, I feel like I’m about to awaken and fly into the sky like a bird.

Daehaeng Kun Sunim: Look! Don’t try to awaken! [Laughs.] If you’re focused on something called “awakening,” you’ll wind up filled with frustration.

Whether you succeed or not, just keep going forward on the path in front of you, taking things as they come. Keep quiet about what you encounter, and stay centered on your foundation, knowing that, “My foundation can take care of this.” Then it will be taken care of in that instant.

When entrusting something to your foundation, sometimes you see the results instantly, and sometimes it takes some time before the result works its way into the material realm. But when you entrust things like this, your foundation works like a blast furnace, melting down whatever you put into it.

So even though you put in grubby and twisted scrap, all of that will be melted down and only bright, shiny metal will be left. Which is then sent back out into the world. But how could someone experience this if they aren’t thoroughly entrusting the things and emotions that confront them?

(a couple of paragraphs later:)  A mind like this becomes deep waters, and so large boats can sail there and take many beings across.

Golden Buddha_ebook_cover EmbeddedFinally! We have an ebook version of My Heart is a Golden Buddha!  And just as wonderful, we have a paper edition that’s easy to order anywhere in the world!

This is a collection of 33 stories told during Daehaeng Kun Sunim’s Dharma talks. Featuring monks and bandits, foxes and kings, house wives and wise mothers-in-law, she entertains while always returning us back to our fundamental nature. Without fail, she shows us how we can apply this wisdom to the things that crop up in our own daily lives, and so find a path of growth and peace.

The ebook is on sale now for $4.99, and the paper edition is $15.99

Barnes & Noble
Kobo Books
Google Play Store

Don’t Get Caught

It’s not that you’re a bad person,

it’s just that, without realizing it,17_3

you use your mind in harmful ways.

The effects of this become your genetics,

as well as your reality,

always coming back to you, one after another.


don’t be caught up in thoughts and feelings

about your bad behavior

or the pain it causes.

Instead, just keep entrusting every single part of it

to your Juingong, your true nature.

If you understand why it happened,

entrust it, grateful for understanding.

Even if you don’t understand what happened,

keep entrusting each and every thought,

feeling, and experience.

For several years, we’ve had book of questions and answers available for free. Taken from the Dharma talks of Daehaeng Kun Sunim, the questions range from basic issues such as “why does life feels empty” to “is there such a thing as previous lives,” and “how can I become a more spiritual person.”

It’s a nice little book, about 75 pages, and available in ten different languages, but until now it’s only been available in print editions, and is probably somewhat hard to find. But now, we’ve started to make ebook editions. (Yay!)  The English, Italian and Russian versions are finished, and German, Korean,and Vietnamese will follow in October~December. Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, and French are also lined up, and will follow as corrections arrive and time permits. I hope you find this book helpful, and please feel free to share it with anyone you’d like.

[For epub devices, you can use the direct download link, and of the file hosts, Smashwords is the best one because they don’t make you log in to download the epub.]

[For Amazon devices, we have a direct link to a mobi format. If you don’t know how to “sideload” it onto your device, there is another way to transfer the file to your device. Amazon gives you a unique email address for your device or app,(look under your account and “manage your content and devices”) and if you email the mobi file to that address as an attachment, it will show up on your device. Note that epub files can’t be sent this way.]

1-English English

Google Play store  (or read it on Google Books)
Kobo Books
(direct download  Amazon’s mobi format, and epub)



1-Italy Italian
Google Play store  (or read it on Google Books)
Kobo Books

(email me for Amazon’s mobi format- direct download is coming soon)




Google Play store (or read it on Google Books)
Kobo Books


German Fttw


Google Play store (or read it on Google Books)
Kobo Books

Well, I’m not sure that “lanterns” is the right word, given how big these are.(The main Buddha is about 10 feet, or 3 meters, tall.) But they are all actually lanterns, lit from the inside, and made of paper glued onto a wire framework. Here are the main lanterns our center has made this year for Buddha’s Birthday(May 6th, this year. Tomorrow, April 29th will also be the second anniversary of Daehaeng Kun Sunim’s passing.)

I hope these photos give some idea of how incredible they are. When I first saw the finished lanterns, I could only stare at them. No words would come out. (Click on the images to see the full size, about 250kb.)


The main float










A close up of the back of the float. Notice the 3D Buddhas manifesting from the cosmic Buddha into this world.

A close up of the back of the float. Notice the 3D Buddhas manifesting from the cosmic Buddha into this world.













A practitioner, but notice how even on a barren peak, a pine tree is fully alive, as the crane on the other peak.

A practitioner, but notice how even on a barren peak, a pine tree is fully alive, as the crane on the other peak.



A close up of the pratitioner

A close up of the practitioner

and now the full float

and now the full float




2float 2






details from a tree that forms the third float

details from a tree that forms the third float





each leaf is hand made

each leaf is hand-made, and I love the butterflies!










Wake Up and Laugh: Everyday spiritual practice

Wake Up_Small   We have a new book that’s just come out through Wisdom Publications in the US. It’s an awesome collection of Dharma talks by Daehaeng Kun Sunim.  These talks are mainly about the basics of spiritual practice, but they also have a lot about what we have to do once we start having experiences and begin to shed the shell of “I.” The first talk is one of my favorites, because she is very clear about what letting go of “I” and “me” looks like, and shows us how to avoid getting led astray after we’ve had some experience at practice. In its essence, practice is the same for the beginner as well as for the long-time practitioner, and all the materials of your daily life are the fuel of your practice.

You should entrust everything that comes up in your life—solitude, poverty, loneliness, anxiety, illness—entrust this all to your foundation and live freely. Entrusting everything is letting go of attachments; it is the path of dying. “First, you must die!” means unconditionally letting go of everything, including what you understand and what you don’t understand. It means letting go without clinging to reasons or excuses.

(I want to paste everything up here! It really is that good.)


Dharma Talks in Chicago

I’ll be in the Chicago area (Skokie) in May, and will be giving Dharma talks at the Hanmaum Zen Center there. Two talks are scheduled, one for May 10, the other for May 13, so if you are interested, by all means stop by.  I’ll also be at the center for several days afterwards, so feel free to stop by. (Just call ahead to coordinate schedules.) Here’s an excerpt from the flyer they printed up:



Born in the U.S., he was ordained as a Buddhist monk in Korea in 1993, and has practiced there for the last twenty years. He is a Dharma student of the outstanding Seon Master, Daehaeng, and also works to help translate her Dharma talks into English.

Chong Go Sunim will talk about how to apply spiritual practice in our daily life, and how we can overcome the fixed ideas and habits that hold us back.

Spiritual practice is an odd thing. On the one hand we’re already endowed with everything we need. We’re connected to all the energy and wisdom in the Universe, and it’s always flowing through us, there for us to use. Yet, often we can’t use this, and go through life feeling like something’s missing. Like somehow we are deeply incomplete.

So although we are complete as we are, we have to learn to put this into practice; we have to learn to let go of the fixed ideas and habits that keep us going in circles. In a sense, learning what to do isn’t that hard. It’s applying it where things get tricky. But that’s also where we can experience true freedom and open up our potential as human beings.

We hope you can join us for this rare opportunity to learn about spiritual practice and the Dharma.

1st talk : 7:00 pm Saturday, May 10
2nd talk: 7:30 pm Tuesday, May 13
place : Hanmaum Zen Center
7852 N. Lincoln Ave. Skokie, IL 60077
(Tel: 847-674-0811)










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