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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.

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Don’t try to awaken!

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.

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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

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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.

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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

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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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(This is the poem that the wonderful Korean poet Ko Un wrote for the forward of the Korean/English edition of Daehaeng Kun Sunim’s translation of the Thousand Hands Sutra, titled “A Thousand Hands of Compassion.”)

087Look at that! A thousand hands dancing!
Dancing hands of compassion.
Behold Master Daehaeng’s dance of compassion,
going far and wide.
So radiant!

Who is a bodhisattva, what is a bodhisattva?
If a bodhisattva can’t help the beings that are here
right now,
is such a person really a bodhisattva?
A thousand times No!
A true Bodhisattva
calls forth unconditional incomparable compassion
holds nothing back,
and saves the lives in front of her.

like a thousand moons shining in a thousand streams
all flowing flowing,
Bodhisattvas shine forth pure light upon all.
And seeing so many still unable to free themselves
from a thousand kinds of suffering and pain,
how sad,
how sad,
the tender compassion of a thousand Bodhisattvas rushes forward.

Such far-reaching compassion,
the compassion of a thousand eyes,
not the two eyes tainted with desire,
but a thousand eyes overflowing with every aspect of compassion.
And not just two hands,
a thousand outstretched hands dancing far and wide.
And in the palm of each hand,
an utterly pure eye shining light on all before it.

So sincere,
so utterly sincere.
For over a thousand years in Korea
have people recited The Thousand Hands Sutra
with such perfect devotion and sincerity
as each new day dawns
and as each day draws to a close.
And yet, for so long have people gone
without understanding this sutra’s Sanskrit heart,
The Great Compassion Dharani.
“It’s already a mantra, what need of explanations?”
But now is the time throughout the world
for every house and every person
to open doors and open minds
and for this sutra to be understood by all.

Now is the time for this ocean of life and all its waves to join together
and carry this sutra’s meaning far and wide.
Oh waves and troughs
and you empty spaces and spray above them:
Master Daehaeng is a Buddha of this world,
present in this world, manifesting miracles throughout this world.

One with all beings, one with their suffering
and one with their ability to understand,
she illuminates the deep meaning of The Sutra of the Thousand Hands and
Thousand Eyes of the Bodhisattva of Perfect Compassion,
revealing compassion like mother’s milk
and love as tender as a mother’s tears.
Now begins the feast of a thousand eyes and a thousand hands!
This great virtue and grace,
more than anything else,
it’s easy
it’s comfortable
it’s warm,
this world that Daehaeng has opened for us.

In due course, the tide surges in,
and then goes out again, carrying everything to all directions.
Now this tide has returned,
a thousand hands of compassion
dancing far and wide.

– Ko Un

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