Dharma Songs Poster

I’ll be giving a series of Dharma talks in English every Thursday starting this September 1 (not November 1.) They’ll be at 7:30pm, in the 2nd floor Dharma Hall at the Anyang Hanmaum Seon Center.

The topic will be Daehaeng Kun Sunim’s Dharma songs, but we won’t (most likely) be singing these in English, simply because the music for the Korean originals doesn’t fit the English translation.

These songs have an incredible depth, and are great teachings on their own.

I’ll try to record each talk and post it here, along with the song we looked at, and if possible, its Korean version being sung. (I have to look into this.)




When waves occur in the sea,
infinite drops of water are created.
when those drops sink,
they become the water of the sea itself.
Our bodies and lives are like those drops of water:
even though there is clearly “You” and “I”
in our daily lives,
at the fundamental place, everything exists as one.
Also, the water of the sea continuously circulates
and manifests in many forms; its movement never stops
for even a moment. Everything in the world
works like this. Nothing is fixed.
Without beginning or end,
without coming or going,
there is only flowing, just as it is.
We are living inside of this truth.
Like fish live in water, we live in truth,
so find it and experience it within your daily life.

— Daehaeng Kun Sunim



풍물용 (12-1)One of our members wrote this (in Korean) for our upcoming youth retreat. I think it’s going to be in the form of a song or perhaps a rap performance. Anyway, it’s pretty good! The author is Chang Jeong Lim(임창정). 





As the days flow away, one after the other,
Why are you still sitting there all alone in your room,
lost in one worry after another?

Yeah, you! Open the door!
Open the door of your mind, and look inside!

(Hey you!) Did you really just spend the entire day being dragged around by outer influences?
(Open the door) Crying, laughing, staggering?
(Hey you!) Observe the movement of your mind.
(Open the door) Observe who is doing everything!

The morning’s already here,
the sun’s bright in the sky.
Why do you close the door of your mind?
Why do you close your eyes to your mind?
Why don’t you know what’s really going on?
Open the door!
Open the door of your mind and look inside!

You spent yesterday just like the day before,
problems have only gotten worse.
You still haven’t looked within?
What on earth do you think you’ll find outside yourself?
Open the door.
Open the door of your mind and look within.

(Hey you!) Did you really just spend the entire day being dragged around by outer influences?
(Open the door) You think happiness is going to be there on the other side of the mountain?
(Hey you!) Entrust it to your true essence.
(Open the door) Let it go to your foundation, then the answers will come.

Can you really eat or sleep in peace,
not having entrusted anything for the entire day?
Are you still begging for something from outside?
Why don’t you know the truth?

Open the door, door, door.
Open the door of your mind! Look inside!

Let’s begin by observing what’s arising,
Let’s begin by entrusting it all, one by one.
Let’s laugh a lot.

Let’s open the door.
Open, open, open!



Miruk Temple in the Wolak mountains

Here’s another great verse from the Dharma talk I’m working on. Instead of “family problems” feel free to insert health problems, money problems, and so on. Whatever you like!


How should you handle these kinds of family problems? Think back to what I just said: you and your root are inseparable. Everything arises, or not, through the functioning and power of this inherent nature.

So entrust everything back within yourself, and know that, “It’s you, true nature, through which karma can arise, and it’s you that can keep it from arising. This flesh I have isn’t my foundation, and it isn’t my true shape. This ‘me’ doesn’t exist at all. So ‘I’ don’t have to get tangled up in these things. It’s you, as the whole, that can take care of all this.” And then deeply entrust where you are now and what you face to this essence, this reality, and just keep observing.

— from a talk by Daehaeng Kun Sunim


Daehaeng Kun Sunim

Here’s another excerpt from the Dharma talk I’m helping with now. It’s a wonderful teaching, that helps ground us in the most fundamental aspect of spiritual practice. It may not seem so sexy or exciting, but it is the basis that can keep us growing and moving forward.


Questioner: Thank you for this opportunity to see you in person. My son (indicating the boy next to her) is about the enter high school, but I’m worried because he often feels uneasy and his attention seems to wander. Is there anything I can do to help this?

Daehaeng Kun Sunim: Young man, please listen carefully. Do you suppose that tree(pointing) has any roots, or not?

Boy: I’m sure it does.

Daehaeng Kun Sunim: Yes, although we can’t usually see them because they’re covered with dirt, right?

Well, each human being also has their own, unseen root. We call this foundation by lots of names, such as true self or the true doer, but it is this root that can guide you and take care of you.

Within your body there are untold numbers of other life-forms, and its their consciousnesses that disturb you and cause your attention to wander. These are karmic states of consciousness, like karmic echos, but when you have faith in your root and entrust everything to it, it can guide all the lives in your body and cause them to work together harmoniously.

Remind yourself that, “It’s you, true nature, my root, that can guide me, and it’s you that can help me get through school. You’re the one that can let me perceive what’s really going on, and respond as needed.” And entrust it with whatever situation you find yourself in.

This true nature is your root and your source. It’s your eternal, best friend, and is never apart from you.


(later, to a parent whose son showed no interest in spiritual practice)

Anyway, it would be better for you to entrust the following, “This true nature, Juingong, will help him find the bright light within himself.” If you truly let go and entrust this, then it will be communicated and he will start to see his own light.

A real understanding is more like electric current flowing without any hindrance when two wires have been connected to each other. Communication and understanding just flow back and forth.



I’m helping to translate a new talk by Seon Master Daehaeng, and I came across this great piece:


Some of you only pay lip service to the idea of your inherent nature, and then come and tell me things like your son hasn’t returned home, or a sick person isn’t getting any better. What am I, a doctor? No. It’s your own true foundation, that can manifest according to your need, so why wouldn’t it manifest itself as doctor?

If you are sick, it will become a doctor for you, if you need to live longer, it will become the god of the Big Dipper. If you need a guide in the realm of the dead, it will become Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva for you. If you are desperately poor or in trouble, it will become Avalokitesvara for you. If you are at sea and need help, it will become the dragon spirit in order to help you. It will become the kitchen god, the earth spirit, and so on, no matter what your need may be.

So then, what’s wrong with you? What’s missing? The only thing that was wrong was how you used your mind. So. How you want to use your mind is completely up to you, as is how you want to address the things you face. These are opportunities for you to grow and develop; don’t cheat yourself by looking for someone else to take care of them.


Our temple guardian 🙂

The English lectures on the Thousand Hands Sutra concluded last Thursday with a summary lecture over the last part of the book. I’m going to be traveling for a bit, so I won’t have time to record that lecture right away, but when I return, I’ll record another three lectures and cover the last section of this Sutra. I hope this has been helpful, and a learning experience!


Below is a link to a recording of the full sutra, without commentary.



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