Our True Flavor


We’re working on translating Daehaeng Kun Sunim’s Korean version of the Diamond Sutra into English. This is from the last chapter.  There is still some work and review to go, but even so, this seemed like a nice way to start the new year!

Everything is arising and responding
in accord with you yourself.
Because you are here, it is here.
So in whatever situation you find yourself,
with whatever confronts you,
entrust all of this inwardly,
entrust everything you need inwardly,
and observe.

All sorts of flowers,
every kind of flower
blooms and fades,
blooms and fades,
blooms and fades,
fades and blooms,
bearing fruit.
You have to bring to ripeness
the fruit on your own tree,
without being too narrow
or too diffuse.

As fruit of your tree ripens
and becomes able to respond and manifest
to whatever arises,
it will feed every kind of unenlightened being,
feeding, giving, feeding.
When they too can go forward with wisdom,
with future enlightenment assured,
with the future ability to manifest
according to any need encountered,
then this world will become at peace,
the universe will become at peace,
everything will become at peace.

As every color of flower
blooms and fades,
fades and bears fruit,
that fruit has to ripen
on its own tree
for its true flavor to appear.

— Daehaeng Kun Sunim


The Blame Game

Wake Up and Laugh!

As soon as you concern yourself with the “good” and “bad” of your fellows,
you create an opening in your heart for maliciousness to enter.
Testing, competing with, and criticizing others weakens and defeats you.

Morihei Ueshiba, The Art of Peace, page 55 


This is such a wonderful verse. Like other truly profound teachings, it causes everything within me to settle deep down. It’s a lot like the deep-centered feeling of sitting in the full lotus posture (assuming one isn’t being tormented by rending knee pain!) 

I think the reason for this is that it acknowledges and reinforces the fundamental truth of our lives: that we are not separate.  We’re living together as one, and anything I direct towards someone else is felt equally (or more!) by myself.  It’s as if we’re living in the same room, breathing the same air, and eating from the same plate.  If I said I was…

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Because of Others

A friend of mine posted this verse from Daehaeng Kun Sunim, and I thought it was so nice that I’d share it here. Particularly after the hard year it’s been around the world, I thought this was nice to read. 

Because of Others

Trees breathe in carbon dioxide, and give us oxygen,
we breathe in oxygen and give the trees carbon dioxide,
each one always helping the other to live.

If you understand the implications of this,
you will realize that
no matter someone is rich,
or poor and suffering hardships
they exist because you exist
you exist because they exist.
Each and every being is so precious.
The good things you see
enable you to give rise to thoughts
The bad things you see
also enable you to give rise to thoughts.
All the things you encounter are helping you.

Is there even one single thing that isn’t your teacher?
There are many wicked people in the world,
thieves and thugs abound,
yet even these people are not separate from you.
If you raise a good thought for them,
sooner or later even they will escape from that level.
The same is true for all seen and unseen beings.
Although it may seem like they have no karmic affinity with you,
that they have no good seed for you to reach out and connect with,
their only true crime is ignorance.

Thus if you share your kind heart with them,
sooner or later it will bear fruit.
This is compassion.
How could someone just say “They have nothing to do with me?”
If you are engaged in spiritual practice,
how could one person be a foe,
and another a supporter?
Just keep trying your best to put this into practice.
Then, like the sun shining without reasons or conditions.
Your heart will shine forth upon all.
~ Daehaeng Kun Sunim

Sharing_ebook_1pxThe paper edition of “Sharing the Same Heart” is out! 
(available outside Korea at Amazon.com )

This is a nice collection of talks about issues relating to parents and children, and how spiritual practice plays into all of that. One of the talks has very specific questions and answers related to pregnancy, one is more general about raising children and taking care of parents, and one touches more on the health aspects.





The Laughter of One Mind (한마음의 읏음소리)

The heavens, Earth, and human beings,
every kind of thing in the universe,
unfolded in an instant.

In this vast land,
everything is constantly gathering together and then separating.
All the mountains and rivers,
the flowers and trees,
all follow this rhythm,
conveying its sound far and wide.
The song of my awakening
is the sounds of every peak in the universe
giving a patient sigh,
“So, now you know?”

Born into this world,
you have to live this life,
and whether you live like this,
or like that,
everything, both material and living beings,
just keeps unfolding on and on, endlessly.

The laughter of my one mind shakes all realms of the universe,
causing every drop of water to give off a sweet fragrance,
and every blossom to transform into fruit,
ripening those utterly free of all traces of craving,
as well as those for whom some traces yet remain,
and so each and every life sings this song of endless unfolding,
each according to its level.

You have this life,
whether you choose to live in this way or in that,
but if you can awaken to this unfolding,
interconnected whole
that is you as well as the universe,
where each mind is connected to every other,
then forevermore,
you will be free.
Truly free.

— Daehaeng Kun Sunim, August 7, 1993



Health and Healing



We’re working on translating a series of Dharma talks about health and healing, but it’ll be a while before those come out. But this part was so good, I felt like people should be able to read it right away. 


The cells that make up this body of ours have no idea what the body as a whole is doing or where it’s going. Therefore, if you let them know that they, you and all the other cells, are actually one whole body – if you become one with their consciousness through this foundation – then one part won’t end up hurting another part. They’ll understand that, “All of this is me!”

(I want to repeat that paragraph!! If people just understood this, problems of countries would also fade away.)

So, have unconditional faith in your own foundation – whether an illness improves, or doesn’t, whether things start going the way you want, or don’t, trust that in all of this, your foundation is leading you forward. It guided you through billions of years, helping you evolve into a human being while you’ve hunted and been hunted. And now that you’ve been born as a human, this process hasn’t stopped. Now you’re being pushed to evolve your mind.

No matter what kind of hardship you encounter, take it as something to practice with. Even if the world were to end right now, even though you’re nervous, have firm trust in your foundation. If you can watch it happen and laughingly say, “What, again?” everything will turn out fine. Faith in this essence that’s been guiding you is so important. To not have trust in it is like abandoning yourself.

You have to believe in this divine essence that exists within you. Could you really not trust this? It’s what is animating you right now. What else, where else would you rely upon? Is there anyone else who can take your place when you fall ill? Is there anything else who can stand in for you when death comes? No. No matter how much your children love you, no matter how much your wife or husband cares for you, no one can even stand in for you when you need to use the toilet. No one can take your place when you need sleep, or are sick, or are dying.

“Rely upon and trust your inherent essence, and in this way grow and develop so that you can live together with all beings brightly, as one family.” This is the essence of all the Buddha’s teachings.

— Daehaeng Kun Sunim, December 20, 1992

The Five Precepts


We’ll be holding the yearly precepts ceremony for laypeople this November, so I thought I’d put these up. They shouldn’t be understood as something designed to control you, rather, they are reflections of the way the world really works. Inherently all beings share the same mind, the same body, the same life, work together as one, and freely give and receive whatever is needed. When we live in tune with this, then our own life goes much more smoothly, with fewer painful situations.
Along with fewer painful events, there are fewer karmic hindrances, and fewer hindrances to us being able to perceive this great flowing for ourselves. Svaha! 

The Five Precepts

The Precept of Not Killing:
Knowing that all other lives are part of your life, treat all other bodies as your own.

The Precept of Not Stealing:
Letting go of desires for others’ possessions, cultivate a spirit of generosity.

The Precept of Avoiding Improper Sexual Conduct:
Letting go of lust and harmful states of mind, strive to keep your mind pure.

The Precept of Avoiding Harmful Speech:
Refrain from lying, and being careful of what you say, live with truth and sincerity.

The Precept of Avoiding Intoxicants:
Avoid drinking to excess, and for the sake of yourself and others, live with moderation.


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