Day 156 – Unenlightened beings beyond number, I will save

Raising the Four Great Vows
Unenlightened beings beyond number, I will save.

발사홍서원 發四弘誓願

가없는 중생을 다 건지오리다.

There’s not a lot to say about this one, really. It seems unrealistically ambitious on the surface, but, I think there are two things going on with this. At one level, just vowing to save *all* beings, takes us out of our ordinary, normal discriminations. I’m not vowing to save *some* beings, or just the ones I like, or just the ones I can get to, but all beings. There’s a spirit there that pushes and nudges us towards the unconditional.

Second, who’s to say, that at the fundamental level, that what we do doesn’t actually save all beings? That it doesn’t provide light and nourishment and a push on the path they need to take? The effects may take years or eons to be seen, not instantaneous, like we’d all like, but there’s no telling what we might be putting into motion. And again, even the word “motion” is likely a mistake when viewed from this all-encompassing, nondual place, where everything and time are already present.

(This text is from Daehaeng Kun Sunim’s translation of “The Thousand Hands Sutra”)

Day 155 – Saving all beings

Part of the backdrop of the wall-sized image behind the main altar at our Jinju branch. This is made from three massive, wooden panels, and was previously in the old Dharma hall at the Anyang Hanmaum Seon Center.

(continued – The Ten Vows made by all Tathagatas )

I vow to save all beings.

모든 중생 제도하길 원입니다.

One of the cool things about this image, is that it’s not one person saving all beings. There’s all kinds of “sages” wandering around, each helping out one or two people here and there.

(This text is from Daehaeng Kun Sunim’s translation of “The Thousand Hands Sutra”)

Day 152 – Paradise is found within my mind,

(continued – The Ten Vows made by all Tathagatas )

Paradise is found within my mind,
I vow to attain it.

마음 속의 극락세계 태어나기 원입니다.

This verse proves a slightly annoyed, quiet voice that wants to reply, “Do you mean to say that some wonderful state of being or place, is only to be found within this boring, petty, messy, deficient, ‘me’?! I haven’t found anything that interesting here in all these years, so let’s look somewhere else.” Lol.

This pretty much sums up the way my thinking defaults to. “Whelp, I looked in this corner. Nothing exciting here, so let’s look somewhere else.”

And yet…. All the awakened beings who have gone on to teach have said the same thing. When the turbulent water calms down, the moon will be seen. It didn’t suddenly pop into existence; it was always there shining brightly.

(This text is from Daehaeng Kun Sunim’s translation of “The Thousand Hands Sutra”)

Day 151 – I will know the real

(continued – The Ten Vows made by all Tathagatas )

I will know the real and attain enlightenment
I vow to always sustain and cultivate this determination.

마음에 보리심을 항상 내기 원입니다.

A corollary to this is “I vow to cease being a plaything to the random thoughts and feeling that arise.” Daehaeng Kun Sunim sometimes referred to enlightenment as “stepping outside of the barrel,” in that, until then, it’s as if we are trapped in a barrel, unable to see anything. And not truly knowing why we are being rolled about, which direction we’re going, or to understand what was moving us. We have all kinds of things we “think” we know, but those are nearly all just images projected on the inside wall of barrel.

(This text is from Daehaeng Kun Sunim’s translation of “The Thousand Hands Sutra”)

Push through, knowing that your true nature takes care of everything

Here’s a short Dharma talk from Daehaeng Kun Sunim, which appeared in the last issue of Hanmaum Journal (#116). Try to look for what you’ve been struggling with. Try to look back on what you’ve been thinking about lately. It’s those daily worries and concerns that will be helped the most by entrusting them, yet which are so much a part of our lives that we barely even notice them. It’s as if they become background noise. Try to notice and let go of these!

In this ever flowing whole that is called the truth of emptiness,
there is no “pure” or “soiled,”
no “important” or “trivial,”
nor can your intellect and thoughts fathom the reality
of what’s going on or how to go forward.
In this whole, “This is possible” and “That is impossible”
are both wrong.

Instead, just go with “True self! You’re the one that can do this!
You’re the one that can take care of this!”
Just push through whatever confronts you
with this kind of resolute faith and determination.
For this will create the opportunities and energy
with which you can save yourself.

이 무(無)의 공법이란
더러운 것도 깨끗한 것도 없고
크고 작은 것도 없는 까닭에
생각으로 된다 안된다 할 것이 아닙니다.
온갖 것을 따져서 ‘이거는 될 수 있겠다’ 하는 것이나
‘이거는 될 수 없겠다’ 하는 것이나 둘 다 아닙니다.
오직 ‘너만이 할 수 있잖아.’ 하고
밀고 넘어가는 믿음과 그 패기,
그것이 바로 자기를 살리는 계기가 되는 것입니다.