Practicing through our fundamental mind

Practitioners don’t get caught up in labels
such as “man” or “woman,”
nor the preconceptions that go with such labels.
They’re focused on going forward while relying upon this fundamental mind.
Even if their situation seems unfair,
they see it in a positive light, and are at peace.
They don’t stir up the intellect and “I,” or give rise to plans and goals,
instead, they take the events of their daily life,
and entrust them to their fundamental mind.
While entrusting these things,
if they give raise a thought free of “I” and “mine,”
that thought will manifest into the world.
This is why this practice is so convenient and practical,
it reaches everywhere and communicates with everything.
  

 
It’s so hard to be born as a human,
but it’s even more difficult
to become a true human being.
It’s not something that someone else
can give you,
nor are great physical hardships necessary.
Listen often to Dharma talks,
try to practice through mind,
experience what happens
and know for yourself.

 
 
 
  
 

Belief and confidence are essential to this process.
Don’t worry about whether your practice is going better or worse than others.
Don’t try to achieve everything all at once,
steady and consistent is the key.
Steadfast faith in your fundamental Buddha-nature,
and consistently entrusting everything to it
is the most important thing.

In this new year,
I hope that you all will live together non-dually,
living as one,
working together as one,
and freely giving and receiving whatever’s needed.

                                        —Daehaeng Kun Sunim
 
 
copyright 2010, The Hanmaum Seonwon Foundation

20 thoughts on “Practicing through our fundamental mind”

  1. Hi Chong Go,
    I have had questions about this one for a while… The part about “not being caught up into labels such as man and woman…”, I have been wondering why people are asked if they are Buddhist or not upon entering this website? Isn’t that a label? I have asked another about the ceremony for becoming a Buddhist and I don’t really understand this process? Can you explain why the ceremony and then one can be called “Buddhist”? Should one even give rise to thoughts of, “I am Buddhist”, then isn’t that a label? Versus if one just believes in their own Juingong and learns to trust this, then one is really nothing, and there is no name for this, why name it? Or go through a ceremony? Isn’t this a good way for the ego to identify with things?

  2. I have another question about this one:
    “They don’t stir up the intellect and “I,” or give rise to plans and goals,…”
    It seems to me that thoughts come up for how to make a living, shelter my family, etc. and these thoughts then help me give rise to intentions to help meet these things. I feel that if I did not have these intentions, then how would my Juingong know what to manifest. Aren’t these coming from my Juingong any way, so how can I not have intentions? Or does this mean just to let go of these intentions and thoughts? Or maybe this is just semantics, and goals and plans mean that one is not letting go and “trying” to plan and create versus letting things happen and create?

  3. Hi Rachel,

    I’m a bit disturbed by your comments here! You say “I have been wondering why people are asked if they are Buddhist or not upon entering this website?” but I have no idea what you mean!

    Were you asked by anyone if you were a Buddhist or not when you entered this website? Perhaps it was in the comments section somehere, but I’ve certainly missed it.

    Of course this website is open to all, no matter if they identify as Buddhist or not, and I don’t think it would be particularly right or useful to ask visitors if they are or are not Buddhist.

    Still, the wider point you make, about identity and about identifying as Buddhist is a good one and well worth a discussion. I’m sure we could talk about this very fruitfully.

    But what most concerns me right now is this idea that you were asked about this upon entering the website. Could you tell us which part of the site gave you that impression?

    All the best,

    Marcus

  4. Hi Rachael,
    I think you’re mixing up this site with the Tricycle site. They’re sponcered by a commercial magazine, so I think the reason they’re asking is for demographics. They would like to know who their audience is, and who they’re serving.

    The ceremony you’re thinking of is probably the ceremony for taking refuge in the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha, along with the precepts. This could be misused as a crutch for the ego if one isn’t careful, but that’s the way with all things, isn’t it. However, with this, I think there’s something more than just what our ears and eyes pick up. When I went to receive the full ordination for a monk, along with those precepts, I kind of felt, “What’s the point? I’m still going to practice as diligently as I can, regardless.” However, afterwards I could definitely feel something different. I don’t know quite what it was, but perhaps it could be called being connected with the Dharma Realm. Maybe it could be called inviting the truth into my life, and the truth responding. I think that people may feel this calling them, and that’s one reason why they wish to take formal refuge in the Dharma.

    I think you’re right about what’s meant by “goals and plans” in that they become troublesome when we try to hold them out in front of us and make the world conform to them. As opposed to having a idea of where you need to go, and then entrusting that destination to your Juingong. This is asking inside: “Where do I go from here?” “What’s the next step?” And then quietly observing.

    The problem is that so many people try grab hold of what’s happening in their life, and make it conform to their wishes, which are often just expressions of their own limited, fixed ideas. Whereas a practitioner is someone who entrusts the situation, and what they need, to their foundation, and then goes forward doing the best they can with what arises. And trusting all the while in their true nature, that it’s taking care of them. It’s when we stop trusting, and try to grasp hold of things, thinking of them as “mine” or “I know,” that they become toxic.

    Good questions!

    with palms together,
    Chong Go

    1. Hi Chong Go and Marcus,

      I do not know about these websites and how I got here, so I believe you are right about the tricycle website. I do not have the hang of how to get straight to this website yet…I’m working on my knowledge of tech world:) and navigating the “web”. I was not alarmed by this question or anything of this nature, just it was an opening to a deeper question for me, so this was good:).

      Thank you Chong Go for your response, this helps clarify things for me. I see my ego attach to many things and I “like” Buddhism and have pondered how does one become a “Buddhist” and does this matter? I could see how my ego starts to become identified with it though, so I have not pursued this, although it resonates with me. It’s just that many things resonate with me when I hear a teaching from a deeper place, and I wondered why one goes forward with formally taking vows. So thank you for sharing your experience as well as others for sharing:). This is something to sit with, for me.

      Your wisdom really helps me and I see how my ego grasps onto many things, no matter the concept, subject, etc. Tricky, tricky, tricky….:)

      Peace and Love to All,
      Rachael

  5. Hi Marcus,

    I was asked these questions too, before I could install a password. You find these information on the page ‘My page’ and then (scrollscroll…) under ‘Profile information’ – insterestingly you get these information about a l l members when you click at their photo and so get to their ‘My page’… we aren’t private here at all…

    Another thing was that before anybody else from ‘our’ page contacted me, there was a ‘Johnlove’ to contacted me who obviously was only interested in getting to meet women and especially getting their emailaddress… maybe one should give a hint on that when new members are invited? I would never have thought on that on ‘Buddhist’ (haha) pages.

    Apart: I like this place very much! lots of greetings… evelyn

  6. Hi Evelyn,
    I think that registration is only for the Tricycle site. Here it shouldn’t be a problem, although they do ask for email addresses before one can post. I think that’s so we can moderate the posts and check for spam messages.

    with palms together, from a rainy Korea!
    Chong Go

    Thanks Joseph, I wish I had the ability to take a photo like that! It was taken by the head of our media office, Park, Young-U. He’s really good, I think.

  7. Hi Rachel and Evelyn,

    Aha! Yes, I think Chong Go Sunim has got it! Phew, now I understand! Of course, those questions about whether or not you are a Buddhist are from the Tricycle site!

    Yes, there is a small Hanmaum group on Tricycle, where I first met you in fact not so long ago, but this website here – Wake Up and Laugh! – is completely independant of Tricycle…. and there are no questions to answer here before you can join in!

    As for the whole thing about ‘being Buddhist’, I think that’s a great discussion. But it’s not something I have yet fully worked out myself and probably never will…

    … sometimes I feel like I should just drop the names altogether. I mean, this fundamental essesence is greater than words, greater than categories. The Buddha is enlightenment, and Amida Buddha is infinite light and life, and the Bodhisattvas are wisdom and compassion, and God is love, and Buddha-nature is the essence of all that in me….

    …so what need is there to cling to just one name, or just one aspect when we know that this incredible thing transcends all the names and all the descriptions of it?

    And yet at other times, when unsure, when weak, when needing help, when confused, when wrapped in greed or anger or uncertainty, when needing guidance and comfort, then I (and I’m speaking personaly here) need that refuge. So I take refuge in the Buddha, in the Dharma, in the Sangha, and I trust the Buddhas and the Bodhisattvas and have faith that all is being done through the incredible workings of Buddha-nature.

    Just as this lovely teaching today suggests:

    Steadfast faith in your fundamental Buddha-nature,
    and consistently entrusting everything to it
    is the most important thing.

    All the best,

    Marcus

  8. mhm, actually i wanted to say something to Daehaeng Sunim’s words, ‘Steadfast faith in your fundamental Buddha-nature, and consistently entrusting everything to it
    is the most important thing.’ and Chon Go’s, ‘Whereas a practitioner is someone who entrusts the situation, and what they need, to their foundation, and then goes forward doing the best they can with what arises. And trusting all the while in their true nature, that it’s taking care of them.
    as practitioners i find we all – sometimes painfully- have to learn to trust the situation. in our daily life we have so much to organize and to concern (e.g. that ‘johnloves’ shouldn’t spy out for emailaddresses where you just want to talk about dharma;)). i find it the most important but difficult thing to bring our practise into daily life – staying open for everything but not beeing blue-eyed. this web is a good example for it, isn’t it?

    steady and consistent is the key.

  9. and Marcus, yes ‘… sometimes I feel like I should just drop the names altogether. I mean, this fundamental essesence is greater than words, greater than categories.’ i feel the same! in the bookshop where i work i have them all: buddhist, catholik, jewish, sufi, moslem books… and when you have a closer look – there’s all the same essence… it’s love.
    OM BISHWA SHANTI HUNG

    i love this bookshop and my work there because it’s a place where i can experience this open space together with our customers in my daily life. its rather a gift.

  10. Dear Chong Go Sunim,

    what you tell about your ordination i find rather moving. in this moment you/ your mind thought that there was no difference. but it was…

    i remember exactly the same about the moment when I took refuge. i had thought on taking refuge for quite a long time and i felt ready for it since a while but never found the courage, the right moment… and then inmidst a ceremony Lama Gangchen sent somebody to ask me if i right now wanted to… it was THE moment, everything was perfect. He knew. i remember that i kind of stood beside me and watched and first thought, mh, nothing special… but i felt something like cotton wool around me. since this moment a lot has changed. meditation feels different, much closer. sometimes i see the Buddhas right in front of me, in very lucky moments they surround me and and i can feel their glimmering on me. so beautiful.
    maybe one reaches a new ‘level’ in moments like these, who knows?

    with palms together, from sunny Germany
    evelyn

  11. Hi Evelyn,

    “meditation feels different, much closer. sometimes i see the Buddhas right in front of me, in very lucky moments they surround me and and i can feel their glimmering on me. so beautiful.”

    Wonderful! I also love that and is why I very much maintain a devotional practice and why I believe completely in the presence and support of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.

    But what I love about Kun Sunim’s teaching is her instance that that loving compassionate presence is always available because it is actually your very essence, always there, ready to shine forth.

    For me, this does not deny the presence of the Bodhisattva (or Amida, or God, or whatever one centres one’s devotion upon) but gives us a practice for all the time, especially for when we don’t actually feel them there.

    Entrust, Kun Sunim says, just let go. No matter if things are going well or not, and I read that as no matter if you feel the presence of the Buddhas right now or not, just entrust – in the faith that you can not ever be separate from them.

    As she says:

    “This is why this practice is so convenient and practical,
    it reaches everywhere and communicates with everything.”

    Marcus

    _/\_

  12. such beautiful words, it becomes even more beautiful when you actually put them to practice. Buddhas are greatful to you for your sincere practice, similar to mother and child.
    And my favorite is about labels such as “man” or “woman” ! This is just what I’ve been saying my whole life!

  13. Hi Marcus,
    found your answer only now…
    I totally agree with you about Kun Sunim’s lovely way she takes us to our very essence.
    reading her teachings or e.g. this wonderful, wonderful ‘A Thosand Hands of Compassion’ you get an idea that you actually can reach it yourself. you begin to trust yourself. that’s the very point.
    ‘Listen often to Dharma talks,
    try to practice through mind,
    experience what happens
    and know for yourself.’

    Of course there will be moments this trust becomes weak…
    what i love so very much in buddhism is that we can generate new force from ourselves, from our very essence. i needn’t wait for help from outside. just to have a little break and look inside. i’ve learned that whenever you think on the Buddha, the Buddha is there. when i sit and feel the Buddhas around (I’m practising Vajrayana, so there are plenty, for many aspects in you) that doesn’t mean i beg them to help me. practising through mind, as Kun Sunim proposes, i just wish i can bring the Buddha to realisation inside and through me, for my sake and everyone’s around.
    Isn’t that what Kun Sunim is teaching?

  14. Dear W.U.A.L.! Folks,

    Thanks for this post. It would be very helpful to me to hear more about entrusting. I react with worry to this encouragement. I think “entrust myself to what? How do I know if I am entrusting myself to my own delusion?” and things like that.

    Thanks again.

    I look forward to hearing more about entrusting in both the comments and future posts.

    Sincerely,

    Roy.. __/\__

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