Ice melts and water flows
down ten thousand valleys,
fish dance and play,
flowers bloom and birds sing,
the fruit of practice ripens naturally – let me know all ten thousand flavours.
—Daehaeng Kun Sunim
Here in Bangkok, our celebrations of Buddha’s Birthday on May the 28th this year will also mark the first anniversary of the Bangkok English-language Zen Club, the first English-language group led by the Seonwon here, under the wonderful guidance of our fabulous teacher Hyaedan Sunim. During this first year together we’ve met once every month, gathering on Saturday nights, to study ‘No River to Cross’ and share our experiences of applying the teachings.
The Seon Club, now firmly established after this first year, is made up of a small group of regulars of diverse backgrounds, both Korean and from many different countries, with a good number of visitors and the occassional special guest. Of course one of the great highlights of our first year was Chong Go Sunim’s visit last November as part of the Seonwon’s tenth anniversary celebrations, and the wonderful teachings he was able to share with us all.
And now, as we approach our first anniversary and the celebration of Buddha’s Birthday on May the 28th, the Seon Club is even preparing to sing! We have some very skilled musicians in our little group and a wonderful instructor from the seonwon. The most important thing, she said to me last night – as I was worrying about my own strangled-cat voice and the danger of my letting everyone down – is just to let go! Sing with love, she said, and your voice will be fine!
There is no specific English-language programme of events for Buddha’s Birthday, but if you are in Bangkok this month and would like to join the English-language group as we sing in the celebrations, get in touch and we’ll let you know about rehearsals. And if you can’t join the choir, but would like to celebrate Buddha’s Birthday with us on the 28th, you are more than welcome to come along. The morning ceremony (in Korean) is at 10am and the evening performances (also in Korean) start at 6pm. It will be a wonderful experience.
See you there!