Illuminating the Buddha Within

This is a short Dharma talk Daehaeng Kun Sunim gave for the Buddha’s Birthday.

We celebrate the Buddha’s Birthday every year,
but this year I feel strongly that we need to use this opportunity
to exert ourselves.

As you light lanterns this year,
and brighten and develop your mind,
think of the Buddha’s teachings, which showed us this path.
 

This life we cling to
lasts only for a season,
yet within an instant of our daily life
are all of the truths and principles
of the universe.

These are what we must awaken to;
this is what is truly urgent.
So don’t light lotus lanterns
trying to create
some small bit of good luck.

Lighting a lotus lantern reminds us that
our mind exists everywhere
throughout the universe,
and because you exist, others exist,
because others exist, everything exists.
 
This instant of our daily life,
where everything works together peacefully
to the extent we are harmonious,
shows us that, just as it is, light fills the world and
the Buddha is brightly present within each of us.

Each of you has the exact same Buddha-nature as Sakyamuni,
each of you was born in a Buddha realm and are being guided by the Buddha.
So just as the Buddha teaches us,
if you throw away “I,” if you throw away your egotism,
you can live brightly, free of suffering,
able to draw upon the unlimited ability within,
and send forth radiant energy.

Under the lotus lanterns

If you are continuously letting go of “I,”
if you’re truly living in the present moment,
the effects of a single thought
can reverberate
throughout the entire Dharma realm.
Living like this,
the true worth of life
becomes abundantly clear,
and as a disciple of the Buddha,
with gratitude towards the Buddha,
you can live freely, as a true human being,
able to take care of everything in creation. 

            –Daehaeng Kun Sunim

4 thoughts on “Illuminating the Buddha Within”

  1. reading this makes me cry because I feel Kun Sunim’s compassion, it also makes me cry because even though I know these words are true, I rarely feel like I am in a Buddha realm, and “live free of suffering” sounds like contradiction in terms, I can do it only in my day-dreaming, where I slip sometimes into imagined realm of no worries and no suffering, where you don’t have to eat or go to toilet, where there are no virus or any kind of sickness, no danger and no screaming babies and no dying, and no gender or mating, no pollen and no allergies, etc… I cannot help it, this comes to mind all the time (I don’t even need tv, my mind has build-in set ). I don’t know how to throw away “I” ; when I am driving, sometimes it feels like it is somebody else driving, once I even almost passed out on a highway (with a child in a car!), I could not see properly or feel my body and yet somehow my car took exit safely (I don’t even remember the details), or when I am painting, somebody would say how beautiful my painting is, but I cannot really take credit for that, because I feel how it just comes out by itself. And I don’t quite understand “take care of everything in creation” – I cannot just take away suffering from someone – I wish I could do that! People prey to God, Buddha, for centuries, but the world is still in suffering; Also the world is full of conflict, suffering and disasters, even the most harmonious moments in history are not really that peaceful : animals kill each other to eat, people kill animals to eat, from a distance Earth looks beautiful, but with close up of how life operates with it’s birth and death thing and killings and pain, I don’t know… I think you have to see beyond death to feel at peace,… this brings me back to my fantasy realm of no suffering…
    This whole world or rather my vision of it seems like a giant dream, some day I will wake up by my efforts of practice and Buddhas’s help. I am so very greatful to Kun Sunim, because I actually feel this help!

  2. dear Tanja, – love your open words…
    as Daehaeng Kun Sunim says,
    ‘Each of you has the exact same Buddha-nature as Sakyamuni, each of you was born in a Buddha realm and are being guided by the Buddha’,
    i see everyone of us here following his path. and we belong to the lucky ones to have found this path:) some of us are walking light-hearted, some of us with a burden on their shoulder, some of us walk like in a dream and some of us are walking in conciousness that everything’s a dream… so what – importend is: we’ re all walking…
    and, how lucky you may call somebody who can say about himself, ‘when I am painting, somebody would say how beautiful my painting is, but I cannot really take credit for that, because I feel how it just comes out by itself. ‘ – ! – there’s obviously a jewel digged inside you, Tanja, that somebody else can see, but that you think fits for nothing.
    i find, it’s totally enough that your paintings are beautiful and make somebody happy – why to take credit on top of that? Mayby your paintings are exactly your way to take suffering from people?!
    If i’ d have a talent like yours i think i’d just enjoy it and relax …
    with love, evelyn

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