Most temples in Korea publish newsletters, some just a few pages long, others big glossy things with a print-run of tens of thousands, and I think the fact that most include some English, and that the Jogye Order publishes a magazine entirely in English, is a real indication of the openness and forward-thinking of Korean Buddhism. The Hanmaum Journal, which is now in its 9th year and fifty-first edition in its current colourful format, is no exception. Through its fabulous photos and great articles and translations it provides a real connection to the Hanmaum Sangha, and is a delight to look through.
The current issue of the Journal has two main articles in English, the opening teaching by Seon Master Daehaeng Sunim, a regular feature of the magazine, and the second of a two-part article by Ki Sang Kim on the building of the Gujeong Pagoda at the Hanmaum Seon Centre in Anyang. I never realised just what a huge task building that pagoda was. Ki Sang describes in detail how he literally searched the globe, “led by unseen hands”, for just the right stone, finally finding marble of the right size, strength, quality, and whiteness in the Italian alps. Mr Kim will finish his account of how the stone was quarried and the pagoda built in the next edition of the journal.
The teachings from Kun Daehaeng Sunim toward the front of the journal are always something to look forward to. I’m told that they are not actually poems at all, but they always look like poems to me, and one day I’d love to see Hanmaum publish a small, good-quality, hardback edition of them. I’m sure that would be of great benefit to many people. This month’s teaching is called ‘A True Human Being’ and begins like this:
Our true mind is a great brightness that can lead us all.
This one mind, this one point
is the foundation of the Earth,
the foundation of the sun,
and the foundation of the universe.
With perfect wisdom it accepts everything and responds accordingly.
It is brightness itself, what could possibly hinder it?
A few weeks ago Chong Go Sunim posted another of these teachings from the Hanmaum Journal, called ‘Practicing through our Fundamental Mind’, on this blog, and so perhaps he’ll post this one too one day soon. In fact, that’s one of the things that’s so great about this blog – how it goes beyond being just a small group blog by a bunch of Dharma brothers and their teacher. Looking back over the past few months of posts I see that, right here, we have an Internet Hanmaum Journal, in English, which is updated almost every day!
So thank you to Chong Go Sunim and Joseph. Thank you to Carl and Joe, who helped set this blog up and who will soon be contributing articles, and thank you to everyone who has left comments and to everyone who reads. I hope that in the future we can bring in guest posts from across the entire Hanmaum Sangha and beyond. So if you feel inspired to write a post here that fits the theme of this blog, do get in touch, and help make ‘Wake Up and Laugh’ a journal for everyone.