Daily Life Seon

I’m doing it again. The details aren’t important, but it goes right to the heart of what it means to be following a spiritual path. Ever since I was a child I’ve argued with people, taken up positions and defended them, attempted to prove myself right on every little thing I’ve ever believed. It’s caused so much harm to others, and handed myself so much unhappiness too.

I am getting better and have made great progress, and yet still I sometimes feel the need to put forward a position, and to then defend it, sometimes in Dharma discussions, and especially on the Internet. But I’m getting better at seeing how ridiculous this can be. I need to ask if helps myself or others. And who cares if I’m right or wrong? Why does it matter to me so much? 

The Buddha defined Right Speech as “abstinence from false speech, malicious speech, harsh speech, and from idle chatter.” So there’s hope for me yet, I’m good at giving things up! I welcome another abstinance.  But after all what does it mean to believe in the active working of the Buddha which is my True Self, if I am still battling to defend opinions rather than letting go of them?

Here’s something to cut out and pin to back of the door or the side of the computer, somewhere I will see it often!  Something I want to learn.

Daily Life Seon

At those times when your speech can disturb others,
when your words can lower your spiritual level,
when you understand that if your level is lowered, the whole is damaged,
at those times return inwardly all the thoughts and feelings you’d like to express.
Let your inner foundation take care of everything,
and use speech when skillful means are necessary.

No matter how much you talk, it won’t help a bit,
if there’s no sincere behaviour backing it up.
Let this inner power plant take care of things,
(instead of chasing after outer things).
This is the premier method, the true shortcut of ‘daily life seon’.

      – Seon Master Daehaeng Kun Sunim, 
Hanmaum Journal, September – October, 2009. Used here with permission.

11 thoughts on “Daily Life Seon”

  1. Cheers Joseph. Like I say, I am making good progress, but I think that for me this is the hardest thing. It certainly happens often enough! LOL! All the best and I really appreciate your support mate. Marcus _/\_

  2. Marcus,

    I’ve come to appreciate your appearance on my blog, even if we view things differently. It’s a testament to your sincerity and practice that you see my blog as worthy of paying attention to, regardless of whether you agree with me or not.

    That post on community and awards was designed to get people talking, and also to expose some of the edges around the internet as community. The fact that your comments were singled out shows that practice around differences of opinion is something we all need to continue.

    You are one of the people who has helped me turn blogging from an activity I did to another form of practice. Both because of the kind comments you’ve left me, and also because of the times you’ve disagreed strongly.

    Just as I meditate and chant most days, I also blog with the intent to offer something in the spirit of the dharma. I don’t know how long I will go on blogging, but for now this is how I approach it. Some days, I flop and offer something sloppy and maybe not dharmic. But that’s how it goes.

    Whether you get better or not at all this, can you embrace yourself as you are in this moment?

    I say this to you, and myself, and all of us out there.


  3. I get myself into trouble along this line all the time Marcus, not only on the interwebs, but in real face-2-face life as well where the results are much more dramatic – let me tell you! I empathize and connect with your post above.

    As far as pulling back from the internet, you know far more about what is good and useful for you to do than I could ever hope to have an opinion on. I just want to let you know that I have found you to be a sincere, generous, thoughtful writer. I enjoy your posts and have learned from you. I thank you for that.


    – roy – holding palms together, bowing.

  4. Zen Master Seung Sahn often referred to the mouth as the “number one problem gate.” If he had known about blogs, he might have included the fingers.

    Of course, the funny thing about gates is that they are actually quite useful. And, of course, we have to go through them – like it or not.

    Hoisted again!

  5. Thank you Nathan, Rachel, Roy, Bill Z (by email), and Barry, for your kind and wise words. Much much appreciated.
    Marcus _/\_

  6. Dear Marcus,

    I deeply understand what you feel. My first reaction when I read your post yesterday was to give up blogging immediately.
    On the other hand it`s such a good opprtunity to see our interconnectedness manifest into this world and to share the themes and emotions we all know so well.
    I remember me when I read about your taking refuge in the Hanmaum journal. Tears dwelled up for a reason I don´t know and I was full of joy when I rediscovered you all on this beautiful blog (indeed I did`nt ever blog before).

    I will go on trying not to cling too much to this thinking and writing. On the other hand I am really grateful for the opportunity to share this with you all, so let`s not give up.

    With a big hug

  7. Hi Sabine,

    “I will go on trying not to cling too much to this thinking and writing. On the other hand I am really grateful for the opportunity to share this with you all, so let`s not give up.”

    Yes, you are so right. Thank you so much for your kind words. And thank you again everyone for all these lovely responses.

    And Sabine, again, how would you like to write a guest post here on WUaL? You know, something like Gary did the other day? Something to introduce yourself to everyone. It’d really help build this little community of ours. Or, if you like, you could write a whole load of posts!

    Do you have Chong Go Sunim’s email?

    All the very best and thank you again,

    Marcus _/\_

  8. Hi, Marcus,

    thank you for the invitation.

    I would like to try to write a thing for you. (it feels a bit like jumping into the sea…well,I`m gonna swim)

    I don`t have Chong Go Sunim`s e-mail. For this I need your help.

    This is a very fine summer day here with open blue sky and a little bit of wind, not too hot at all.

    with palms together

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