sunrise at Yeonju-dae

This is my last weekend in the Seoul area before I move back to the countryside with my family.

Something I’ve been wanting to do for a while before I go was too see the sunrise from the top of Gwanak mountain, so last night I hiked to Yeonju-dae and spend a chilly night in my tent waiting for morning.

A thick fog came in during the night, so I wasn’t sure I would even get to see the sunrise, but it just managed to shine through.

In the top photo, if you were to follow a trail past the broadcasting towers, then up and down (or around) another small mountain, you can actually come out not far from Hanmaum Seon Center.

clicking on the photos will open them in higher res.

Children’s Dharma Talk

I really have to get with posting again! Sigh.  Things have been busy here with getting a manuscript ready for Wisdom Publications, and now the the Frankfurt Bookfair.  It also looks like there will be a Russian edition of “No River to Cross” coming out before the end of the year.
Here’s a Dharma talk that Daehaeng Kun Sunim gave to out center’s childrens group.

Children’s Dharma Talk  

The Gugeong Pagoda on Buddha's Birthday (at Hanmaum Seon Center)

I can’t tell you how moved I am to see so many of you gathered together here today. Seeing you here today warms my heart. I was just like you when I was little. People may call you children, but you’re doing something very deep and significant when you gather here in front of the Buddha and learn about spiritual practice.

 You’re practicing, so you probably already heard that the minds of all life are connected as one. Stars have an essence that is also within us, so all of you are stars! You, stars, and this fundamental mind all respond to each other. This all happens without any wires or signals you can grab onto. When you eat something, and say “Thank you, Juingong (Buddha-nature)” your mother and father, Buddha, and sunims are all there inside of Juingong. When you take the things that come up in your life, and gather them all together at that one place, (Juingong), you can get a sense of this fundamental essence and can evolve your mind. Do this and bring forth this great power that’s within you.

             Keep practicing like this and become wonderful people. Become great beings who are able to bring peace to your family, who can guide your country, the world, and even the universe. This is all possible for you, according to how you practice. Okay?

 This Dharma talk was given by Daehaeng Kun Sunim during a Precepts ceremony for children.  

Tongdosa’s Nine Dragon Pond


Nine Dragon Pond

[ Some of you may have read this on my other site, but I just got back from a busy weekend looking at our new house in the countryside and have to get to sleep soon, so hope you don’t mind me reposting this!]

 In Korea, there are three special temples know as the “Three Jewel”, each representing one of the Three Jewels of Buddhism, the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha.

Deep in the southern mountains is Tongdosa, the temple representing the Buddha, splendid in both atmosphere and spirit. But when the temple was founded in the year 646, there were nine evil dragons occupying the pond that the monk JaJang had to contend with.

At first, he tried chanting a mantra to make them leave but they refused, so he brushed the character for fire on a sheet of paper and, tossing it into the air, whacked the pond with his stick. With this, the water began to boil. Soon, three of the dragon flew out from the water, but collided into a cliff and died. Five other dragons flew south, and settled permanently in what is now known as Five Dragon Valley. Finally, the last dragon emerged, blinded by the boiling water. He made a vow to JaJang that if his life were spared he would be the temple guardian. JaJang accepted his offer, and the dragon remains as the temple’s guard.