Korean Dharma Songs

Some of the earliest Buddhist songs in Korea were actually work songs, sung by farmers and their wives.  I’m sure that the work songs were present long before Buddhism came to Korea (circa 500 C.E.), but gradually they became examples of skillful means, as lyrics were created that reflected deep truths.
Imagine how deeply input the teachings would become as you spent hours reciting them while working:

Die once and open your eyes.
See yourself,
see yourself,
see, see.
Observe how this body is a collection
of karmic states of consciousness,
gathered together
according to karmic affinities.
this body contains billions of lives.
how they cause us to suffer
as they go back and forth
every instant.

Take the suffering and hardships that arise
and gather them together in your one mind.
Do this!
and the lives within your body
will be transformed into Bodhisattvas.
To save all beings,
start with those already within you.

This one mind that we all share
is the source of everything and every life.
One mind,
one mind,
our one mind and all Buddhas exist together,
working together as one. 

“All minds are my mind,
all bodies are my body,
not a thing is separate from me.”
Truly realize this for yourself,
truly bring forth this one mind.

Raise this unseen five-colored pillar high
and go forward entrusting everything to it.
Live magnificently throughout all the ups and downs of life.
Live magnificently!
Live magnificently!

(From the song “Live Magnificently,” by Daehaeng Sunim)

1 thought on “Korean Dharma Songs”

  1. “All minds are my mind,
    all bodies are my body,
    not a thing is separate from me.”

    A universal concept. Ancient scriptures of India say that we are all just part of a universal web of light. With each of us a glowing, shining, mirror-like jewel reflecting and containing the light of the whole. All in one. One in all. We are never disconnected from the whole.

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