Daehaeng Sunim’s funeral – the last day

(You may be wondering what happened to the first days, but I’ll get those up after I get the photos.)

Yesterday we had the funeral ceremony for Daehaeng Kun Sunim. It was followed about an hour later by a traditional cremation ceremony. Although it was a difficult day in many ways, and I found myself crying again and again, it was also a very good day.

We lit the pyre at around 12 noon, and people stayed late into the evening. It was a beautiful day under the pine trees, amoung the grass and flowers, and all that was missing were picnic baskets. (I’m sure Kun Sunim wouldn’t have minded) Before the laypeople were sent home at 7pm, all of us who were left (75 sunims and ~300 laypeople) walked three times around the entire building and land, chanting all together.  After the third time, we formed a circle around the still burning pyre and sang Dharma songs, and the Buddhist version of the Korean “Teacher’s Song” and “Mother’s Song.”

With that the sunims began their watch. We stayed there, just meditating and being present (and only occasionally dozing off!) until 5am when the ashes had completely cooled.

Then we began the process of separating the remaining fragments of bone from the ashes. After this was finished, we moved back to the main center.






All water eventually flows to the sea,
like this every being will eventually achieve Buddhahood.

10 thoughts on “Daehaeng Sunim’s funeral – the last day”

  1. Dear Chong Go Sunim, my heart is with you and all your brothers and sisters in practice. I know Daehaeng Sunim’s teaching flow through you and we are blessed for it. Take care of your own heart and know we are ever present here for you.

    These are beautiful pictures. Thank you for sharing them.

  2. It felt unreal to watch KunSunim’s funeral, and sad in many ways, but mostly because so many people were sad, especially sunims. Although I am upset that KunSunim did not live and teach and help us until she is at least 100 (many people live till 100 or close to it), I thought that it is kind of very selfish to ask KunSunim to stay longer with us in this world if KunSunim wanted to go, because I don’t think life is pleasant in general (where even dealing with everyday bodily functions is bothersome). KunSunim’s passing fell close to Buddha’s Birthday for a reason, because it is exactly that. KunSunim, as she is now, spread beautiful light throught limitless vastness, it is so bright and so compassionate, it also gave so much support and benefit for this world. This was also a great Dharma teaching. Now I understand the saying that enlightment is not for yourself but for the benefit of others. A few years ago when I visited KunSunim, I got scared of the thought of KunSunim’s death and felt kind of total panic of sort, because I was so much relying on her help, KunSunim knew that and taught me that I always have KunSunim and help within me, she gave me this precious gift, after that I cannot really cry about passing and I cannot not practice as she taught. What else is there to do in this life? – practice every moment, it will be worth it, Nirvana is an awesome state of mind.

  3. Dahaeng Kun Sunim’s altar makes me smile: it looks simple, rich and beautiful. It perfectly reflects her and her way of teaching.
    And she looks to be rather comfortable with what she sees…
    (you all couldn’t have done better!)

  4. Dear Chong Go Sunim,
    my dear teacher, we send kind thoughts to you and your Sangha at this difficult time.
    As many have thoughtfully and elegantly stated, to come into contact with Daehaeng Kun Sunim, either personally or through her teachings is truly a blessing.
    I believe her legacy will continue on undimmed by time.
    With Metta
    Michael & Elze

  5. “If your faith carries over into your daily life – if it’s strong and you’re diligently trying to rely upon your foundation throughout your daily life – then I’m there together with you, as well as all the wisdom, power, and love of all Buddhas.”
    – Daehaeng Kun Sunim
    (Wake up and Laugh p.141)

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