Wake Up and Laugh: Everyday spiritual practice
We have a new book that’s just come out through Wisdom Publications in the US. It’s an awesome collection of Dharma talks by Daehaeng Kun Sunim. These talks are mainly about the basics of spiritual practice, but they also have a lot about what we have to do once we start having experiences and begin to shed the shell of “I.” The first talk is one of my favorites, because she is very clear about what letting go of “I” and “me” looks like, and shows us how to avoid getting led astray after we’ve had some experience at practice. In its essence, practice is the same for the beginner as well as for the long-time practitioner, and all the materials of your daily life are the fuel of your practice.
You should entrust everything that comes up in your life—solitude, poverty, loneliness, anxiety, illness—entrust this all to your foundation and live freely. Entrusting everything is letting go of attachments; it is the path of dying. “First, you must die!” means unconditionally letting go of everything, including what you understand and what you don’t understand. It means letting go without clinging to reasons or excuses.
(I want to paste everything up here! It really is that good.)
Dharma Talks in Chicago
I’ll be in the Chicago area (Skokie) in May, and will be giving Dharma talks at the Hanmaum Zen Center there. Two talks are scheduled, one for May 10, the other for May 13, so if you are interested, by all means stop by. I’ll also be at the center for several days afterwards, so feel free to stop by. (Just call ahead to coordinate schedules.) Here’s an excerpt from the flyer they printed up:
Born in the U.S., he was ordained as a Buddhist monk in Korea in 1993, and has practiced there for the last twenty years. He is a Dharma student of the outstanding Seon Master, Daehaeng, and also works to help translate her Dharma talks into English.
Chong Go Sunim will talk about how to apply spiritual practice in our daily life, and how we can overcome the fixed ideas and habits that hold us back.
Spiritual practice is an odd thing. On the one hand we’re already endowed with everything we need. We’re connected to all the energy and wisdom in the Universe, and it’s always flowing through us, there for us to use. Yet, often we can’t use this, and go through life feeling like something’s missing. Like somehow we are deeply incomplete.
So although we are complete as we are, we have to learn to put this into practice; we have to learn to let go of the fixed ideas and habits that keep us going in circles. In a sense, learning what to do isn’t that hard. It’s applying it where things get tricky. But that’s also where we can experience true freedom and open up our potential as human beings.
We hope you can join us for this rare opportunity to learn about spiritual practice and the Dharma.
1st talk : 7:00 pm Saturday, May 10
2nd talk: 7:30 pm Tuesday, May 13
place : Hanmaum Zen Center
7852 N. Lincoln Ave. Skokie, IL 60077