Connected with Each Other- Finding a new hope, Week 2


Here’s the audio file for this week’s talk. On this version of this talk, I spoke mostly about the implications of the fact that because we are connected to each other, we are constantly influencing and being influenced, and that other people and the things we face are likewise constantly changing; they aren’t some monolithic, separate thing that’s always going to be like that. Take care and have a great week!

[Here’s the text from a Dharma talk by Daehaeng Kun Sunim]

I’m telling you this because we, as well as everything else, are one connected whole that is continuously reacting to each other. Big, small, wide, narrow, doing well, doing badly — all of this changes according to what we do and the thoughts we give rise to. If we raise up our centered mind, then this connects with the centered mind that penetrates the heavens and the earth, and that energy becomes our own, to freely use as needed. And as we respond with this energy to the needs of the world, we naturally fulfill the roles of the Bodhisattvas.

In becoming this great mind, where the past, present, and future all function together as one, there’s no place for anything to stick to. Karma, genetics, microbes, ghosts, whatever — all of these will find no foothold here. Yet people who don’t raise up this centered mind will likely have a different experience of life.





Finding a new hope: Week 1 – the Morning bell chant

Here’s the link to this week’s talk in this new series of English Dharma talks

We’re having a new series of English Dharma talks here at Hanmaum Seon Center in South Korea, and I’ll be (re)recording them and posting them here with the basic reading for each week. 

A major focus for this series of talks is going to be the thoughts we give rise to. This text, the morning bell chant, is (usually) the first thing monks and nuns hear each day.

Opening Verse (개경게)
All Buddhas’ minds are always there within my one mind.
Buddha’s mind can be realized in an instant,
but without knowing this instant, eons are spent wandering in suffering.
All Buddhas minds are one with my one mind,
and the truth taught by all Buddhas infuses everything I see, hear, and do.
All aspects of daily life, as well as the teachings of Buddha, are my one mind.

Mantra for opening the Treasure House of Dharma (개법장진언)
When I entrust everything that confronts me, and everything I do, to my one mind,
it takes care of it all.
May the sounds of this bell spread throughout all realms.
May it brighten even the darkest realms of hell.
May the suffering of animals, hungry ghosts, and those living in hell realms be
extinguished, and may the hell of knives collapse.
May all beings attain this virtuous enlightenment.
Homage to Vairocana, the loving and noble one of the Lotus World, who took the
jade scroll from the treasure chest of sutras and expounded upon the golden words
of the jeweled gatha:
“Every single particle is interconnected and interpenetrated with every other;
all realms are melded together and form one great whole.”
The one billion, ninety-five thousand and forty-eight characters of this teaching
are the complete teaching of the one vehicle. Homage to the great and vast Flower
Ornament Sutra.

The first verse (제일게)
If you would truly understand the Buddhas of all times, then you should deeply
reflect upon the truth of the Dharma-realm – that everything is created through

The mantra that breaks open all hell realms (파지옥진언)
Namu ah-da shi-ji-nam sam-mak sam-mot-da ku-chi-nam
om ah-ja-na ba-ba-shi ji-li ji-li hum.

In praise of our Buddha-nature
I vow to always follow one mind,
regardless of what others may do.
My heart will always be with one mind,
my thoughts will never leave one mind.
Deeply observing the Dharma realm,
I realize that there is an unseen thread
that connects absolutely everything.
This non-dual one mind exists in every single place.
In order to awaken and perceive this,
which has always been here,
I take refuge in one mind,
ever present, taking care of everything throughout all realms.
This is not something that can disappear or be caused to appear.
Namu Amitabul







Relying on your root/what you need to do


Here’s Daehaeng Kun Sunim’s response to a question about illness, from a Dharma talk we’ve just finished translating. 

Kun Sunim: Imagine that you’re an infant who can’t even walk yet. The only thing a baby needs to do is hold onto the nipple and keep suckling. What is the point of an infant worrying about anything? If it takes a poo, it will be cleaned up. If she needs to sleep, a bed will be provided. The only thing a baby needs to do is feed when she’s hungry and sleep when she feels tired. What else is there to worry about?

The only thing you need to do is believe in your root. Completely rely upon it. All those trees [pointing outside] live by relying upon their root. To ask them if they believe in their root is like asking a person if they have a head. Absurd. When you see the leaves and branches, in that instant you automatically know that tree has a root.

You, too, have a root, a foundation that formed you. It’s because of this that you were born with this body and are able to perceive everything you encounter and everything in front of you. So, instead of chasing after those things, doesn’t it make more sense to rely upon the root that is the source of all that? You are the manifestation of this. Believe in the essence that’s formed you, the eternal essence that’s the source of your life!

People call it by all kinds of names, but just know that because you’re living here now, your Juingong is also here, working together with all the lives in your body, continuously flowing and changing.

If you’ve managed to evolve all the way up to a human being, then you have to take advantage of that, and work hard to deepen your spiritual level and seek to realize the truth.

Why? Because only humans, among all the animals, have the unique ability for growth and self-reflection. Many people don’t realize that everything in life is an opportunity to practice, so they run around here and there looking for something fascinating, or trying to find some fixed concept they can cling onto.

But the real point of your life is to know who you are. This is what you have to know. When you have faith in your essence, this faith will lead you to who you truly are. When you work at this, when you make an effort towards this, then unseen hands will help and protect you. Even the trees around you will turn into merciful Bodhisattvas that will guide you.

New Series of Dharma English Dharma talks



This is a new series of Dharma talks that will be starting next week. Stop by if you’re in the area!

Finding a New Hope
새 희망 찾기 프로젝트]

Thursdays, February 16 – April 20th, 7:30 – 8:30 pm
(At Hanmaum Seon Center, in the 2nd floor Dharma Hall.)







1 The Morning Bell Chant: A correct beginning for the day

2. Doing without doing: the first step to freeing ourselves.

3. Connected with each other: The principle of interconnected reciprocity in taegyo and choendo jae 

4. A new look at the Seven Homages

5. Doing without doing: Letting go of “I”

6. True knowing: when energy silently flows back and forth

7. Nothing is fixed: Musang gye

8. The Noon Blessing: The power of intention

9. Health and healing

10. Review – Finding new hope in our lives