Here’s this week’s Dharma talk and reading of the text, “No River to Cross”
This isn’t a particularly long talk, but it does cover three huge points. Points that completely affect the direction our lives take. There are a hundred different ramifications for these, but rather than me talking for a week about them, just take one point that really clicks with you and, for one week, try to apply it every day.
HANDLING DIFFICULTIES AND SUFFERING
Even if somebody is causing you great hardship, never see that one as being separate from yourself. Don’t distinguish between “me” and “others.” Don’t be blinded by beautiful appearances, and don’t be awed by great things. Because you exist, they also exist. Because you exist, all kinds of difficulties are able to arise. Because all things in the universe are working as one, as Hanmaum, all other people are also fundamentally yourself. Never be shaken. No matter whether you meet Buddha, or the King of Demons, or a Dharma-protecting spirit, everything is merely another shape of yourself.
When you face hardships, don’t become depressed, asking yourself “Why do such difficulties happen to me?” When these things happen, you should think “Now I have an opportunity to grow up.” Your future depends upon which way you choose. You have been given the authority to decide your future. Bad circumstances are, in fact, an opportunity to learn. When you understand that those things are Juingong teaching you, you cannot help but be thankful for even those circumstances. In fact, when difficulties come, you can make more progress in your practice. Thus, your practice deepens and you gain wisdom and strength.
“Quietly embrace your difficulties” does not mean to just endure them. It means knowing that the difficulties you face are inherently empty, and furthermore, that those difficulties can guide and train you. This is the attitude of practitioners who quietly embrace all things.
— Daehaeng Kun Sunim, “No River to Cross,” page 72