This is a section of the Thousand Hands Sutra that can people read differently, depending upon their own experience and their good fortune in meeting an awakened teacher. If you haven’t guessed by now, the real Twelve Buddhas are the functioning of our own one mind, our own true nature.
“Dissolving karma” sometimes confuses people, but it’s important to remember that even karma isn’t a fixed and unchanging thing. Roughly speaking, think of it as momentum, where there are things that are pending, things that have manifested, and then the reactions arising afterwards. All along that course, changes we make will affect what happens, and what new directions arise. If we dissolve or untangle something before it manifests, then that changes. If, when something happens, we react gently instead of getting angry or contemptuous, understanding that we had a role what happened, then right there, with those reactions, we change the future results.
Daehaeng Kun Sunim said it’s a lot harder to change something once it’s manifested, but even then, if we are letting go of our frustration, anger, and justifications, we are changing our future. The important point here is that we don’t have to be prisoners to our pasts. Through continuous entrusting to our foundation, we can dissolve old hindrances and set a new course for ourselves. When we let go of things and let our one mind, our foundation, take care of things, it manifests as these twelve Buddhas.
Homage to the Twelve Buddhas who Dissolve All Karma
The Buddha whose deep humility
gives rise to virtue, upright behavior,
and actions grounded in the Dharma.
The Buddha who uses the treasure of one mind
to gently observe and take care of all beings.