Awakening the profound ability within us

The profound ability within me is awakened not by words,
but by the determined effort to become one with everything I encounter.

자신의 묘법은 글귀 아닌 대월력이니

My favorite part of “The Thousand Hands Sutra” is the middle section, known as “The Great Compassion Dharani,” although in the middle of the text, it has a different name. A standard reading would be something like “The Dharani of Marvelous Words.” Okay, but nothing too exciting. But, Daehaeng Kun Sunim added a half sentence translation of this in Korean. When we first translated this, we expressed it as, “The profound ability with me is awakened not by words but by the determination to save all beings,” the last part being from the Korean word “Great saving ability.” Kun Sunim accepted that translation, but it always bugged me a bit, itching in the back of my mind.

[Warning: Geeky translation thoughts. Feel free to skip! Lol.] Part of the problem with this expression was it’s circular nature (if done wrong) “The ability with me is awakened by some other ability.” No. That would be saying that some other ability is responsible for awakening my own ability? Just ‘no’ to that translation. So what is this “Great saving ability”, or as we said, determination to save all beings?

Aside from just wanting to, what it takes is actually becoming one with them! You have to become one with them, combining them with the energy of your fundamental mind, in order for that energy to respond to their needs. And in order to save any one or thing, and guide them in a positive direction, it’s the same: we have to become one them. We have to combine with them through this fundamental mind we all share, then that energy can connect with them, and with us.

When we “Let go and entrust,” we’re taking our hands off the situation, and turning it over to our foundation. We do this while responding as best we can, and as the situation seems to require, but we give our foundation a chance to work on it.

The profound ability within me is awakened not by words,
but by the determined effort to become one with everything I encounter.

The next paragraph describes the results of this effort.

I and my true self, together as one.
At this stage freely coming and going without a trace,
able to apply great unshakable wisdom,
using it without the least hindrance, as vast as an ocean.
Truly understand what this means.

이 소리는 나와 내가 같이
이 경지에 오고 감이 없이 부동지의 큰 지혜를 굴리어
걸림 없이 굴리어 큰 바다와 같으니 진정 그 뜻을 알라.

There’s so much to explore in those two lines, and so much about nonduality and the energy of our connection with everything. In many ways, I think this two line verse sums up the essence of spiritual practice, or at least how we can grow and reach new dimensions. Try it for yourself and see what you think!

1 thought on “Awakening the profound ability within us”

  1. Bodhicitta. Great ability and saving power. It’s like when the shell is broken, the light shines through, this bright compassionate light that is able to save whoever and whatever it encounters. KunSunim had this precious light, had while having a human body and has it now. There is so much to explore indeed, much work to try to do it.
    Thank you 🙏

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