Noon Blessing, Day 36 – may all beings be free of accidents

As they go about their daily lives,
may all beings be free of accidents.

Daehaeng Kun Sunim said that people’s suffering comes from five sources: Genetics, karma, the conditioned nature of existence, microbes, and spirits of the dead. There’s a few more details and qualifications in there, but those are the five basic sources of suffering.

Sometimes though, she mentioned that something can really pop up and cause us huge problems if we don’t at that time have a firm grip on our fundamental mind. So they appear to be things that weren’t really coming towards us, but just happened because of unfortunate circumstances. So in that sense, accidents do happen. One time, years and years ago, Daehaeng Kun Sunim was boarding a plane to somewhere and had just sat down, when she suddenly called out in a loud voice, “Get a grip on yourself!”

Nowdays, everyone would completely freak out, but back then, everyone was just uncomfortable, I guess. Later she said that the pilot was just about to make a huge mistake. I don’t know what it was, but one of the reasons Korean Air flight 007 was shot down, was because the pilot had transposed a number when he entered the flightpath into the autopilot, and the plane actually entered the edge of Soviet air space.

So sometime, when it feels like things are slipping out from under us, it’s not a bad idea to shout inwardly, “True self, you’re the one that’s truly doing things, so take care of this!” Sometimes we need to practice inputting things very firmly like this.

Noon Blessing, Day 35 – Sharing the Earth all together

We are all sharing this Earth together,
so the sea levels should not rise.
We are all living together as one body,
so there should be no great earthquakes.

Change doesn’t have to be traumatic. If the ground shifts in tiny amounts, then movement can happen with no devastation. If something else balances out, then sea levels need not rise. If enough people raise these intentions and deeply input them and make a connection with the energy of our foundation, then everything will begin to lean in that direction.

Noon Blessing, Day 34 – may all the elements circulate harmoniously

All of us here at Hanmaum Seon Center and all of its branches
raise the great intention that water, fire, and air should
all flow and circulate harmoniously.

Years ago, the previous abbess pointed out the falling snow, and said, “You see that, and probably think there’s nothing you can do about it, right? Then you see your homework and think that’s something that’s no problem, right?” I agreed with her that it was so. “Don’t think like that. There is inherently no big or small things. All things are equal in front of our fundamental mind.”

There are actually some limitations here, of course. There’s individual’s karma and spiritual path, and what we see may be part of something bigger that best left alone, for what “I” think is best, is often just the reflection of my own limited understanding. And yet…. Whether something is “big” or “small” really is just the definitions made by my fixed ideas. In this flowing whole, there are inherently no such divisions.

Noon Blessing, Day 33 – May all beings brighten and deepen their wisdom without delay

May all beings brighten and deepen their wisdom without delay.
Here now, before all heavenly and human realms we raise this intention.

Meeting brighter, evolved people. Seeing things clearer, and being able to just laugh off the things that were such terrible struggles earlier in our lives. Cleansing my heart. And joy of knowing others’ happiness as my own.

These are just some of the benefits of brightening and deepening our wisdom.

Noon Blessing, Day 31 – Surrounded by the love and compassion of all Buddhas

May those who follow this path always be surrounded by the compassionate love of all Buddhas
of the past, present, and future,
and may they always meet awakened teachers.

Meeting and hanging out with those wiser than us is a big deal. Without realizing it, we absorb ideas and examples of ways of living and viewing experiences that will stand us in good stead. It may seem like no big deal, but being able to meet such people and be in their circle is the result of the good virtue and merit that arises from selfless actions.

People may think that those who are kind and generous are just suckers and victims, fools who don’t know how the world works, but they are the ones who do understand: Helping others cleanses my own heart. Even when I try to help others just because they need it, with no expectation of getting anything back, sometimes it feels like I got the most from the experience.

Noon Blessing, Day 30 – The Buddha’s Way

May all those who follow the Buddha’s Way
keep experiencing the deep truth of how karma melts down,
and never lose sight of this path.

That we are not the eternal victims of our past is such an incredibly huge deal. If we didn’t know about mindfully returning inwardly whatever arises, then we would just tend to react to what arose, creating endless chains of new events. But, when we entrust something inwardly to our foundation, whatever it is begins to be dissolved. When that fully happens, we are free of that and can move in fresh directions.

What often happens is that we suddenly see things more clearly. We see in a way we couldn’t have imagined. Whatever it was that we let go of was subtly (or not so!) distorting and framing what we were experiencing, and what options we were perceiving.

Noon Blessing, Day 29 – Now we can melt down our old karma

Having evolved over eons beyond measure,
until at last reaching this point,
we take all of the karma that we’ve created
through the five kinds of desires*
and the ten evil actions,*
and every kind of ignorance,
and entrust all this karma
to the compassionate power of one mind,
where it will all melt down.

It may happen that ugly things still happen in your life, even though you live well and behave wisely. Rather than feeling upset by those, know that this is actually an opportunity to take care of things that you didn’t know how to handle in the past.

If we just react to what confronts us, we re-record that, and will face a slightly worse version sometime later. But, now that we know how to handle this, we can take care of it once and for all, or at least take a big chunk out of it. So although it may not seem like it, these things coming to you when you know how to handle them, isn’t such a bad deal.

  • The five kinds of desires: The desire for form, sounds, fragrances, taste, and touch.
  • The ten evil acts: Killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying, manipulative speech, abusive speech,
    slander, covetousness, anger, and false views.

Noon Blessing, Day 28 – Sheltering and guiding all who are lost and suffering

May the great power of one mind,
realized by all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas,
protect and look after everyone here today.
May it shelter and guide all those unenlightened beings
who are lost and suffering.

The Buddha statue in the image kind of fits this verse. It’s actually cast from iron, sometime between 900-1200CE, but although it’s made from a fairly hard and brittle metal, it’s flowing. Nothing about the image suggests hard or brittle. Likewise, this power of one mind arises from the flowing and interconnected nature of all things, not something separate and stiff.

Noon Blessing, Day 27 – May each of us see these intentions become reality

May each and every one of us be filled with joy,
and may these intentions (of the Noon Blessing) become the reality of our lives.

May all beings have enough to live on, may they all know joy and peace, and may they all work to see others enjoy the same things.