The Seven Homages Day 20 – May all beings awaken to their great essence

This is the conclusion of the seven homages. These are chanted three times a day in temples, but usually in the Sino-korean version (ie Chinese characters), where the meaning isn’t as up-front as the English or Korean translations. To be honest, we at the center don’t actually know who did the Korean translation of this! I suspect it was the first office manager who worked closely with Daehaeng Kun Sunim, but he passed away many years ago. I think everyone at the time knew who had worked on these, but no one actually wrote anything down. But, even if Kun Sunim didn’t do all of the Korean translation herself, she certainly reviewed it and made any changes that were necessary.

Next week, we’ll start on the morning blessing.

In this way,
my greatest wish is that all beings,
every single one of them,
awakens to their great essence.

온 법계 모든 중생 스스로 다같이 성불하여
길 없는 길 두루 하사이다

The Seven Homages Day 18 – One mind, the precious treasure of all times

(This weeks photos are from our Gwangmyeong Seon Center branch in North Chung Cheong Province)

If they ever come up with a tattoo ink that lasts for only one or two years, I would be seriously tempted to get some of these verses tattooed on my arm where I’d see them every day! (I wouldn’t want anything much longer than that, because as I grow and change, some other verse would be more suited to me at that point.)

One mind,
the precious treasure of all times,
may I always follow its great love,
its great compassion.

오직 원하건대,
한마음은 삼세의 보배이며
큰 사랑 큰 자비의 뜻을 받들어

The Seven Homages Day 17 – Taking care of everything through one mind

(Korean readers might notice that I used the same Korean text for yesterday and today. This isn’t an accident; splitting the Korean into two separate verses was the only way to tease out the nuances in the text, but the Korean itself can’t be split so cleanly.)

Taking care of everything through one mind,
in harmony with the principles of the unseen realms,
is to be a true practitioner.

제 마음을 다 바쳐서
한마음의 지혜로운 통찰력으로 법망에 걸림 없이
찰나찰나 일체 시방 삼세 다스리기에 승가야중이니라

The Seven Homages Day 16 – using the wisdom of one mind

There’s a lot about this verse that aligns with the new subtitled video we posted a couple of days ago. In a sense, it doesn’t matter so much if you can perfectly do this. What’s more important, for the time being, is opening yourself to the possibility of this. Not insisting that I am able to do this, but rather that I want to be able to do this. Just in saying that “I want to be able to do this,” we become more able to see the choices that will lead us forward along this path.
We tend to go in the direction we’re looking. When helping beginning drivers, I always tell them to focus on their own lane, to keep the car “centered” on the right-hand line, especially at night. If they start looking at the oncoming lane too often, they’ll drift that way without even realizing it. We go where we’re looking. So let’s work at having our eyes pointed towards a positive, healthy, and somewhat ambitious target!

With my whole heart,
I vow to become someone who can ceaselessly take care of all things
in every place and time
using the infinite discernment and penetrating wisdom of one mind.

제 마음을 다 바쳐서
한마음의 지혜로운 통찰력으로 법망에 걸림 없이
찰나찰나 일체 시방 삼세 다스리기에 승가야중이니라


New subtitled video Dharma talk by Daehaeng Kun Sunim

I can’t believe I forgot to mention this! We have a new Dharma talk by Kun Sunim on YouTube. This is pretty good one! In it she focuses on something that (rightly) often gets a bad rap – the ability of the intentions we give rise to.

The main idea is that this world moves and responds according to the thoughts we give rise to. If we keep thinking that the situation is a certain way, then those thoughts are like instructions to the lives that make up our bodies to move in that direction. This is why it’s so important to view things positively, even when it would be easy to take the negative view. Even when it would be easy to think of that perspective as more realistic.

The example I always give comes from my time at Korean Army bases: If the sergeant tells soldiers to get to the top of a mountain in 30 minutes, they take off running, not having any real doubt about getting up there. They likely expect it will be hard, and a few people might have problems, but they’re all going to be there.

If on the other hand, the sergeant says it’s too hard for them, that they can’t do it, then of course, the soldiers don’t even try. It’s the same way with the lives in our body.

Now, there are some limitations to this. Cause and effect play a role, as does my capacity to deal with even the good things that happen to me. There are so many reasons why I may not have a million dollars fall out of the sky. To do so might burn up all of my good karma, leaving me with nothing in the bank, so to speak. Would you trade your health or even life for money? Would you trade them for a new car?

More likely, those kinds of desires tend to be reflections of our discriminations and narrow viewpoints, and as such, they can’t easily connect with the energy of the whole. To connect with that, I have to let go of and entrust the intentions I’ve given rise to.

There are probably more aspects of this I should have addressed, so if you have a question, go ahead and ask in the comments.

with palms together,
Chong Go

The Seven Homages Day 15 – great intentions that touch all life

Then from within the song of this flowing one mind,
this spring of the deepest wisdom,
great beings see that there is truly no dying or being reborn,
and from this place,
they raise great intentions that touch all life.
Thus, they come to be called “great beings.”

한마음의 소리는 두루 높아
모두 온 게 없기에 갈 것도 없이
그대로 대심大心 내어서 선지식이니라

The Seven Homages Day 14 – one day it burst forth, and they realized its interconnected essence

This is a pretty good, short description of spiritual practice! Just keep gathering everything together into one. A lot of what else is said about spiritual practice is actually aimed at overcoming hangups, habits, and fixed ways of viewing things that get stuck stuck on.

But when it comes down to it, gather everything into one. Keep doing that, and everything else will become clear as you do that, and afterwards.

They gathered together everything under heaven into one,
until one day it burst forth,
and they realized its interconnected essence.

천하가 합하여 우뚝 솟아 공을 이루니,

The Seven Homages Day 13 – When beings gather and become true people

Why “small”? It’s certainly not to look down on anyone, but I suspect it refers to those who haven’t realized their potential, their ability to embrace the whole.

When small beings gather and become true people,
become ripened people,
they are called teachers.

작은 생명들이 모여 큰사람 되어 늙었으니 스승이라

The Seven Homages Day 12 – One mind, where East and West are always one

One mind,
where East and West are always one,
is manifesting in each and every moment,
ceaselessly shining forth the powerful light of wisdom,
ceaselessly transmitting the light of mind,
ceaselessly helping all beings to open their eyes.

동서가 둘 아닌 한마음의 찰나찰나 나툼은
지혜로운 마음에 광력의 밝음을 끝없이 밝히심이니
마음의 등불 전하여
눈뜨게 하사이다