Day 4 – This world we live in is the realm of Buddhas

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Here is today’s section of the Thousand Hands Sutra. Try to recite it three times in the morning and three times before you go to bed.
I was so amazed when I first started to understand this sutra, because each little section is a treasure in itself. The entire sutra is great, but just one little piece has so much power. It can change our lives, break up a habit that was holding us back, and touch something deep and quiet within ourselves.
(I’m going to schedule these for Monday through Friday, to give people a chance to get to these without being buried in a pile of endless notifications. ~ CG)

This world we live in is none other than the realm of Buddha.
Here it is forever Spring, flowers bloom without end,
and the fragrant path is ever open.

Day 2 – All Buddhas throughout all realms

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Okay…. I seem to be having some trouble reposting the old blogs. WordPress wants to treat them like updated drafts, and apparently doesn’t notify people of the new(*) post. So I’m trying this again! Please let me know if you actually did get an email today with the previous version of this post (Edit: It was supposed to be sent at 7am Korea time. Right now it’s looking like no one got them.) Thanks!

All Buddhas throughout all realms exist at this very moment within my one mind, sincerely relying upon my one mind is itself a true mantra.

Day 1 – Opening a Thousand Hands of Compassion

I’ve been debating which direction to go with these posts, about whether I should post something new or repeat the daily posts from Daehaeng Kun Sunim’s translation of The Thousand Hands Sutra. Part of me was worried about boring people or that everyone would lose interest because there was nothing new, but this text just called to me. It’s so easy to understand; incredibly profound yet very straightforward. As I said when I first published this, I have no doubt that this will be considered a treasure of spiritual cultivation by future generations. To me, it also feels like just the medicine we need these days.
I’ll post a small section every day ~ see if you can recite it to yourself 2-3 times a day. Three times before bed is really good for people, and if you can combine it with 3 times just after you wake up in the morning, you will really feel it’s effects. Just recite it sincerely, not too fast, and just let it sink down within you.

It’s not long, but it doesn’t need to be. Just take that day’s section and let it percolate down through your body.

with palms together,
Chong Go

[This opening isn’t actually unique to The Thousand Hands Sutra, it’s included in the opening of many chanted sutras in Korea. It is how the sutra is opened however, and the text below is the English version of Daehaeng Kun Sunim’s Hangul translation.]

A mantra for realizing inherently bright nature, speaking truthfully,
and completely letting go of delusions such as good karma and bad karma,
like and dislike, defiled and pure:

Speak from the truth and each word becomes a mantra,
speak outside of the truth and each word becomes karma.

Day 91 – The place for learning the path

“You have to build a pagoda within yourself, one that can connect to all realms, both above and below.” — Daehaeng Kun Sunim

We call a temple a dor-lyang, which most people know from the Japanese pronunciation, a dojo. It doesn’t mean a place for fighting, but rather a place for learning, a place for finding one’s path, a place for applying one’s understanding.

This is the last verse of the Thousand Hands Sutra (Daehaeng Kun Sunim’s translation). I started putting these up daily, because with the corona virus and all the other things going on in the world, it seemed like we could all use some wisdom. But I didn’t realize how much these would touch me, or how much good just repeating a single line each day (several times) would do me. Or how powerful it would be.

Returning to and relying upon the Three Treasures of one mind (Vow 3)

I take refuge in the place for learning the truth.
Which is every place.

Day 90 – Ever-present, throughout every realm

I’m just amazed again at how little needs to be said. Just these two short lines (below). Just these simple words, repeated to myself, sink down within me like an anchor.

Raise these intentions, and let them sink down within you, and make contact with your one mind. Then they will be communicated to all your deceased loved ones. For it is in this one mind that we are all connected.

Returning to and relying upon the Three Treasures of one mind (Vow 2)

I take refuge in the truth,
ever-present throughout every realm.

Day 89 – The Three Treasures of One Mind

Looking into the Dharma hall

Daehaeng Kun Sunim also made an interesting translation here. This is a very “Seon” or “Zen” style (though she rarely used that sort of expression,) because while it’s common to refer to the Three Treasures of Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha, I’ve never heard anyone call them the treasures of one mind. But, where else would you find them. She makes that point here.

Having given rise to these great vows,
I return to and rely upon the Three Treasures of one mind

I take refuge in Buddha,
who is one with all,
in every place and dimension.

Day 88 – Inherent within me

Today’s verse illustrates what I love so much about Daehaeng Kun Sunim’s teachings – “Where is it?” “Inherent within me.” She’s pointing directly to where we have to do the work. We learn, travel, connect, and make our way in the world, but we don’t add something extra. All of that, to the extent that it helps, is helping us uncover and make use of what’s already right here before us.

Raising the Four Great Vows (Set 2)

Supreme enlightenment,
inherent within me,
I vow to attain.