Day 118 – the Buddha who venerates the Dharma

(Homage to the Twelve Buddhas who Dissolve All Karma)

Homage to the Buddha who venerates the Dharma,
transmitting the truth
of bright and wide one mind.

넓고 밝은 한마음의 묘법음 법존 불

This is another one with depths to it that, I fear, we’ve failed to catch in the translation. There’s likely a lot going on with this at a level that’s beyond the comprehension of unawakened beings. So, on the whole, it’s probably best to just recite these without spending a lot of time trying to puzzle out the meaning.

Day 116 – a broad and harmonious mind

(Homage to the Twelve Buddhas who Dissolve All Karma)

Homage to the Buddha endowed with the virtue and merit
arising from a broad and harmonious mind.

두루두루 위대하온 마음의 공덕 불

One of the interesting things Kun Sunim occasionally emphasized was being humble and kind. She didn’t quite say, “If you can’t do anything else, be humble and kind,” but there was a sense of this. Of course, it’s hard to truly be humble and kind without knowing your foundation and feeling your connection with others, but, nonetheless, trying to be humble and kind will prevent so many problems in your life. It may not be perfect, but you’ll avoid so many potholes. And one of the things about being kind is that it’s fun! It makes you feel better, and you want more of that. As this becomes a part of you, other kind people are naturally drawn to you, and so life becomes more pleasant.

I suspect as well that it also creates opportunities for practice and to learn about practice. This isn’t the same as actually practicing relying upon your foundation, but still, how precious is that chance? How many lifetimes would someone have to wait just to hear about their foundation, and the practice of relying upon it?

Day 115 – the Buddha who makes vast determinations

(Homage to the Twelve Buddhas who Dissolve All Karma)

Homage to the Buddha who makes decisions
of vast and inconceivable importance.

광대무변 크신 뜻을 결정하온 불

I’ll be honest, I’m not sure what this means! Is it a world-wide or universal scale, or does it mean more huge things regarding the functioning of this nondual foundation we have? It might have a nuance of “The Buddha who determines where this great fundamental mind is applied to.”
Frankly, this is one of those things I have to put in the folder labeled, “I’ll understand later, when my practice has deepened.” 🙂

Day 112 – the Twelve Buddhas who Dissolve All Karma

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.

참제업장십이존불 懺除業障十二尊佛

두루두루 겸손하온 마음 공덕 계율 법행 불

This is the beginning of an interesting section. What are these 12 Buddhas? Are they Buddhas that we can appeal to for help? Probably not, because that sort of implies that they are some separate existence from us, floating around “out there,” waiting for us to appeal to them.

More likely, they are the manifestation of our foundation, our one mind. And, at the same time, these descriptions are also guides for us. “The Buddha whose deep humility gives rise to virtue….” Reading that, we can see that deep humility gives rise to behaviors and states of being that I think we’d all prefer to inhabit! So, it’s deep humility that is the starting point for these. Okay, that’s something I can (sort of!, lol.) start with.

Remember to try to recite these verses, so that they sink down deep within you! (Korean or English, as you like.)

Day 111 – The Poem of Repentance

Four Different “Mu”

Repentance is an important part of spiritual practice. In repenting of something, we stop tying ourselves up in efforts to push it away or deny our involvement with it. In repenting, we can start to lay it to rest, and start to deal with any harm done to others or ourselves. Generally, if I find myself putting much effort or time into justifying something, then in the end, I did something wrong.

The Poem of Repentance

All harmful deeds I have committed
All unwise actions arising from greed and desire
All harm done through my body, speech, and thought,
I now repent of this and all other harm I have caused.

참회게 懺悔偈

제가 지은 모든 악업죄,
선행 없는 모든 탐심죄,
몸으로 입으로 뜻으로 지은 죄,
일체 모든 잘못을 참회합니다.

2021 Lunar New Year’s Dharma Talk – Hanmaum Seon Center

Here is the Dharma talk that will be read at the Candlelight Ceremony held for three evenings starting on the lunar new year. There’s nothing particularly complicated about it, or so profound that only scholars would understand. Instead, it’s fairly straightforward, and uses small words 🙂

But. In the doing, in the application, it’s pure gold. As the talk says, the benefits of actually doing this are beyond imagining. We have to keep trying, even when we think we have it down. For if we keep entrusting everything to this fundamental Buddha-nature within us, this great furnace, the entire world will turn upside down.

2021 New Year’s Dharma Talk 

We hold the Candlelight Ceremony to help brighten this light 
we all have within us, 
the light of mind.

This light is always there, lit,
even in the rain and wind,
even if the earth itself should crumble away.
Everyone, no matter who they are,
has this light of mind, 
this lantern shining forth. 
The existence of Buddha-nature guarantees that
we have this flame within us. 
But we have to be working at relying upon and trusting this Buddha-nature,
otherwise, it’s as if our candle isn’t lit. 
It has to be shining forth,
then it can truly function.

This isn’t an ordinary light, though. 
If it’s lit over here,
it also comes on over there. 
Thus, a parent’s light can also help guide their children. 
This light is always on, wherever we go,
but sometimes certain states of mind will cover it up,
so that we feel lost in darkness. 
At those times, if we happen to see someone else’s bright light,
ours will also start shining forth. 
In this way, we’re helping each other to live brightly.

This pillar of mind, this light, is our captain.
It’s like the center of a small grindstone for grain;
without the center pin, 
the top and bottom stones would just slide across each other,
and never be able to produce anything. 
So you can’t be careless about this center, this pillar.
Grasp it firmly,
and in whatever you encounter,
wherever you might go,
entrust it all there and keep observing. 

When some problem or disaster confronts you,
it almost always happens suddenly, doesn’t it?
Thus, it’s easy for anyone to be shocked or unsettled by what happened.
But, we have to take that uncomfortable situation and those feelings,
and work to transform them into something clear and pure.
We have to take muddy water,
and turn it into clear, clean drinking water.

Within your family, there is an inherent connection between parents and children.
So if you work at relying upon and bringing forth your fundamental mind,
your ancestors too will become brighter and will become unstuck, 
able move forward and evolve.
Likewise, for your children, too,
the habits and views that cause them suffering will lose their grip,
and they will become wiser and kinder. 

Just one person in a family brightening this candle of mind
creates virtue and merit beyond anything you can imagine.
Just this one candle can brighten all of you,
and fill the entire area around you with light.

Although here at the Candlelight ceremony
we are holding small candles made of wax,
with your deep sincerity,
they can light the true candle within you.

Homage to Shakyamuni Buddha
Homage to our Inherent Buddha
Homage to Shakyamuni Buddha, the manifestation of our true teacher