“Delusions and defilements” can mean exactly what they say, but there’s also a nuance here of “the things that cause suffering,” the mistaken perspectives and opinions, the stubbornness, the judgements, and the colored, limited perspectives that cause us to act and think without being aware of the larger perspective.
Raising the Four Great Vows (Set 2)
All delusions and defilements existing within me, I vow to dissolve.
When Daehaeng Kun Sunim translated the Four Great Vows from the Sino-Korean characters, she did something unusual. She added a second set. These were almost copies of the first set, but this second set was directed inwardly.
It’s probably fair to say that both the inner and the outer descriptions were intended in the original text, but because the focus of most unenlightened people is on outer things, we tend to see the outer expression, without giving the inner possibility much thought. Here, with this second set of vows, Daehaeng Kun Sunim explicitly reminds us to include these as well.
Raising the Four Great Vows (set 2)
All unenlightened beings existing within me, I vow to save.
This week continues the Four Great Vows, although they continue with an interesting twist that you’ll see on Wednesday. That said, don’t underestimate this just because it’s one short line. It gets easy to pass over these shorter vows with a “Sure, okay,” on your way to the next sentence. Or to think that just because it’s short and easy to understand, that’s all there is to it. But try not to do that.
These vows help set your direction. They help set your direction now, and in the future, both short-term and inconceivably far-term. They orient us to the truth of how things function, and orient us towards learning how things truly function. And if we are discovering that all beings share the same life, the same mind, the same body, work together as one, and freely give and receive whatever is needed, then, how could our lives not be blessed? How could fear and anxiety not begin to fall away?
These are just one line each, but repeat them to yourself (outloud when possible) whenever you have a moment.
Raising the Four Great Vows (continued)
The infinite teachings of the Dharma, I will learn.
These vows are fairly well-known (although Daehaeng Kun Sunim delivers a unique twist on them at the end – you’ll see next week), but I’m listing them here one by one just so we can get a sense of each one. So we can take some time and let each one sink down within us. For we tend to read and recite these as a group, moving over them at speed. But what I would like here, is to just read each one. Just recite it out loud several times and let it sink down within you. If you want to recite it at random moments in your day, that’d be fine too!