Noon Blessing, Day 22 –  far from the presence of those with evil intentions

This photo was taken around 1950, and I have no idea who the little girl is. She seems like a bit of a 개구쟁이, a child with a lot of energy and spirit.

May our families all be harmonious,
and far from the presence of those with evil intentions.

Noon Blessing, Day 20 – May each and every person be safe and healthy

Here in this place,
with our utmost sincerity,
with these pure offerings,
we raise the intention that each and every person attending this ceremony,
be safe and healthy,
and with the great protective power of our one mind,
manifested by all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas,
may they be safe wherever they go,
whether on long journeys or just short errands,
may all their encounters be positive and joyous,
and may disaster and misfortune always be strangers.

The detail of these blessings is interesting. If someone reads (or listens to) these with the thought that we are asking someone more powerful than us to do this for us, then they won’t produce much good. There will be some, to the extent that thinking of others wellbeing helps awaken (?) an awareness of nonduality, but that may be cancelled by the thought that some power outside of us is making this happen.

If we understand that we are already connected to all the energy of the universe, then we just entrust these intentions inwardly, and let them connect with that energy. Then everything will move in that direction.
The extent that we see that manifest is hard to say, however. Each person’s individual path and choices can affect that, as does the states of mind they are currently caught up in, and there is also the question of what’s best for the person. But in general, things move in the direction of the intentions we entrust.

Noon Blessing, Day 16 – In accord with your capacity

May those cultivating the good seeds of virtue and merit,
achieve success in accord with their capacity to handle that,
and the efforts they have made.

The qualification on the end of this blessing is quite interesting. May things work out, to the extent that you can handle the results. Which, when you think about it, makes a lot of sense. How many celebrities and performers have we seen whose lives were basically ruined by too much fame and money? Yet some achieve great success and it doesn’t seem to hinder them at all?

Daehaeng Kun Sunim often compared our capacity to a bowl, saying that if you poured too much into it, that would overflow and make a mess. That’s not to say that she criticized someone for their ability, just observed that bowls can only play the role that their size permits. Tiny saucers are good for holding soy sauce, and big soup pots are great for when you have a lot of people over.

But, if you want to be able to play a larger role, you have to increase your capacity. How do we do this? How do we stretch the sides of our bowl? By working at entrusting everything in life to our foundation. Every single worry, every complaint about work or politics, all the aches and pains, all the unhappiness, loneliness, or sadness we may be feeling. It’s actually kind of hard to let go of these things, because they are so close, and so regular that we may not notice them. That’s why it’s go to stop every once in while and take stock of what we are feeling and thinking, of how we’re viewing the world, and then try to entrust all of that.

It seems obvious, but a lot of times we are just enduring something rather than trying to entrust it. So remind yourself that you have this foundation, this Buddha-nature through which you are connected to all the energy and wisdom of the universe, and try to let go of your worries and even goals, and let them connect with that.

Noon Blessing, Day 14 – May the wisdom eye open, and may everyone experience samadhi

(This verse is a continuation of the idea started with yesterday’s verse.)

Let all those who study the sutras open the eye of wisdom,
and may they truly understand how the things of this world work.
Let all those who practice chanting,
experience samadhi and be grounded in it.

Noon Blessing, Day 13 – May the great question burst open, and enlightenment shine forth from within

This verse and tomorrow’s verse have a wonderful spirit that includes all types of spiritual practice.

Physically, may we all be free from the sufferings of disease and disaster,
mentally, may we all be free from every kind of lust, obsession, and hatred,
and never again be seduced by these.
Spiritually, may all those practice meditation have the great question burst open,
and enlightenment shine forth from within them.