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Miruk Temple in the Wolak mountains

Here’s another great verse from the Dharma talk I’m working on. Instead of “family problems” feel free to insert health problems, money problems, and so on. Whatever you like!


How should you handle these kinds of family problems? Think back to what I just said: you and your root are inseparable. Everything arises, or not, through the functioning and power of this inherent nature.

So entrust everything back within yourself, and know that, “It’s you, true nature, through which karma can arise, and it’s you that can keep it from arising. This flesh I have isn’t my foundation, and it isn’t my true shape. This ‘me’ doesn’t exist at all. So ‘I’ don’t have to get tangled up in these things. It’s you, as the whole, that can take care of all this.” And then deeply entrust where you are now and what you face to this essence, this reality, and just keep observing.

— from a talk by Daehaeng Kun Sunim

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Daehaeng Kun Sunim

Here’s another excerpt from the Dharma talk I’m helping with now. It’s a wonderful teaching, that helps ground us in the most fundamental aspect of spiritual practice. It may not seem so sexy or exciting, but it is the basis that can keep us growing and moving forward.


Questioner: Thank you for this opportunity to see you in person. My son (indicating the boy next to her) is about the enter high school, but I’m worried because he often feels uneasy and his attention seems to wander. Is there anything I can do to help this?

Daehaeng Kun Sunim: Young man, please listen carefully. Do you suppose that tree(pointing) has any roots, or not?

Boy: I’m sure it does.

Daehaeng Kun Sunim: Yes, although we can’t usually see them because they’re covered with dirt, right?

Well, each human being also has their own, unseen root. We call this foundation by lots of names, such as true self or the true doer, but it is this root that can guide you and take care of you.

Within your body there are untold numbers of other life-forms, and its their consciousnesses that disturb you and cause your attention to wander. These are karmic states of consciousness, like karmic echos, but when you have faith in your root and entrust everything to it, it can guide all the lives in your body and cause them to work together harmoniously.

Remind yourself that, “It’s you, true nature, my root, that can guide me, and it’s you that can help me get through school. You’re the one that can let me perceive what’s really going on, and respond as needed.” And entrust it with whatever situation you find yourself in.

This true nature is your root and your source. It’s your eternal, best friend, and is never apart from you.


(later, to a parent whose son showed no interest in spiritual practice)

Anyway, it would be better for you to entrust the following, “This true nature, Juingong, will help him find the bright light within himself.” If you truly let go and entrust this, then it will be communicated and he will start to see his own light.

A real understanding is more like electric current flowing without any hindrance when two wires have been connected to each other. Communication and understanding just flow back and forth.


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The Doctor within you


I’m helping to translate a new talk by Seon Master Daehaeng, and I came across this great piece:


Some of you only pay lip service to the idea of your inherent nature, and then come and tell me things like your son hasn’t returned home, or a sick person isn’t getting any better. What am I, a doctor? No. It’s your own true foundation, that can manifest according to your need, so why wouldn’t it manifest itself as doctor?

If you are sick, it will become a doctor for you, if you need to live longer, it will become the god of the Big Dipper. If you need a guide in the realm of the dead, it will become Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva for you. If you are desperately poor or in trouble, it will become Avalokitesvara for you. If you are at sea and need help, it will become the dragon spirit in order to help you. It will become the kitchen god, the earth spirit, and so on, no matter what your need may be.

So then, what’s wrong with you? What’s missing? The only thing that was wrong was how you used your mind. So. How you want to use your mind is completely up to you, as is how you want to address the things you face. These are opportunities for you to grow and develop; don’t cheat yourself by looking for someone else to take care of them.

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Our temple guardian:-)

The English lectures on the Thousand Hands Sutra concluded last Thursday with a summary lecture over the last part of the book. I’m going to be traveling for a bit, so I won’t have time to record that lecture right away, but when I return, I’ll record another three lectures and cover the last section of this Sutra. I hope this has been helpful, and a learning experience!


Below is a link to a recording of the full sutra, without commentary.



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I realized that I forgot to post the recording for the seventh week of this series of talks, so here it is. This was a fun one, so I hope you enjoy it!






My one mind is the Bodhisattva of
Compassion, so I return to my one mind
and rely upon it.

If I entrust everything I’m searching for
to my one mind,
I will realize that the path I seek is in
everything around me,
and inherently “I” does not exist,
so there is no need to obtain something else.
I will find the one who says
there is no need to obtain something else.

My one mind is the Bodhisattva of
Compassion, so I return to my one mind
and rely upon it.

“Living” “Dying”
Such things are not my true essence.
Thus I will achieve one mind,
which transcends all distinctions
such as realms of the living and the dead.

My one mind is the Bodhisattva of
Compassion, so I return to my one mind
and rely upon it.

Virtue, precepts, and actions in harmony
with the Dharma
are all done through mind.
I vow to attain these without delay.

My one mind is the Bodhisattva of
Compassion, so I return to my one mind
and rely upon it.

One mind,
the Way that isn’t a fixed path,
it’s inherent brightness is never troubled
by birth and death.
I vow to realize one mind without delay.

My one mind is the Bodhisattva of
Compassion, so I return to my one mind
and rely upon it.

Let me know that all Buddhas exist
within my one mind,
the place where enlightenment is attained.

My one mind hears and answers
all the cries of the world,
so I return to my one mind and rely upon it.

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each leaf is hand made

(each leaf is hand made)

This weeks Dharma talk is about the core of the Thousand Hands Sutra, the Great Compassion Dharani. It’s a truly wonderful poem, and even more impressive teaching as well as signpost for which direction we need to go. This dharani has been popular across asia, and it was said that reciting it would bring blessings and protection from evil. I think you’ll agree that deeply inputing this within us would certainly bring good things!



The Great Compassion Dharani
The profound ability within me
is awakened not by words,
but by the determination to save all
I and my true self,
together as one.
At this stage freely coming and going
without a trace,
able to apply great unshakable wisdom,
using it without the least hindrance.
As vast as an ocean,
truly understand what this means.
Like quietly flowing water,
may my heart always flow towards one
All things
arising or disappearing,
coming or going
are done through the foundation.

With a quietly flowing mind,
I will become one with my foundation.

The sound of our reciting
spreads throughout all realms.
Hearing this, may the one mind of all
Buddhas and Bodhisattvas
look after us.

Please guide me so that my mind
becomes one with the mind of all

With the wisdom of the eye that’s not an eye,
please make this happen
and look after me.
Without eyes
keep watching and watching,
diligently watching.
Going and going,
changing and changing,
meeting this great truth of emptiness
all suffering and disasters
fall away
and disappear

Deluded thoughts of every kind,
when entrusted to our great unshakeable
will all melt away,
will all melt away.

Through mind, determination, and
let me brighten and deepen my wisdom
and realize this great unshakable mind.

May the bright eye of wisdom
fill the universe with light
shining brightly, illuminating all.

May all beings
become one, become one
one with all Buddhas
one mind, one mind
one body, one body.

May all beings
escape together
escape from suffering
and become free.

May I see the world as it truly is.

May I awaken to the great reality.
May I uphold the principles of the unseen
realms, as well as the rules of society.

May I become one hand.

May I let go of my greed and desire.

May I develop the power to dissolve
all habits of the body.

May I develop great spiritual ability
and take care of the nation.

May I realize that all spirits of the dead
though shapeless and unseen,
are not separate from this realm of form
and matter.

May everything that arises in my life
surrender and follow my inherent nature.

All Buddhas,
may ten thousand flowers bloom,
and ten thousand fruits ripen.
Let me know their true taste!
(repeated three times)






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Here’s this weeks recording of my talk on the Thousand Hands Sutra. On one hand, the text is fairly straight forward at this point, yet on the other, it’s still incredibly deep. There are views and information here that are just so far beyond the usual, dualistic way we tend to think.

In the next episode, we’ll look at the heart of the Thousand Hands Sutra, the Great Compassion Dharani, so be sure to catch these last two talks. (It’s really good!)

This series of talks is only going until the start of the meditation retreat season, so there will only be two more episodes after this one – this coming week, and May 12th.

May 5th will be the fourth anniversary memorial service for Daehaeng Kun Sunim, so there won’t be an English Dharma talk that day. But this series of talks will pick up again with last part of the sutra.  

Through one mind I take refuge in
Buddha, who watches over and takes care
of all material and nonmaterial realms.

I take refuge in Buddha and one mind,
which encompasses the endless universe
and all things with life and without.

I take refuge in one mind,
with a thousand hands
it ceaselessly takes care of all things.

I take refuge in one mind,
remaining just as it is
it ceaselessly takes care of all things.

I take refuge in one mind,
with all-embracing harmony
it saves all beings everywhere.

I take refuge in one mind,
which completely looks after all beings
throughout the world and universe.

I take refuge in one mind,
with a single thought
transcending time and space,
it nurtures all.

I take refuge in one mind,
endlessly giving light to all.

I take refuge in one mind,
it guides all life to the bright path,
which is neither longer nor shorter,
sooner nor later.

I take refuge in one mind,
always protecting us,
it enriches us
and gives us the taste of the Dharma.

I take refuge in one mind,
free of all forms and shapes
it is able to become anything.

Like the love of a Bodhisattva,
the thoughts one mind gives rise to
embrace everything throughout all realms.

I take refuge in one mind,
the all embracing treasure of compassion.

I take refuge in Buddha-nature,
my center, foundation, and teacher,
which transcends existence and
and through which enlightenment is attained.
(repeated three times)

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