Like Lions Learning to Roar

You have to meet the teacher halfway. You just do.

There’s no way around it.    
You have to be struggling and working and trying to figure things out for yourself first. Then everything else can happen.

Each one of us has this bright, inherent “Buddha-nature” within us, and through it we are connected to all the universe. But it’s up to us to discover this connection. It’s up to us to live in tune with this inherent treasure. We have to figure out how this plays out in our life.

The first step is simply trusting this non-dual nature. Know that you have it, have faith that it’s connected to everything you’re going through, and entrust everything there. Keep doing this and observing. Let go of your opinions like this. Let go of what’s going well like this. Let go of what’s going badly like this, and the whole time, keep paying attention.

Step forward bravely, holding onto your bright, inherent nature, and a new world will begin to reveal itself.

Details: 152 pages, $4.99, ebook, $8.99 paper

This is a collection of the Dharma talks by Daehaeng Kun Sunim previously published in Korean-English editions, as “Turning Dirt into Gold,” and “Dancing on the Whirlwind.”

Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and others

Standing Again


Start where you are! Learn to rely upon your inherent Buddha-essence. Learn to apply its energy to the world around you.

Every single one of us has this incredible, formless Buddha-nature,
this one great pillar that encompasses everything.
Take this pillar as your center, and strengthen your ability to let go.
Develop your ability to entrust it with everything.
In this way, take all suffering, all illness, and burn it all up!

– Seon Master Daehaeng

What an incredible collection of Dharma talks by Seon Master Daehaeng! So down to Earth, yet they contain such sublime teachings for all humanity.

Menas Kafatos
Fletcher Jones Endowed Chair Professor of Computational Physics, Chapman University

Details: 150 pages, $4.99, ebook, $8.99 paper

This is a collection of the latest two translations of Dharma talks by Daehaeng Kun Sunim, previously published separately, in Korean-English editions, as “The Doctor is In,” and “The Healing Power of Our Inner Light.”

Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and others

My Heart is a Golden Buddha – Audiobook


    by Daehaeng Kun Sunim
    narrated by Garan Fitzgerald

A wonderful audio edition the best selling book!

If you haven’t read the book, these are kind of differentstories! While some are very traditional Buddhist tales, most are like nothing you’ve heard before.

A woman who wants to sell her mother-in-law….
A monk who became a cow…
Worm soup that saves a teacher…
The decisions of a man hanging from a cliff…

Yet the endings and Daehaeng Kun Sunim’s explanations are really satisfying. It feels like they scratch an itch so old we stopped noticing it. Go ahead and take a listen!

In this collection of thirty-three stories, one of Korea’s foremost Seon(Zen) masters introduces the richness and depth of Korea’s Buddhist tradition. With humor and insight, Seon Master Daehaeng shows us our inherent potential and demonstrates how we can face the challenges of life with wisdom and vigor.

(Give it a try! It’s pretty good!)

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(buy direct from us, via Gumroad)

 also available at and iTunes



Sharing the Same Heart
Children, Parents, and the Dharma all around us!

A collection of Dharma talks by Daehaeng Kun Sunim

Because you are inherently connected with your children and everything around you, as you entrust your problems to your essence, your foundation, the light that arises from this will also grow brighter within the other person.

So there’s no reason to blame others. Instead, work on using your mind wisely. If you can go forward with this kind of wisdom, how could your family not be happy and successful?

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or buy the ebook directly from us (via Gumroad)
(includes both mobi and epub files)

Touching the Earth_outline

Touching the Earth
The power of our inner light to transform the world

In this new collection of Dharma talks, Seon Master Daehaeng shows us everything as a part of ourselves – nothing is separate.

“You are connected with everything in the universe. All the energy, creativity, and insight of the universe is flowing together with you. Right now. Free for anyone to use. And no matter how much you use, it will never run out. When we begin to live in accord with this connection – call it Buddha-nature, God, the foundation, or one mind – this energy and wisdom can flow through us. This connection is there within each of us, calling to us, waiting for us to pay attention.” (DRM free)

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or buy the ebook directly from us (via Gumroad)
(includes both mobi and epub files)

No River to Cross
Trusting the Enlightenment that’s always right here

A collection of Daehaeng Kun Sunim’s teachings that have been organized by topic, ranging from practice in daily life, to the meaning of Buddha-nature. Open it anywhere, and just start reading. Excerpted from the Korean book, Principles of One Mind, with a foreword by Robert Buswell.

No River to Cross speaks directly and simply from the heart, much in the manner of Shunryu Suzuki’s Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind.  Master Daehaeng’s ability to penetrate the skin with plain and pointed words should give this work the same longevity.”Francisca Cho, Georgetown University, translator of Everything Yearned For.

Buy at  Wisdom PublicationsAmazonBarnes & NobleiTunesKobo

When you buy directly from Wisdom Publications, you help them to keep putting out great books on Buddhism and spirituality. When you buy from the publisher, they get the entire amount, whereas they get less than half of the cover price when a book is sold through other bookstores.

Wake Up_Small

Wake Up and Laugh

   Wake up! Stop being deceived by your attachments, fears, and dualistic  thinking. The truth you are searching for already exists everywhere in your daily life. When you realize this, you’ll laugh until your sides hurt at how much effort you spent to discover that you are yourself! 

The wisdom and deep compassion of one of Korea’s foremost Seon(Zen) Masters shines throughout the five Dharma talks that comprise Wake Up and Laugh! With clear insight, Seon Master Daehaeng emphasizes the role of our fundamental mind, our Buddha-nature, across a wide range of topics from family and business problems to death and mental illness.

Buy at  Wisdom PublicationsAmazonBarnes & NobleiTunesKobo 


MyHeart_1 px outline

My Heart is a Golden Buddha 
A collection of inspiration and wisdom, seen through the tales of housewives and kings, bandits and monks, and the deep mountains of Korea.

In these thirty-three stories, one of Korea’s foremost Seon(Zen) Masters shows us our inherent potential and teaches us how to live with dignity and courage in any circumstances. Appealing to both children and adults, these stories are drawn from the rich Buddhist tradition of Korea and reveal the unseen dimensions of our lives while showing us how to become true human beings.

 Buy at  AmazonBarnes & NobleiTunesKobo[Seoul Selection – Korea]

or buy the ebook directly from us
(via Gumroad)
(includes both mobi and epub files)

A Thousand Hands of Compassion
The Chant of Buddhist Korea

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

Chanted every day in Buddhist temples throughout Korea, A Thousand Hands of Compassion integrates all the major aspects of Korean Buddhist thought. Popular with ordained and lay people alike, variations have been recited in Korea for the past 1,300 years.

In this version by Seon Master Daehaeng, Avalokitesvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion, does not exist apart from our inherent Buddha-nature, and the thousand hands of Avalokitesvara are the manifestation of the enlightened compassion inherent within us all

Buy at [Seoul Selection – Korea]

This book is published in a Korean/English edition, with artwork by Hyo Rim:

Like quietly flowing water, 
may my heart always
 flow toward one mind.  
Coming and going
are all done through the foundation.
 With a quietly flowing mind,
I will become one  
with my foundationl

In September 2010, A Thousand Hands of Compassion was awarded the IF Design Award in the “Communication field. It turns out this is kind of a big deal in the design world. Congradulations to Su-yeon Park, who did the design and layout, and to Hyo Rim, who provided the original artwork. They really did a great job.

   (from the foreword)

Who is a bodhisattva, what is a bodhisattva?
If a bodhisattva can’t help the beings that are here
right now,
is such a person really a bodhisattva?A thousand times No!
A true Bodhisattva
calls forth unconditional incomparable compassion
holds nothing back,
and saves the lives in front of her.
like a thousand moons shining in a thousand streams
all flowing flowing,
Bodhisattvas shine forth pure light upon all.
And seeing so many still unable to free themselves
from a thousand kinds of suffering and pain,
how sad,
how sad,
the tender compassion of a thousand Bodhisattvas rushes forward.
Such far-reaching compassion,
the compassion of a thousand eyes,
not the two eyes tainted with desire,
but a thousand eyes overflowing with every aspect of compassion.

*  A note about ordering these books: Most of these need to be ordered through They’re wonderful people to work with, and have one of the best selections of books about Korea (along with cds and dvds.)

**Daehaeng Kun Sunim’s books are also available in Korean, German, Spanish, Japanese, and Chinese (with Russian coming soon.) Please contact me at for more information about these books and where they can be found. (All of Daehaeng Kun Sunim’s books can be found in German at


Other books

Religions of Korea in Practice
Buy at Amazon

   This book has a chapter about Buddhist prenatal education in Korea, as well as Daehaeng Kun Sunim’s teachings about this (called taegyo in Korean).  In the spirit of full disclosure, I wrote it as well as the one in the next book, but there are some really interesting ideas here, and I had a great time exploring them as I wrote the chapter.

I became interested in the topic after seeing so many children at our centers who just seemed to be so much more spiritually aware than I ever was at that age. I wanted to look into how their parents practiced, and how that contributed to their children’s development. Many of the parents also explained what Daehaeng Kun Sunim had told them about prenatal education in the course of private interviews with her.

Makers of Modern Korean Buddhism

 Buy at Amazon

This is quite a nice volume about modern Korean Buddhism, with many chapters about key figures. It has a chapter on Daehaeng Kun Sunim, and her teachings about spiritual practice, especially with regard to the idea of “Doing without any thought of doing.”  There are a couple of things I’d like to rewrite (I wrote the chapter five years ago), but on the whole I’m happy with how it came out.

4 thoughts on “Books”

  1. Who are the other key figures covered by “Makers of Modern Korean Buddhism”? I’m trying to find something digestible on Seong Cheol Kun Sunim, and to have him covered in the context of other major figures would be ideal.

    1. Hi Philip,
      if you click on the green book title (above), it will take you to, and you can use their “search inside the book” function to look at the table of contents and take a good look at the articles. There is a chapter on Seong Cheol Sunim, but I’m not sure how satisfied you’ll be with it. (It seems to be focused on the Sudden-Gradual argument.)
      It sounds like you’re looking for a twentieth century history of Korean Buddhism? There’s some good stuff in Korean, but not so much in English.
      I wrote a small paper on Hanam Sunim that briefly addressed Seong Cheol Sunim and the purification movement, but neither of those were the focus of the paper.

      You might also check this list of articles of the International Journal of Buddhist Thought and Culture:

      Aside from that, I think you’ll have to use google to put together a history of Seong Cheol Sunim. He relations with other sunims of the day who weren’t in his group won’t be easy to find, though. Let me know if you have any specific questions I can help with.

      with palms together,
      Chong Go Sunim

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