Freeing ourselves from resentment as a way of finding our own path

This machine surrounds hate and forces it to surrender

We’re working on a new Dharma talk that we should have published in August, and the opening has haunted me.
Daehaeng Kun Sunim opens with a couple of paragraphs about how anger and resentment, blame and despising hinder us. She just touches on it – poof – and moves on, leaving me devastated in her wake.
Her whole point is that not only do these states damage us, while we are spending time on them, we aren’t moving forward! We’re losing daylight. We have stopped taking steps down our own path, the one we were born to fulfill. The path we need to travel to ensure we don’t end up right back here.
All the effort, all the time complaining about the stupidity of politicians, (or silently looking down on them,) of city employees, of, of, of, — none of that was spent doing what I needed to do. All that time was me just standing in a wide spot in the road, looking off into the fields. All that time was neglecting my real work.
So I’m not going to look back. I’m not going to get caught up in whatever people over there are doing. As best I can, I’m going to go forward with a light heart, wishing well for everyone. And if I see blame or resentment, or the desire to despise or compare, I’m going to take that as a sign that I need to be letting go of something heavy, and looking forward again.

This daily life of ours is like walking on a frozen lake, all the while trying to juggle a hundred different things. And the ice is thin. Very thin. Would you stop and build a campfire on such ice? No. But that’s what happens when we get angry.

People don’t realize just how thin the ice is, yet they build a fire there and keep feeding it with anger, blame, resentment, and attempts to dominate and control others. How soon before the ice gives way? How long before they’re left flailing and struggling, trying to escape the freezing water? They certainly won’t be taking any more steps forward on their path.

For example, suppose this building was on fire. Finding a way out would be the only thing on your mind. Every other problem would be forgotten. Learning how to rely upon your fundamental mind and free yourself is exactly this urgent.

— Seon Master Daehaeng, “Dancing on the Whirlwind,” 2019, forthcoming

Mind, the Treasure House

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I’ve been working on stuff to reprint some of our older books, as part of that, I had the idea to do some short Dharma talks based on those books. So here goes! 🙂

Whether you live as a monk or a layperson, you must rely upon your inner self, honestly and devotedly, and produce results through your own efforts without hoping that someone else will intercede for you….
No one can give you happiness and freedom, and no one can take them away either. No one else can take your place when it comes to these things. Ultimately, you are the one who takes care of yourself.

– Seon Master Daehaeng, “Mind, Treasure House of Happiness”

Simply because we were born as human beings, we have the ability to make full use of this inherent foundation, this fundamental “mind” that we are born with. We can take in everything, turn it around, and then send it back out as something new.

Just as with life-long learning, how we handle the things we are confronting conditions our future. How well we continue trying to entrust everything to our foundation determines what kind of role we can fulfill in the future, whether that future is a week from now or a lifetime from now.

Quite simply, it’s mind that frees mind. It’s also mind that hinders itself when we say, “This can’t be done.” We have the ability to leap over the old piles of these hindering thoughts if we just make use of it. We all have this bright, divine nature within us. Whether we call it Buddha-nature or God, Allah or Inner Divinity doesn’t matter. When we go forward relying upon this, and letting its ability flow forth, we can overcome the weight of old habits and karma, and begin to live afresh. Every single one of us has the ability to do this. We all have the right to do this.

Week 6 Dharma talk- “The Examination” and “The Man who Ran out of Merit”

Here’s the last Dharma talk of this series. It ended up cover two stories because I realized that they complimented each other. One is about intention and our foundation, and the other is about the selflessness that fuels our spiritual growth. Thanks for joining me for these talks!

The Life of a Truly Free Person

For a wet Wednesday afternoon, here’s a poem by Daehaeng Kun Sunim that’s also used as a song. These songs are so good! lol. They just blow me away.

A Great Being

This mountain, that mountain,
great mountain, green mountain.
Stepping down into the world,
reaching up and grabbing heaven and earth,
making them my hat,
hanging the moon and sun from my staff,
taking a drink of clear water.
This life of one who has truly awakened,
what more could anyone want?

This mountain, that mountain,
great mountain, green mountain.
Gathering all the loose strands together,
forming them into a top knot,
using my staff as a hair pin
to hold them all steady.

Oh, what more could anyone want,
than this life of a free person?

Looking up at the sky
as I strike the earth with my staff,
a pillar of energy rises up
and penetrates the heavens,
and the heavens begin to rotate around this pillar.

Pierced and connected by this lion’s pillar of fire
is every being in the universe.
Crossing back and forth between the realms of the
living and the dead,
flowing with the truth,
nothing left undone,
this life of a truly awakened one.

— Daehaeng Kun Sunim