golden tara

We’ve also slowly been working on adding English subtitles to Daehaeng Kun Sunim’s video Dharma talks, and have made a separate YouTube channel for those as well. Here’s the link:



I realized that a bunch of English Dharma talks I’ve given at Dongguk U. have been up on YouTube. So, with their permission, I copied the videos and re-uploaded them on their own YouTube channel. Here’s a link to them for those who are interested.



Here’s a neat piece of the daily ceremonies at most temples in Korea. Take a look at this, and if you feel touched by it, try reciting it once a day for just the next week. See how you feel after reciting it. 


(here’s the link for the audio version of this week’s talk)





The Seven Homages (칠정례)
(from the Hangul translation by Seon Master Daehaeng)

With my whole heart, 
I vow to be the loving guide and teacher of all beings,
throughout all realms.
The foundation within me is my teacher,
and is none other than Sakayamuni Buddha.

With my whole heart,
I vow to remain calm and unstained by whatever confronts me,
taking care of it all while leaving behind no traces of myself.
This is fulfilling the role of a Buddha.

With my whole heart,
I vow to be present in the world, and with all embracing wisdom,
will realize the truth that is ever present.
Thus awakened,
a single thought raised from my foundation can free whomever I encounter.
This is manifesting the Dharma.

This wisdom of one mind,
with no barriers of learning nor material limitations,
taking care of everything far and wide,
is the Bodhisattva of Manifestation, just as it is.
With the compassion of one mind,
our inherent foundation sees everything in the world,
looking after it all, quietly vowing to save all beings.
This foundation of ours,
is found only by those who cherish its fragrance.
Everything venerates this fundamental mind.
It is the great Bodhisattva,
that takes care of all beings,
both living and dead,
and my own body as well.

With my whole heart,
I vow to brighten and follow my compassionate one mind,
my source,
limitless and endowed with everything.
In this great one mind that embraces every place,
all are my parents,
all are my brothers,
my sisters,
all are my disciples.
In this great one mind that embraces every place,
where body and mind are empty,
1,200 beings kept themselves clear and upright,
practiced without ceasing,
and so attained the great awakening,
the ultimate awakening,
and with the power of one mind,
share limitless compassion with the myriad beings of the world,
saving them all.

One mind,
where East and West are always one,
is manifesting in each and every moment,
ceaselessly shining forth the powerful light of wisdom,
ceaselessly transmitting the light of mind,
ceaselessly helping all beings to open their eyes.
When small beings gather and become true people,
become ripened people,
they are called teachers.
They gathered together everything under heaven into one,
until one day it burst forth,
and they realized its interconnected essence.
Then from within the song of this flowing one mind,
this Spring of the deepest wisdom,
great beings see that there is truly no dying or being reborn,
and from this place,
they raise great intentions that touch all life.
Thus, they come to be called “great beings.”

With my whole heart,
I vow to become someone who can ceaselessly take care of all beings
using the infinite discernment and penetrating wisdom of one mind.
Doing this in harmony with the principles of the unseen realms
is to be a true practitioner.

One mind,
the precious treasure of all times,
may I always follow its great love,
its great compassion.
May I always maintain an upright mind,
and with the great power of one mind,
may I banish all ignorance and dissolve the frozen ice.
In this way,
my greatest wish is that all beings,
every single one of them,
awakens to their great essence.



(Here’s the audio file for this talk.)

Notice the similarities to last week’s topic? Not only does the way we use our mind affect other people, it also affects the people and situations that are drawn into our life. What things in your life seem to follow you across the years and circumstances? 

This is Daehaeng Kun Sunim’s answer to a woman who asked whether she should leave her husband or not. Kun Sunim saw that the answer to her problem wasn’t quite so straight forward. 

“Let me begin by saying that your current spiritual level is the result of how you’ve lived in your previous lives, and this level naturally brings people of the same level to you. So, getting married to a person does not occur by chance. If there were 10 people in the  world who had the same spiritual level as you, one of them would be who you chose to marry.

Of course, there are many people at each level of spirituality, but you’re going to meet the ones most similar to your level.

So, if you want to change your “destiny” or “fate,” you have to change your current level. Raise your level to that of a free person. Even if you left your current situation and found another husband, you would meet someone who is on exactly the same level. Your shadow will keep arriving ahead of you.
You’ll keep meeting the same sorts of people. This is true for both men and women. If you really want to free yourself from the suffering this is creating, parting from the person is not the answer.

Instead, you should remind yourself, “Every single encounter I have, everything I go through, is possible because I am here to be part of it. I have to be here in order for there to be “others.” So, no matter what I experience, those results are only possible because I am there participating. This is true now, it was true in the past, and it will be the case in the future.” And then entrust everything you are confronting, along with this teaching, to your Juingong.
What you did, how you lived in the past was automatically input into your foundation, so when you add new input like this teaching, that too will be automatically recorded there, and when you keep practicing like this, it overwrites and erases what was previously there.

However, if you try to escape from your situation by leaving each other, you still won’t be free from the underlying causes of it all. To be free from the past input that is the source of this, you have to fix the problem right there, where you are confronting it. Otherwise, no matter where you go, the same problem will always follow you. If you do not address the problem in the moment you are confronting it, how can you expect it to be fixed?

How can you expect things to be different in other places?

The only way is for you, yourself, to take what’s coming out and keep returning it back inside.”



Here’s the audio file for this week’s talk. On this version of this talk, I spoke mostly about the implications of the fact that because we are connected to each other, we are constantly influencing and being influenced, and that other people and the things we face are likewise constantly changing; they aren’t some monolithic, separate thing that’s always going to be like that. Take care and have a great week!

[Here’s the text from a Dharma talk by Daehaeng Kun Sunim]

I’m telling you this because we, as well as everything else, are one connected whole that is continuously reacting to each other. Big, small, wide, narrow, doing well, doing badly — all of this changes according to what we do and the thoughts we give rise to. If we raise up our centered mind, then this connects with the centered mind that penetrates the heavens and the earth, and that energy becomes our own, to freely use as needed. And as we respond with this energy to the needs of the world, we naturally fulfill the roles of the Bodhisattvas.

In becoming this great mind, where the past, present, and future all function together as one, there’s no place for anything to stick to. Karma, genetics, microbes, ghosts, whatever — all of these will find no foothold here. Yet people who don’t raise up this centered mind will likely have a different experience of life.





Here’s the link to this week’s talk in this new series of English Dharma talks


We’re having a new series of English Dharma talks here at Hanmaum Seon Center in South Korea, and I’ll be (re)recording them and posting them here with the basic reading for each week. 

A major focus for this series of talks is going to be the thoughts we give rise to. This text, the morning bell chant, is (usually) the first thing monks and nuns hear each day.

Opening Verse (개경게)
All Buddhas’ minds are always there within my one mind.
Buddha’s mind can be realized in an instant,
but without knowing this instant, eons are spent wandering in suffering.
All Buddhas minds are one with my one mind,
and the truth taught by all Buddhas infuses everything I see, hear, and do.
All aspects of daily life, as well as the teachings of Buddha, are my one mind.

Mantra for opening the Treasure House of Dharma (개법장진언)
When I entrust everything that confronts me, and everything I do, to my one mind,
it takes care of it all.
May the sounds of this bell spread throughout all realms.
May it brighten even the darkest realms of hell.
May the suffering of animals, hungry ghosts, and those living in hell realms be
extinguished, and may the hell of knives collapse.
May all beings attain this virtuous enlightenment.
Homage to Vairocana, the loving and noble one of the Lotus World, who took the
jade scroll from the treasure chest of sutras and expounded upon the golden words
of the jeweled gatha:
“Every single particle is interconnected and interpenetrated with every other;
all realms are melded together and form one great whole.”
The one billion, ninety-five thousand and forty-eight characters of this teaching
are the complete teaching of the one vehicle. Homage to the great and vast Flower
Ornament Sutra.

The first verse (제일게)
If you would truly understand the Buddhas of all times, then you should deeply
reflect upon the truth of the Dharma-realm – that everything is created through

The mantra that breaks open all hell realms (파지옥진언)
Namu ah-da shi-ji-nam sam-mak sam-mot-da ku-chi-nam
om ah-ja-na ba-ba-shi ji-li ji-li hum.

In praise of our Buddha-nature
I vow to always follow one mind,
regardless of what others may do.
My heart will always be with one mind,
my thoughts will never leave one mind.
Deeply observing the Dharma realm,
I realize that there is an unseen thread
that connects absolutely everything.
This non-dual one mind exists in every single place.
In order to awaken and perceive this,
which has always been here,
I take refuge in one mind,
ever present, taking care of everything throughout all realms.
This is not something that can disappear or be caused to appear.
Namu Amitabul








Here’s Daehaeng Kun Sunim’s response to a question about illness, from a Dharma talk we’ve just finished translating. 

Kun Sunim: Imagine that you’re an infant who can’t even walk yet. The only thing a baby needs to do is hold onto the nipple and keep suckling. What is the point of an infant worrying about anything? If it takes a poo, it will be cleaned up. If she needs to sleep, a bed will be provided. The only thing a baby needs to do is feed when she’s hungry and sleep when she feels tired. What else is there to worry about?

The only thing you need to do is believe in your root. Completely rely upon it. All those trees [pointing outside] live by relying upon their root. To ask them if they believe in their root is like asking a person if they have a head. Absurd. When you see the leaves and branches, in that instant you automatically know that tree has a root.

You, too, have a root, a foundation that formed you. It’s because of this that you were born with this body and are able to perceive everything you encounter and everything in front of you. So, instead of chasing after those things, doesn’t it make more sense to rely upon the root that is the source of all that? You are the manifestation of this. Believe in the essence that’s formed you, the eternal essence that’s the source of your life!

People call it by all kinds of names, but just know that because you’re living here now, your Juingong is also here, working together with all the lives in your body, continuously flowing and changing.

If you’ve managed to evolve all the way up to a human being, then you have to take advantage of that, and work hard to deepen your spiritual level and seek to realize the truth.

Why? Because only humans, among all the animals, have the unique ability for growth and self-reflection. Many people don’t realize that everything in life is an opportunity to practice, so they run around here and there looking for something fascinating, or trying to find some fixed concept they can cling onto.

But the real point of your life is to know who you are. This is what you have to know. When you have faith in your essence, this faith will lead you to who you truly are. When you work at this, when you make an effort towards this, then unseen hands will help and protect you. Even the trees around you will turn into merciful Bodhisattvas that will guide you.

%d bloggers like this: