Illuminating the Buddha Within

This is a short Dharma talk Daehaeng Kun Sunim gave for the Buddha’s Birthday.

We celebrate the Buddha’s Birthday every year,
but this year I feel strongly that we need to use this opportunity
to exert ourselves.

As you light lanterns this year,
and brighten and develop your mind,
think of the Buddha’s teachings, which showed us this path.

This life we cling to
lasts only for a season,
yet within an instant of our daily life
are all of the truths and principles
of the universe.

These are what we must awaken to;
this is what is truly urgent.
So don’t light lotus lanterns
trying to create
some small bit of good luck.

Lighting a lotus lantern reminds us that
our mind exists everywhere
throughout the universe,
and because you exist, others exist,
because others exist, everything exists.
This instant of our daily life,
where everything works together peacefully
to the extent we are harmonious,
shows us that, just as it is, light fills the world and
the Buddha is brightly present within each of us.

Each of you has the exact same Buddha-nature as Sakyamuni,
each of you was born in a Buddha realm and are being guided by the Buddha.
So just as the Buddha teaches us,
if you throw away “I,” if you throw away your egotism,
you can live brightly, free of suffering,
able to draw upon the unlimited ability within,
and send forth radiant energy.

Under the lotus lanterns

If you are continuously letting go of “I,”
if you’re truly living in the present moment,
the effects of a single thought
can reverberate
throughout the entire Dharma realm.
Living like this,
the true worth of life
becomes abundantly clear,
and as a disciple of the Buddha,
with gratitude towards the Buddha,
you can live freely, as a true human being,
able to take care of everything in creation. 

            –Daehaeng Kun Sunim