No River to Cross
[The following are some excerpts from Daehaeng Kun Sunim’s book, No River to Cross]
Entrust and Observe
You have to keep letting go of your stubbornness, and always be deeply respectful of all life and things. This is returning to and relying upon the Buddha-Dharma. This is also how to become a free person. Always be humble. Be humble. The fragrance of your broad and generous mind will warm other’s hearts.
The Path to Awakening
Enlightenment does not mean getting rid of an unenlightened self, and then finding a self that is a Buddha somewhere else. Because you are a Buddha, there is no self to throw away, and no self to find. Just get rid of ignorance and delusions, and you will know that you are a Buddha and that you are already complete as you are. If you awaken to this, you will burst out laughing at how much effort you spent in order for you to become yourself. This is the laughter of peace and joy.
When true nature appears, you will feel indescribable happiness. But this is not the end. From this point, you must go forward from the perspective of your foundation, the true doer. This is when true practice begins.
The Essence of Buddhism Lies in Applying and Experiencing
If you want to realize truth, the Buddha-Dharma, you have to experience it through your daily life, your body, and your mind. What could you possibly find by ignoring these and looking for the truth somewhere else? The Buddha taught people to experience the truth for themselves, because this is the only way to become truly free.
Don’t get caught up in theories or arguments—just taste the truth for yourself. Instead of discussing whether the watermelon is ripe or not, just cut it open and take a bite. This is true meditation, and it is meditation in action.
All visible and invisible phenomena are meditation in action. Thus as long as you think that enlightenment is something apart from your daily life, you will never realize enlightenment.
Life Itself is Dharma
The Buddha-Dharma encompasses all of the things you do in your life— walking, speaking, and moving. Thus the truth that has been taught by every Buddha exists not only in the Dharma Hall, but also in your bedroom, kitchen, and workplace. The life of laypeople and teachers are not different in terms of practice.
As with most problems, there is a portion that others can help you with, but only you can take care of the most fundamental parts. You do this by entrusting everything, even disease and pain, to your foundation. This is because everything, including disease, arises from your foundation, so that is where the solutions also need to start from
Further, everything in this world happens through the combined functioning of the fifty percent that is the material realm and the fifty percent that is the non-material realm, so to properly solve anything, you need to include both halves, i.e. both the material world and your fundamental mind.
Money and Prosperity
Spiritual practice is wisely taking care of the things that confront you in your daily life, including even money and property. So no matter whether you have a little money or a lot, understand that you only manage it, you don’t own it. In fact, that money has no owner, it is not your money, it is not other’s money—it is something that is endlessly circulating. It comes and it goes. So continuously let go of your attachments to it.
The path of becoming a Buddha lies in the midst of taking care of your family and looking after the people in your life. Take the things that confront you right now, and melt them down. If you talk and worry about things that are far away, while ignoring the tasks that are right in front of you, this can be called the mind of greed. If you cannot overcome the problems that face you in your daily life and home, then you are not at the stage where you can talk about the Buddha-Dharma. You must throw away everything without throwing away anything. This means that you throw away attachments, but you do not throw away the people and situations that confront you in your life. Taking care of the things that arise in your life is the action of a Bodhisattva.
Before blaming your parents or children, your wife or husband, you need to know that all beings gather together according to their similar karma. They gather together because they have similar affinities and in the past created similar karma. You should also know that blaming others is one of the most spiritually harmful things you can do.
Even though others may seem better than you, don’t look down upon yourself. Even though you may seem better than others, don’t become full of yourself. Always try to be compassionate and broad-minded. Love each other, share each other’s burdens, and share what you have with others. This kind of love is more than enough to take care of everything in the world.
Happiness and Harmony
Joy and suffering arise at the point where you begin to discriminate between good and bad, between what you like and what you don’t like. However, true happiness is more than the good feeling you get when things go your way. True happiness arises from letting go of your discriminations, from the middle way, which transcends all dualities.
Teachers and Learning the Path
There is no place in the Buddha realm and universe that is not your place. No matter whether you are in the Dharma Hall or sitting on the toilet, because you exist at that place, true self exists together with you, and Buddha also exists together with you. Nevertheless, there are many people who ignore Juingong(their fundamental, enlightened nature)and wander around outside, trying to find a better teacher or a better place for praying. They don’t know that within themselves they have their own Dharma Hall, which is always filled with light and where Buddha is always present.
Be able to forgive everything. When such a beautiful mind works together as one with all life and
things in the universe, true giving—unconditional giving without “you” or “me”—will be possible.
Fate and Destiny
There is no such thing as fate or destiny. Everything depends upon how you use your mind.
When you are not free from attachments, those will end up becoming the causes of what you experience. Thus, ultimately, happiness and unhappiness depend upon how you use your mind.