www.AwakeningHeart.org
Hearts Buddha in Hong Kong
Listen to this talk:
Ven. Beop Jun (Sunim):
Every Moment is New
(21 min.)
"Every Moment is New"
Transcript of a talk delivered by Ven. Beop Jun (Sunim).
Awakening Heart (Community of Mindful Living)
September 28, 2008 - Dallas, Texas

Sunim:
Mindfulness is every moment, right? Every moment. Every moment is a new moment. It's new. A new moment has no karma. Because it's new. No karma is no suffering. No suffering because… it's new. "No suffering" is mindfulness. We try and try mindfulness… and enjoy mindfulness.

The Venerable Beop Jun…
Ven. Beop Jun Sunim
The Venerable Beop Jun, Sunim, is the monk at the Bo-Hyun Temple and Zen Center in Richardson, Texas. Along with the regular practice conducted in Korean, the temple conducts an English gathering at which all are welcome to attend on most Saturdays at 10:00 a.m. Several of our Awakening Heart members consider the temple their Saturday morning home.

I'm done! (laughter)

So we all have suffering, right? I'm sad. I have suffering. Sometimes, I'm crying. So angry. So… fighting. Everything is suffering. But, in this world it's new, right? Every morning we open… it's new. New is no suffering. Please enjoy new.

I'm done, Monica.

Monica:
OK Sunim. Does anyone have any questions for Sunim? Her practice, how long she's been here…

Sangha member:
Where'd you come from Sunim?

Sunim:
I'm from South Korea.

Sangha member:
How long have you been here?

Sunim:
Almost two years.

(Sunim asks Monica) Why did you say Sunim is beautiful, so pretty, so cute… Why did you say that?

Monica:
That you're beautiful and pretty and cute?

Sunim:
Yeah.

Monica:
Well you are. They all know that now.

Sunim:
OK. Everybody say… (laughter)

Sangha member:
When I walked in, it felt delicious in this room.

Sangha member:
(joking) And you are not ever funny at all.

Sangha member:
Why did you come to Dallas. Of all the places in the world, why did you end up here?

Sunim:
Yes. Dallas. It has a long day in summer and a short night in summer, right? A long day and short night is… every day we try again to practice… long time… and long time… give us a long time… practice time. Maybe, I think…

Sangha member:
So, there's more daylight to practice?

Sunim:
Yeah. Buddha lived in India, right? So India has a long day and short night. So, he had a little bit of sleep and a long time would practice, and practice, and practice mindfulness… You are lucky guys.

Sangha member:
So, have traveled much in the area? Have you been to the museums and see the culture here?

Sunim:
Yeah. So last year Cornell and ChiSing and… we went together to see the…

Cornell:
Gardens? Botanical gardens?

Monica:
We went to the aquarium…

Sunim:
Garden and the aquarium. And the Modern Art Museum [Fort Worth]. I saw Picasso.

Br. ChiSing:
I promised Sunim that I would take her last year to the Japanese Zen Gardens and I haven't yet.

Sunim:
I don't forget. (laughter)

Br. ChiSing:
I'm waiting for a time when the whole sangha can come along too on a field trip.

Sunim:
When?

Sangha member:
Do you miss home? Do you miss South Korea?

Sangha member:
Do you think about it?

Sunim:
South Korea was my physical born country. But in this place, this area [Dallas] is my "life" country.

Sangha member:
Here?

Sunim:
Here.

Sangha member:
This is home?

Monica:
She says that she was born in Korea but her life is…

Sangha member:
Yeah, this is her home.

Sunim:
So, I think it's no different. In South Korea, in Dallas, or in Afghanistan, or North Korea, or Washington… It's no different.

Sangha member:
Where your heart is.

Sunim:
So, one more tip. We can change everything, right? No? We can change everything.

Several sangha members:
Yes.

Sunim:
I can change Monica, right now.

Several sangha members:
No.

Sunim:
No? Hey, Monica.

Monica:
Yes, Sunim?

Sunim:
Come a little closer?

Monica:
Mmm hmmm (turns and scoots closer)

Sangha member:
She just changed her.

Sunim:
She is changed. (laughter)

Sangha member:
What is your normal practice like each day? What is your normal schedule?

Sunim:
In the early morning I pray for the Buddha, or our communities and sanghas. And then at 10:00 a.m., I pray, the same. Then in the evening I pray for your sangha and all communities. So every day is prayer and sitting. But sometimes I use the restroom and eat and play basketball, work in the garden…

Sangha member:
Do you have sisters, nuns here or are you practicing alone?

Sunim:
Alone.

So, in different countries, maybe last year… I saw the Taiwan nun. So… in the music festival.

Cornell:
The one here?

Sunim:
Yeah.

Cornell:
She had a nun come stay with her for a while, right?

Sunim:
Yeah. Next October, the 2nd day? Maybe, my friend…

Sangha member:
Thursday

Sunim:
Next Thursday… Next Friday, next Friday… this Friday my friend, she's a nun, is coming here.

Monica:
From California?

Sunim:
From Korea.

Sangha member:
Do you have a family back in South Korea? Brothers or sisters?

Sunim:
Yeah, in my physical family I have my sister, two older brothers, and mom and my father. But, there is my physical family. So family is… yours is my family. You ARE my family. Monica is my older sister.

Monica:
(whispering) I am not old! (laughter) I'm only eighteen. You're twenty-two.

Sunim:
Twenty-two… Thank you.

Monica:
You're welcome.

Sunim:
My younger sister… And my younger brother (motioning to Br. ChiSing). So my family is yours. And the Buddha had a family, right? Suddhodana. You know Suddhodana? His father's name is Suddhodana. And his mother's name is Maya. And the second mom, Majaprajapati. His wife is Yasodhara. And he has one son who's name is Rahula. But that was physical family. Ours is [we are] Buddha's family.

Sunim:
Many Buddhists like Quan Yin, Avalokitasvara. So in South Korea or China many people think about Avalokitasvara. So people start crying… there's compassion and love and not afraid, not scared. Only Avalokitasvara…

Sangha member:
So can you tell me or maybe someone can tell me. When you see Quan Yin, she carries a vessel and sometimes it's not a vessel. It's like she holds a bottle or she's holding something. I know there's a representation or it means something and everytime I see a different statue, I wonder, "What is that?" Do we know what that little vessel or that little vase…

Sunim:
(motioning to a painting in the room) That is Quan Yin.

Sangha member:
Yeah. But she holds something that's supposed to be very significant, very important, very specific.

Sunim:
Some pictures or some statues, Quan Yin picks up a bottle. You see that?

Sangha member:
Yes, I have one and I don't know why [she has the bottle].

Sunim:
So, like this with water. But not water. This is…

Saturday meditation gathering at Bo-Hyun Temple in Richardson, Texas Saturday morning meditation gathering at Bo-Hyun Temple in Richardson, Texas. Photo by Sunghyun Kim.
Sangha member:
Empty?

Sunim:
Empty? No.

Sangha member:
Like fragrance? Like some special elixir or something?

Sunim:
Yes, like a pharmacy

Br. ChiSing:
It's medicinal.

Sangha member:
Oh, OK.

Sunim:
So it covers heart problems… care for your health, your heart problems, and mind problems…

Sangha member:
So compassion and maybe health care.

Sunim:
Yeah

Sangha member:
I'm confused. I thought Quan Yin was a Taoist goddess. Is she also Bodhisattva?

Sunim:
No, she was… She or he was… Bodhisattva was just a Bodhisattva. And Quan Yin Bosal just Quan Yin Bosal. Not god. Not Buddha. So before Buddha. So he… "I'm not Buddha because I have homework. The homework is that all people are taken care of." Do you understand? Cornell, please…

Cornell:
Yeah. She's saying that Quan Yin is not Buddha because she will always have work do to. She will always be taking of people. Maybe one day, when we're all enlightened, she won't have to take care of us all. But [until then] she always has work to do.

Sunim:
So many Eastern people think about Quan Yin Bosal. Quan Yin is counselor of our lives. Some problem or some anger… some… sad or depression… Anytime we find it (difficult), we talk to Quan Yin Bosal. Quan Yin Bosal is a counselor.

Cornell:
And a Bodhisattva always is one who helps others to enlightenment. They are not enlightened beings. So, when you hear Bodhisattva, it is someone whose job is to…

Monica:
Save all beings…

Sunim:
Yeah, like a… for example, ChiSing is Buddha and Monica is Quan Yin Bosal, Avalokitasvara. And Cornell is Chijang Bosal, is that what you say?

Br. ChiSing:
Kshitigarbha.

Sunim:
Yeah. So, like this. It's always Buddha and Quan Yin Bosal and … say it again…

Br. ChiSing:
Is it Kshitigarbha or Mahasthamaprapta? It depends on…

Sunim:
What? (laughter)

Br. ChiSing:
Never mind. Bodhisattva of compassion. Bodhisattva of power.

Sunim:
Power. So always Buddha and the right or left is Quan Yin Bosal and Chijang Bosal. Always, always.

Sangha member:
Sunim in the temple the figures featured on the altar… are those Kwanseum (Quan yin) and the other Buddha?

Sunim:
Yes.

Sangha member:
If anyone goes to visit the beautiful temple of Sunim, there are large paintings with many colors and gilt paintings. And she explained to us we don't worship them but they are…

Sangha member:
Admired?

Sunim:
OK, I'll translate. Like your (sangha) maybe one thousand or five hundred years later, someplace in some temple… like ChiSing and Monica and Cornell and yours… look at the pictures and the statues and yours…

Sangha member:
… of us?

Sangha member:
And we'd be a part of it because we're the followers.

Sunim:
Yeah. Thank you. So in my temple, you see the Buddha and Quan Yin Bosal is, there is umm. 2600 years ago … the people. Right now, if they left, and yours in 2600 years later, some people looked, it's yours.

Sangha member:
And so I can actually put something in that little… because I didn't want to put anything in that little bottle, cause I have a little Quan Yin and she has a little bottle that she holds… So it's medicinal. It's for health purposes.

Sunim:
Yes. Some pictures you see a bowl, a small bowl. And then some pictures a lotus and some pictures flowers. Some a little bit different. But, the care of yours.

Everyday, every time try and try. You can change your life. Your life is every moment. It's new, new. So new is no suffering. I know you all have suffering, right? Suffering is just suffering. Don't give up. Suffering is just suffering. You can change it. Because you are new, new, new. Every moment is new, new.

Transcribed by Cornell Kinderknecht

▲ Return to Top