Hyon Gak Sunim (A Korean Zen Modern day Monk)

Hello all, Here is two great video’s of Hyon Gak Sunim (a Korean Zen Buddhism, Modern Monk)

He is a great teacher.  I Love his way of teaching, I find he put’s Zen’s teachers/Meaning, in a way that people can understand……. The first video is an interview with him and the second is a day in a life with him.

Interview with Hyon Gak Sunim.

“In this program, Dennis Wholey has a conversation about Buddhism with Hyon Gak Sunim, guiding teacher of the Seoul International Zen Center at Hwa Gye Sah Temple in Seoul, South Korea. Topics of discussion include the principle of nowness; the meaning of dukkha; the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path; Buddhist resonances with the teachings of Jesus and Socrates; the Buddhist temple experience; how Hyon Gak Sunim, raised a Roman Catholic in America, came to Buddhism; and the popularity of Buddhism in the 21st century. The program also goes inside the Center’s temple to illustrate aspects of Buddhist worship.” (27 minutes)

 

“Mirror Of Zen”

“Zen’s ancient teachings seem a mystery to many. But actually, Zen is very simple: Zen means attaining my true self — “What am I?” In this revolutionary film by acclaimed filmmaker Christine Schmitthenner, we see a Western Zen monk in his daily activities in the world: chanting, meditating, preparing breakfast, riding public transport, meeting with friends, even shaving his head — from moment to moment, not attached to conceptual thinking, everything is Zen, which just means everything is “moment.” The subject of this unusual film, Hyon Gak Sunim, allowed filmmakers to follow his daily living and teaching activities for a week as he met with students and organized his daily activities. Sunim is widely recognized as one of the most influential Zen monks in modern Korean Buddhist history, a graduate of Yale and Harvard who entered the monastic life in 1992 and has done over 20 years of intensive Zen training in the ancient Zen temples of Korea. His enlightenment was certified (“inka”) in a public ceremony in 2001 by his teacher, the legendary Zen Master Seung Sahn (1927-2004). Now based in the West, he wanders the world, teaching wherever invited.”

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Walk with me (Trailer)

Hi guys, this is a short post, I would just like to mention the following Film that’s due to Premiere in 2017.

It follows deep inside a Zen Buddhist community and the Zen teacher, peace maker and poet  Thich Nhat Hanh.  I  Can’t wait for the film to be released, I am very much looking forward to it, as I have been a long time follower of Thay’s teachings….. Enjoy the trailer.

 

Walk With Me (website)

 

Zen Buddhism

Hi guys, thought I would drop in a post to let you know what has been happening in my personal life.
As many of you know I suffer from a condition know as Bipolar disorder, I have had this condition since an early age of my life, as a result of this, I am always searching for new ways to cope with this condition and to grow and evolve spiritually .  Apart from daily doses of medication, which work for me, and help keep  me stable, (Well as much as they can….)   I am still left with the niggling bits of this illness….. I am very seclusive, I don’t socialize very well, the PC computer is my link to the outside world,over the years I have experienced  many series of Psychotic episodes, ranging from auditory voices, Paranoia  delusional states etc.

One thing I have learned throughout my life, is that everyone suffers in their own lives,  on a daily basis and everyone wants to escape this suffering and would rather be happy, but how do we do this???

From researching and practicing  Eastern Philosophies such as Zen buddhism and Taoism and the Man himself my idol  Bruce Lee,  I feel I have found my way to escape this suffering.
My research and practice  has lead me to this!

Our suffering comes from our own mind!  We are always constantly unaware of the thinking state, we are either thinking of past events or what’s to come, never in the moment, the chattering and commentary mind is always at work projecting these thoughts and we are so unaware of them and in most cases we are living these thoughts from past or future as the living present moment, but that shouldn’t be the case.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could have a break from this mind?

Wouldn’t it be great to be aware of things as they really are, without the mind causing anxiety by projecting thoughts of the future or past clouding our decisions if to do something or not out of life?

Through Mindfulness Meditation or self inquiry we can accomplish this, as everything it takes daily practice to achieve something, but I have found it’s well worth it.buddha-1612745_1920

Lets break  Mindfulness meditation in half to explore whats going on here.

When  sitting for mindful meditation, one needs to find a quiet place to do so somewhere where you will not be disturbed for a while.  You can sit in a chair or lying down or in the basic crossed legged architect position.

First, Half close you eyes and gentle glance to the floor, now the next step is to pay attention to your breathing, feel the breath as you inhale and exhale, breath from the centre of your stomach  (Not your chest)  Breath naturally not forced. This breath awareness will ground you….Of course you mind will not let you concentrate for long, it will start to project thoughts of the past or future, memories, goals etc, People think mindful meditation is about NOT thinking, stopping all thoughts, this is impossible!!   What this meditation is about is to learn to be fully aware of when your thinking, when it arises.

One example I like to use of how to explain this method is this;

“Imagine a the ocean, with the waves crashing around on the surface of the waters, everything so much hecticness and so much kios nothing in the water is clear, this is our thinking mind on a daily basis!  But the further down or deeper you go everything becomes still you can see clearly it becomes serene and calm, this is the awakened mind, when we are in mindfulness state”

 

So lets get back to the Meditation method, when you feel you mind being pulled away from your breathing, let the thoughts come, you may want to label it gentle by silently saying “thinking”  then let the thoughts dissolve gently just as a cloud comes and disappears.DO NOT try to avoid  your thoughts, just let them simply come and go and gently retrun back to your breathing, keep repeating this as the thoughts occur. this is know as taming the mind or monkey mind.

This in between thoughts…. Is what we are aiming for, before a thought arises again, this is zen… This is the state of serenity in which we are just there in the moment, everything just as it is!!! No thoughts of past or future, no worries or anxiety, This state of mind with practices, gets bigger and bigger, so you can be in the moment when you are washing dishes, out walking, when worries occur etc.
In the beginning of sitting, you will experience you mind will be all over the place, one minute you will be watching the breath, then you thoughts will take you away from it for minutes at a time, without you even releasing it, but with pratices you will learn to tame this mind.

This can take a life time to become  total in this state of mind, but I found big changes in myself, after a few weeks or months after practicing mindfulness meditation. I felt calm in myself more, and able to handle inner and outer turmoil better.
Anyway, I hope that my research and practices brings you some goodness to your life as it has mine, Zen is a daily practice for myself since November 2015 and each day I am becoming more aware and living in the moment and learning about my true nature of who I am…….  As always, please email me if you have any question, take care.

“The medicine for my suffering I had within me from the very beginning but I did not take it. My ailment came from within myself, but I did not observe it until this moment. Now I see I will never find the light unless, like a candle, I am my own fuel.” –
Bruce Lee

 

“NOTE DISCLAIMER”
All of the above is from my own practice and research, I do not claim to be an experienced tutor in Mindful meditation, I am self taught.