Buddhist teachings according to Korean Zen (Seon) and Seon Master Daehaeng: Buddha-Dharma encompases all of life; dying three times; One Mind

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    Seon Master Daehaeng taught people to entrust everything that confronts them to their inherent foundation. She taught people to have faith and let go. Having faith in your inherent nature, your root, and your foundation is the main ingredient of the practice. Everything that is experienced, outside of yourself or within yourself, including thoughts and emotions, every little and big thing has to be entrusted and let go into your own root, your essence, your buddha-nature. The faith in this foundation of yours, unconditional faith, is what allows us to let go and entrust everything to this foundation of yours.

    By Tanya Doyle

    Author profile on the bottom of the page.

    Seon Master Daehaeng, founder of Hanmaum Seon Centers (part of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism) taught:

    “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.” [4]

    Buddha Weekly Daehaeng Kun Sunim teaching Dharma talk Buddhism
    Daehaeng Kun Sunuim.

    Everyday life and Dharma practice

    Practice in everyday life with whatever arises is the main emphasis of her teachings. Letting go to the Buddha-essence within is like throwing everything to the furnace that can melt all the suffering and transform it into something new and positive. This practice of entrusting to our root (buddha-nature) allows us to deal with problems of the body as well as problems that arise outside. Daehaeng Kun Sunim * encourages to have unwavering faith as that’s what keeps us connected to our foundation, which is connected to the foundation of the whole Universe. In One Mind [3] everything is always connected and functions together. Even though there is “me” and “you”, they are inherently empty, but although it is empty, there exists one thing, to know it we cultivate our minds.

    Video on the topic of “Many Doors to awakening” (answering a student’s question) from the Hanmaum Seon Center Youtube Channel:

    Daehaeng Kun Sunim talked about dying three times in order to see yourself. It is called dying because it is killing the “I”, it is not physically dying, of course. Entrusting everything is letting go of everything, unconditionally. Good things let go with gratitude, and when things don’t go well, or not at all, return them with faith that your foundation can solve it. From a teaching on the Hanmaum Seon Centre website:

    “…[L]et’s begin by thinking deeply about the meaning of what Shakyamuni Buddha said and did when he was born into this world. He said, “Above and below the heavens, there is nothing that is not me.”[5]

    Daehaeng Kusunim taught lay people

    Daehaeng Kunsunim broke Korean patriarchal traditions and taught monks as well as nuns — and made a special emphasis to teach laypeople, so everybody could benefit from the power of the mind that is inherent within them.

    Daehaeng Kun Sunim taught: “Yu should know that in Hanmaum (One Mind) everything – plants, bugs, animals, and even beings without life – ceaselessly functions together. Although everything functions together like this, as I said earlier, there is clearly “you” and “I.” But the very existence of “you” and “I” is empty, and in the midst of such emptiness, there certainly exists one extraordinary thing. In order to discover it, we are cultivating mind together.

    This fundamental mind is within you, it is the source of your existence, and has led you over the eons. Thus, that is what you have to believe in and rely upon.

    Dharma talk by Daehaeng Kun Sunim “Turning things around!”


    If you have a firm belief in your foundation and always rely upon it, there is nothing else you have to try to practice.

    There are many different teachings because there are so many different kinds of people with different levels of development, so various types of skillful means are necessary. However, all of the various teachings and methods were based upon the realization that there is an inherent foundation within each one of us that connects us as one and through which we all function as one.

    Daehaeng Kun Sunim: do not discriminate between traditions

    Daehaeng Kun Sunim taught people to not to discriminate between different Buddhist teachings and even between different religions. She taught to see others as yourself, love others as yourself, and be aware that you and they are all connected together, and function as one whole.

    She said this connection is called many things – Buddha-Nature, true self, God, the Father, the Mother, and so on — but it is within you, so rely on it, and entrust it with everything that arises in your life, and everything you struggle with and are caught up in, and then go forward like this, entrusting and letting go, experimenting with this and paying attention.  Remain aware and observe. Notice what happens from your experiments. Let go of even those and go forward again.


    Buddha Weekly Hanmaum Seo Centre Buddhist Temple founded by Daeheng Kun Sunim 1972 Buddhism
    Hanaum Seon Centre founded by Daehaeng in 1972. (Visit their website here>>)


    Daehaeng taught:

    “You should entrust everything that comes up in your life – solitude, poverty, loneliness, anxiety, and illness – to your foundation and live freely. Entrusting everything is letting go of everything.” [5]




    [1] Kun Sunim in Korean means great monk or nun
    [2] Tibetan Yogi
    [3] “One Mind”, in Korean it is HanMaum “Han” means one, great, and combined, while “maum” means mind, as well as heart, and also means the universal consciousness that is the same in everything and every place. Thus “Hanmaum” means both the state where everything is interconnected as one and also the functioning where everything lives and works together as a whole.

    [4] “Life itself is Dharma” Dharma talk recorded on the Dharma Talks page of Hanmaum Seon Centre>>

    [5] Dharma talk “To Discover your True Self I must die.”

    More articles by this author

    Hanaum Seon Centre founded by Daehaeng in 1972.
    Buddhist teachings according to Korean Zen (Seon) and Seon Master Daehaeng: Buddha-Dharma encompases all of life; dying three times; One Mind

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    Tanya Doyle

    Author | Buddha Weekly

    Tanya's interest in Buddhism started after attending a psychology course of "personality and personal growth" in a University. Taking interest in both Korean Zen and Tibetan Buddhism, she found it helpful in applying both traditions to my own practice, mainly focusing on the teachings of Daehaeng Kun Sunim and Milarepa, the Great Yogi of Tibet. "I believe that everybody can discover the treasure within, because everybody already have this precious treasure that is Mind."

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