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Let Your Space Be Filled with Compassion
2:40 a.m., Without fail, the temple begins the day with the sound of Ven. Hyenhyen’s moktak (wooden fish). Use of an alarm clock is prohibited and we must depend on the “clock of our awakened mind” to begin our day. In line with Ven. Heyenhyen’s early morning bell chanting, visitation to the Kutis (a solitary hut in the deep mountains) opens and everyone quickly offer incense and water to the Buddha in each room, then head toward the main Buddha Hall. The time is only 3 a.m when we begin the morning prayers, and by 5:30 a.m., prayers and meditation end.
Ms. Geumgangsim followed this daily routine for three month of winter. We think she is really great, as she firmly stayed for more than 50 days in this freezing room without complaints. One day, Ms. Geumgangsim left her daily life and came to this Jiri-san Mountain.
<Pic. Day of making citron tea >
Every morning after the morning service, Ven. always gives a talk. “Ok… questions?” After answering various questions, his living and breathing Dharma talk begins. This morning’s Dharma talk was on, “Let your space be filled with compassion.”
“This thing called “I” is not the physical body which decays after death. The body and “I” coexist, only because of our endless habitual delusion. The true “I” is like the air that we breathe, it is inexhaustible and infinite and will not be “caught” (always free). If “I” was the body, how vain could it be? Do not identify yourself with anything. Always be in the present, be free and infinitely vast, and this inexhaustible “I” must be realized.
After you accomplish this, fill this “empty” mind with compassion. Just like mothers who think only of her babe and transform her ruby like blood to pure white milk, practitioners must be filled with such compassion for the benefit of all sentient beings. Only with compassion we fill the “empty space”. We must make the space breath with compassion. Can you understand?”
And that afternoon, Ven. gave Ms. Heumgangsim a writing homework. The topic was on “Let my space be filled with compassion.” When she returned with her writing, I can see that the fruit of her devotional prayer to Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha can be seen. I pray that her earnest devotional mind will always remain…
*In the spring of 2009, Ms. Geumgangsim is practicing earnestly to join the monastic order.