It feels like just yesterday since the new year began, but it’s already May. Two weeks have passed since the 5th 100-day practice Prayer began.
At 4:30am, after meditating while listening to Jongseong (종성: morning bell), the 5th 100-day began praying for the 13th day at 5am sharp after finishing Yebul (예불: chanting). It has been raining hard since dawn at the Dubuk Retreat Center (두북수련원).
More than 4,000 prayers logged on to the live broadcast, and sang the scriptures alone after performing Three Refuges, Words for Practice, Repentance, and 108 bows.
After 1000-Day Practice, Sunim explained the contents of the scripture that he read today.
“The scriptures we are reading these days are from the “Law Sutras.” It is a scripture that summarizes what the Buddha said in verse.
Happiness is what I make.
Unhappiness is what I make.
Happiness and unhappiness –
it’s not something other people make.
“Happiness does not eventually fall from heaven, does not rise from the ground, does not come from others, and I am the one make it. Buddha taught us.”
The most important thing when practicing
“You should do it on the day you don’t want to do it, not just the day you do; not because you are attracted to emotions, feelings, and desires, on the day you want to do it. Do it consistently on the day you don’t want to because emotions can change from one moment to another. How often do you change your mind, it happens like a boiling pot.
The mind is malleable, always changing without always being. So, you shouldn’t be controlled by your heart. It’s just an emotion that happens at that moment. Feeling good and bad, and desires arising and then disappearing can’t be helped by me right now. Even if there are ups and downs of emotions, you must continue to devote yourself to practice. As you continue, the turbulent storm gradually subsides.” Sunim said.
As soon as Sunim finished the live broadcast, he left the Dubuk Retreat Center and headed to Jungsaengsa (중생사) Temple in Busan, where his teacher, Domoon Sunim (도문스님), was located. Today is the 87th birthday of Domoon Sunim. We drove for an hour and arrived at Jungsaengsa Temple.
“Happy birthday, Domoon Sunim” said Pomnyun Sunim.
“Oh, thank you” said Domoon Sunim.
When Pomnyun Sunim was preparing for the final exam of the first year of high school, he stopped by Bunhwangsa (분황사) Temple in Gyeongju (경주). Domoon Sunim asked this high school student why he seemed so busy. As the conversation ended, finally Domoon Sunim said to him,
“Why are you so busy when you don’t know where you’re coming from or where you’re going?”
Pomnyun was enlightened by the question and immediately became a monk. Fifty years have passed since then.
“I’m always sorry for the burden.” Domoon Sunim said.
“No, not at all”, replied Pomnyun Sunim.
Pomnyun Sunim bowed to him three times and took a commemorative photo for his 87th birthday.
He left Jungsaengsa Temple in Busan and came back to Dubuk Retreat Center.
At 1pm, some of the volunteers at the Peace Foundation arrived at the Dubuk Retreat Center to help him with his farming work. Everybody changed into their work clothes and headed to the green house together. From the afternoon, the rain stopped and the sun appeared and disappeared from the clouds.
First, the person in charge of the farming team at the Dubuk Retreat Center guided everyone through today’s work.
“We have four big things to do today. First, it is to make seedlings of sesame seeds. Second, weed in a green house. Third, line and mesh where tomatoes and zucchini are planted. Fourth, remove plastic vinyl from the field. Now, let’s divide the teams, shall we?”
“You’ve grown a lot already.” Sunim said.
It’s just amazing that seedlings grows up day by day. After checking the seedbed, he came back to the green house and worked with the volunteers to remove weeds.
As if they were running for a hundred meters, they settled down one furrow at a time from Line 1 to Line 5, and moved forward by pulling weeds with a hoe. There were the most weeds on the edge of the Sunim’s row, but he was the first to finish.
“When I was young, I planted a lot of barley fields. Since elementary school, I’ve already been competing with adults plowing fields.” Sunim said.
“It’s a field that an old man used to farm in the neighborhood, and we started farming this year. But there are weeds growing on the ground covered with plastic. Pull out the big weeds first and remove all the plastic.” Sunim said.
Potatoes were planted in the lower field of the mountain not too long ago. Potatoes were already sprouting and growing well.
We went down the mountain and shared our minds on the farm. One by one, we talked about how we felt about working together today.
“Usually when children come, they don’t work but play or complain, but I was happy that they worked hard for the first time in a long time. I hoped there were healthy kids like that these days. The parents raised their children well. It was nice working with you.” Sunim shared his mind.
The monk finished today’s schedule after taking a commemorative photo with volunteers. It has been a long day.