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Dharma Talk for the New Year
In the Year of the White Rat, Buddhist Era 2564
by Jongjeong, or Supreme Patriarch Jinje
of the Jogye Order of Korea Buddhism
Around the morning of a New Year, when fortune rolls in, is there the wisdom of Buddha or not? Indeed, there is. Then, how can you have good fortune in the New Year?
It is to have children in each family run around in colorful clothing while adults enjoy each other’s company over a drink in a guest room.
The New Morning has dawned in the Year of the White Rat. The radiating sunlight rising this morning has widely opened the door of transformation that can turn defilements into wisdom and ignorance into enlightenment. Likewise, in the Dharma-realm of thusness or suchness, there endow all kinds of virtue or goodness because acceptance and humility are the materials for such a world. Henceforth, “I” utterly become “us,” “selfishness” to “altruism,” and “self-conceit” to “compassion.”
Once awakened to wisdom, the worldly things and the buddha-dharma are not two. The pervading light of wisdom has always been shining over the countless worlds in the ten quarters that there was no You or I in the first place, so there is inherently no right or wrong. There is dark in the midst of light, and light in the middle of dark that light and dark are one.
The aim of a religion is not only to purify the inner workings of mankind, but also to foster a better world. The Buddhist teachings of wisdom and compassion should be the foundation of society and politics so that respect for all life and happiness of all men can be realized.
Dear Fellow Citizens:
When you go about your business each day, take on this hwadu or critical phrase of ‘What was my true self, prior to being born to my parents?’ You will be able to realize your true self.
In the state of being your true self, you can attain complete freedom;
in the state of being your true self, there is genuine peace;
in the state of being your true self, there is imperishable justice;
in the state of being your true self, there is bright wisdom;
and in the state of being your true self, there is long-lasting happiness.
What shall be the last piece of wisdom?
Mangohwiyeon hacheomyeok <萬古徽然何處覓>
Dudumulmul hyeongopung <頭頭物物現古風>
It has been shining for thousands of years. Where on earth are you trying to find it?
At the end of anything and everything, its ultimate wisdom shall reveal itself.
On January 1st, Buddhist Era 2564
Jongjeong, or Supreme Patriarch Jinje of the Jogye Order of Korea Buddhism