Author Topic: Determination!  (Read 6056 times)

Ensapa

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4124
    • Email
Determination!
« on: July 08, 2012, 07:02:44 PM »
This is a nice article on determination by a Korean monk and how he plans to make some sort of a pilgrimage and to test his endurance by going on a cross-country cycling regiment. It is interesting to read of his plans! Although his theory that it could help him realize emptiness is a bit...yeah...but interesting effort tho.

Quote
Monk to test his endurance to discover "Emptiness"
by Dave Pope, The Buddhist Channel, May 31, 2012
Help Sunim cross The Americas by bicycle


Winnipeg, Canada -- Sunim Daeung is a 42 year old Korean Monk on an epic adventure of self discovery. His goal is to circumnavigate all of North America then travel down the west coast of Mexico and continue all the way to the southern tip of South America....on a bicycle!

<< Sunim Daeng in Vernon, British Columbia, April 26th 2012

He says he will camp whenever possible and stay in hostels when he can't. The members of his temple have been saving and donating to send him on this trip for a very long time.

I asked what motivated him to embark on such a trip. He humbly replied, in just four soft spoken words, while gently placing his open palm to his chest, "To test my spirit".


 The immensity of the task facing Sunim as he treks across the American continent are as follows:
He has limited language skills for the countries that he will be travelling through.
He is on this side of the world for the first time of his life
He restricts himself to only what he can carry on a bicycle and sets out to peddle around two continents
He's unsure about how long it will take
He has no idea how far he will make each day, with no reservations and no itinerary
He has no contacts, no chase van and no support network.
He has willfully removed himself from family, friendship, a home, comfort, security and the ability to communicate easily, forsaking all that and replacin it with hardship, isolation, physical exhaustion, hunger, homelessness, uncertainty and danger.
In other words, he is completely and utterly alone in a strange world.
Sunim entered the monastic life at 19 years old and has spent the last 23 years of his life helping and teaching others. Sunim started his Journey Of Spirit in Vancouver and is presently heading through southern Saskatchewan and heading for Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City and then on to the east coast and St. Johns NB.

From there its down to New York City then west to California. Then it's south to Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, San Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile and finally to the southern tip of Argentina. 
           

Through this endurance, Sunim is demonstrating the very essence of "emptiness" by offering to test the limits of his body and mind. Along the way, he believes he will discover some parts of this truth or Dharma as taught by Buddha.

This article is an appeal to readers who happen to stay along Sunim's path to make offerings to this monk, by allowing him to have a warm bed and a hot meal at every stop he makes.

In the east, making offerings to monks, where it is known as "dana" is a virtuous and meritorious deed. What more if the offering ends with some words of wisdom from the monk, and the synergy of this symbiotic relationship is thus complete.

Sunim is a kind and gracious monk, who will positively influence the lives of those he encounters, even if just for a day.

Sunim's route update page (on Facebook):
https://www.facebook.com/groups/339799639416148/doc/344166922312753/

KhedrubGyatso

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 185
    • Email
Re: Determination!
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2012, 02:28:29 AM »
This is a very innovative way to try to gain realization of ultimate truth ! Since all phenomena has the same ultimate nature or reality, in theory anything can trigger realizations in us . This does not happen for most of us because we don't have much or any holy seeds in our mindstream that could be triggered and had created tons of obstacles outer, and inner to block us , even if the supportive conditions are around.
This Korean monk's endeavour to gain realizations through such a physical  feat  could be a first . As with any physical challenge or activity , it is the mind that is the first to be tested whether it is about endurance, determination, courage etc. In this respect, from the point of view of practice, it is no different from one who choose to live in solitary in a cave to meditate. Both are ultimately training and experiencing one's mind but in different surroundings.

Ensapa

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4124
    • Email
Re: Determination!
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2012, 10:37:48 AM »
This is a very innovative way to try to gain realization of ultimate truth ! Since all phenomena has the same ultimate nature or reality, in theory anything can trigger realizations in us . This does not happen for most of us because we don't have much or any holy seeds in our mindstream that could be triggered and had created tons of obstacles outer, and inner to block us , even if the supportive conditions are around.
This Korean monk's endeavour to gain realizations through such a physical  feat  could be a first . As with any physical challenge or activity , it is the mind that is the first to be tested whether it is about endurance, determination, courage etc. In this respect, from the point of view of practice, it is no different from one who choose to live in solitary in a cave to meditate. Both are ultimately training and experiencing one's mind but in different surroundings.


the funny thing is, Guru devotion can achieve that easily, and without wasting that much resources and that there is a direction to that. This is like going round a very long path and even that, there is no guarantee if he will reach the goals. Mental determination and endurance are what is  needed to attain enlightenment, but without a direction it can potentially lead to nowhere.

Having said that, it is a very touching story to see the power of human determination. This is another story on him which made me felt really warm inside to see the power of his determination :) he got his laptop and phone stolen but he's still determined!

Quote

Monk's spiritual journey takes him through Hamilton
CBC News Samantha Craggs
2012-07-06

Daeung Sunim (centre) joined Heather Moore and Thich nu Tinh Quang at the Little Heron Zen Hermitage in Hamilton. (Samantha Craggs/CBC)

A Korean Buddhist monk cycling across two continents stopped in Hamilton on Wednesday.
 
Daeung Sunim, a Jogye Buddhist monk from Seoul, is on a two-year cycling trip from Vancouver to the southern tip of Argentina on what he calls a spiritual journey.
 
This week, he stopped at the Little Heron Zen Hermitage on Alpine Avenue, where Thich nu Tinh Quang, a Zen Buddhist nun, took him to experience Niagara Falls.
 
Speaking very little English and armed only with faith and a bicycle, Sunim has seen half of Canada through the generosity of residents who have given him food, shelter and in one case, a cellphone.
The 42-year-old monk started his 30,000-kilometre voyage in Vancouver with little money and only two contacts along the way — one in Toronto and one in Newfoundland.
 
But the Buddhist community has rallied behind him, offering meals and places to stay. Tinh Quang heard about him on Facebook and stepped forward to host him for a day.
 
“Anybody who takes on a trip like that, I admire for the ability to find that within themselves,” she said.
Help while fixing a tire
 
Sunim's journey, which he says is to test his spirit, started in April. Shortly after he started, he encountered challenges.
 
Dave Pope, a furniture builder from Vernon, B.C., was headed home around 9:30 p.m. on April 24 when he spotted the monk hunched over on the side of the road, trying to fix a flat tire.
 
Pope ended up hosting Sunim for two days, feeding him and buying him reflective clothing for his journey. Pope created a Facebook page and started trying to connect the monk with “warm beds and hot meals” across Canada.
 
There was little response at first, but the movement has gained momentum. Pope has received hundreds of emails from across the U.S. and Canada offering help. The outpouring ranges from an Anglican Church in Wawa, Ont. that offered its rectory as shelter, to a Winnipeg-area man who drive 400 kilometres to deliver bags of food.
 
Now, “Sunim has only camped out five days in the last month,” Pope said.
'Thank you, Canada'
 
People are moved by the monk's journey, Pope said. He was motivated to help when he realized how the fates aligned when the two men met.
 
“I came to the realization that our paths were meant to cross.”
 
In Hamilton on Wednesday, Sunim relayed a message in his limited English — “Thank you, Canada.”
 
The challenges continue. This week in Toronto, Sunim's laptop and cellphone were stolen.
 
But the monk's translated blog, “Journey of Spirit: A Buddhist monk bikes the Americas,” shows a serene view of the world.
 
“Water doesn't stagnate when it flows. In the same way, humans should move so they will find their relationships with others,” he writes. “If you take a test you'll know how well you've studied. If you overcome a limitation you will know your heart; tears are opening my heart.”

Big Uncle

  • Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1995
Re: Determination!
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2012, 07:55:36 PM »
I am sorry but I don't see how cycling and putting his body through such extreme conditions is going to help him realize emptiness? Even the Buddha realized the futility of putting his body through extremes in order reach the last stages of Enlightenment. Realization of emptiness is really about clearing obscurations and developing the powerful merits needed to support such a powerful view of reality. I don't have it but I am sure it doesn't come from cycling and just cycling great distances.

Lama Tsongkhapa based his final realization of emptiness on his contemplations of Buddhapalita's text that is a commentary of Chandrakirti's discoures on emptiness. Prior to his contemplations, he had completed tremendous amounts of purification practices and accumulation of a lot of merits. The same goes for many other Lamas, mystics, yogis and so forth.                                                               

yontenjamyang

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 733
    • Email
Re: Determination!
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2012, 07:18:15 AM »
I am sorry but I don't see how cycling and putting his body through such extreme conditions is going to help him realize emptiness? Even the Buddha realized the futility of putting his body through extremes in order reach the last stages of Enlightenment. Realization of emptiness is really about clearing obscurations and developing the powerful merits needed to support such a powerful view of reality. I don't have it but I am sure it doesn't come from cycling and just cycling great distances.

Lama Tsongkhapa based his final realization of emptiness on his contemplations of Buddhapalita's text that is a commentary of Chandrakirti's discoures on emptiness. Prior to his contemplations, he had completed tremendous amounts of purification practices and accumulation of a lot of merits. The same goes for many other Lamas, mystics, yogis and so forth.                                                               

BU. I agree with you on Lama Tsongkhapa's final realization. However, how do you know this monk definitely cannot gain realization of emptiness this way? Perhaps he has already accumulated vast amount of merits and wisdom. Perhaps this is the final act of clearing his obscuration. In the Lamrim, Lam Chung gain realization of emptiness by sweeping the grounds. Why not? Anything is possible. This is what I think.

Anyhow, this is a great way of spreading the Dharma.

Ensapa

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4124
    • Email
Re: Determination!
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2012, 09:03:51 AM »
I am sorry but I don't see how cycling and putting his body through such extreme conditions is going to help him realize emptiness? Even the Buddha realized the futility of putting his body through extremes in order reach the last stages of Enlightenment. Realization of emptiness is really about clearing obscurations and developing the powerful merits needed to support such a powerful view of reality. I don't have it but I am sure it doesn't come from cycling and just cycling great distances.

Lama Tsongkhapa based his final realization of emptiness on his contemplations of Buddhapalita's text that is a commentary of Chandrakirti's discoures on emptiness. Prior to his contemplations, he had completed tremendous amounts of purification practices and accumulation of a lot of merits. The same goes for many other Lamas, mystics, yogis and so forth.                                                             

To be honest, I dont think that he will attain emptiness but he was just using that as a buzzword for his campaign. But then again, we all know that the Mahayana perception of emptiness is the same as Mohoyen's version where emptiness means having a blank mind. Thus, in China, Japan and Korea, they have a belief where putting the body to its limits can simulate an empty mind and we have people who meditate under the waterfall until the mind becomes blank and is free of "bad" thoughts. So, we cannot blame him for thinking that doing such an act would help him realize emptiness...but the wrong type of emptiness. Perhaps his tour was really to spread Dharma in the US and Canada. Perhaps, to him it is a form of purification for his negative karma. But purification alone cannot help in the development of wisdom, and he seems to be taking a lot of stops in the various Buddhist centers to teach meditation as the picture has demonstrated. To me it is not so much wisdom but determination and his focus that does make me feel good to see how far someone would go to help spread the Dharma and probably doing it for a Buddhist cause.

How many people would actually do something like this to spread the Dharma? Even though his concept of what emptiness is differs from what it really is, we still have to applaud his energy and effort in helping to spread the Dharma across Canada and the states, and for going on despite having his laptop and phone stolen. I mean, if he had studied Nagajurna's works he would have known what emptiness is, and Nagajurna's works definitely reached China/Korea/Japan. But i guess, each to their own, but at least he is benefitting people :)

pgdharma

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1055
Re: Determination!
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2012, 03:05:14 PM »
I am sorry to say that I do not think he will attain emptiness by going on a cross-country cycling regiment to test his endurance and for him to realized emptiness.  However, I think many people will be inspired by his determination to take his body into such extreme conditions and will support his vision. As he is a Buddhist monk, this is a great way to bring people into the dharma and influence those he meets. Also it will help those who make offerings of food and lodging to him to collect merits.

dsiluvu

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1272
Re: Determination!
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2012, 05:56:27 PM »
Quote
How many people would actually do something like this to spread the Dharma? Even though his concept of what emptiness is differs from what it really is, we still have to applaud his energy and effort in helping to spread the Dharma across Canada and the states, and for going on despite having his laptop and phone stolen. I mean, if he had studied Nagajurna's works he would have known what emptiness is, and Nagajurna's works definitely reached China/Korea/Japan. But i guess, each to their own, but at least he is benefitting people

I suppose this is a much better picture then the self-immolation we've been seeing. It is a refreshing scene and a more positive action whether or not it is about emptiness.
Perhaps this is an alternative modern way of bringing attention to Buddhism and to show how far the human spirit can go.  Yes in a way it is the determination to do it is there, though it may not be an exact purification practice following the preliminaries, but his motivation seem positive. And it has certainly attracted a lot of attention, perhaps this is something the Tibetans can do - just a suggestion. It may not necessary be cycling all over the world... this is just an example they can take on! :D

bambi

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 722
Re: Determination!
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2012, 07:44:07 AM »
How can cycling make him realize emptiness through his body endurance? I think it would be better for him to travel and spread the Dharma at the same time and maybe collect offerings to send back to the monastery or support himself for the trip. I believe that it will make the trip more worthwhile. Don't you agree? I believe that he can bring awareness to more people if he had more beneficial themes such as promoting peace and love through some social media. I know there will be people who will be inspired with that and probably do the same. May he find what he is looking for.

Vajraprotector

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 610
Re: Determination!
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2012, 01:21:45 PM »
I think it is great that this monk is doing such a feat and I agree that perhaps it's not so easy to realise emptiness!

Also, not forgetting on 'homebase', there are always stories of Tibetan pilgrims who prostrate from their home all the way to the holy temples in Lhasa. They do that quietly and sincerely. Here is such a story:

A Tibetan pilgrim's journey to faith 
By Yi Ling, Yan Yuanyuan and Dainzin Nyima

    LHASA, March 13 (Xinhua) -- Dainzin Oiser remembers, and will never forget, that it takes two months and nine days to finish perhaps the most important journey in his life -- "walking" with his whole body from his home to Lhasa.

    The 41-year-old pilgrim started his trip in mid-August 2008. Following every step, he clasped his hands to forehead, to throat and to heart and then prostrated himself full-length on the ground-- a ritual in Tibetan Buddhism called "kowtow" that believers practice to express their most honest hearts to the Buddha.

He finally arrived in Lhasa, the holy city for all Tibetans, at the end of November.


The distance of about 400 km from Dainzin's home village at Sayga County in southwestern Tibet to Lhasa was measured by more than 160,000 such Tibetan kowtows, as piety and patience grew into a thumb nail-sized black scab on his forehead.

For Dainzin, the scar is a treasure. "It is called 'Qiagban' in Tibetan. Only those who has finished more than 10,000 kowtows can be given such a gift, but it will not be the size of mine unless they are able to do the kowtows continuously for more than two months," said Dazin, rubbing his Qiagban gently and uttering the Six Words Sutra "Om Mani Padme Hum".

For the rest of the story, read: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-03/13/content_11008302.htm

biggyboy

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 250
Re: Determination!
« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2012, 05:22:43 PM »
Monk Sunim's determination to move around on his bicycle even though with language barrier is actually to test his mind. As mind matters most over body.  And not the other way round to control one's mind.  With his determination, he overcomes obstacles as and when arises along with Buddhist teachings.  Along his journey he is showing the Buddhist way and his practise.  No matter how hard it was and will be, with sheer determination and tenacity may his way sets example for all and be inspired.  Others may learn and find out more from him.  Once conversation starts, what follows suit would probably be Sunim's sharing with people whom he meets and this may lead them on Buddha path.

"Water doesn’t stagnate when it flows. In the same way, humans should move so they will find their relationships with others. If you take a test you’ll know how well you’ve studied. If you overcome a limitation you will know your heart; tears are opening my heart."

rossoneri

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 386
    • Email
Re: Determination!
« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2012, 05:55:43 AM »
Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try. In another words, we must belief, have faith in ourselves with hard work, determination in order to succeed. It's good to have determination, its a positive right kind of attitude.  However with Monk Sunim's determination to move around on his bicycle to realize emptiness, i think there's a better way to approach it. There are thousands of Buddhists text for him to understand and practices emptiness. Don't get me wrong i don't mean to offend his decision.

I would like to share something i found on the net in regards to certain individual who lost her life because she thought the method of starving herself would 'spiritually cleanse' her body and 'recharge her both physically and mentally'

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2135324/Woman-starves-death-spiritual-journey-trying-live-sunlight-alone.html#ixzz21KPgL1a0


Dondrup Shugden

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 896
Re: Determination!
« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2015, 06:39:22 PM »
Determination like perseverance is a good human trait to possess. As willingness to try any methods to achieve the wisdom of emptiness is good.

Although I acknowledge the courage of Monk Sunim, I do not think that emptiness can be achieved when we deviate from Buddha's teachings.     

psylotripitaka

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 616
Re: Determination!
« Reply #13 on: June 30, 2015, 03:20:11 AM »
Ever read the stories of the Mahasiddha's?

Ever read about karma?

Ever read about Geshe Ben Gungyal, the monk who sat around playing with black and white pebbles all day long? Or Shantideva who was nicknamed the 3 realizations because all he did in the monastery was eat, potty, and sleep?

Many of the comments here doubting this inspiring Sangha Jewel are ridiculous! There are many stories of practitioners achieving realization in unconventional ways, and many Dharma teachings within Lamrim, Lojong, and Vajrayana that extensively refute all you pessimistic doubters. Phooey!

I prostrate to this Sangha Jewel and thank him for his wonderful example.


cookie

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 196
    • Email
Re: Determination!
« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2015, 09:57:27 AM »
Creating causes for the results is just as important as achieving the results. If this Korean monk thinks that by doing a cycling expedition he can get Enlightened, let him try. Support him in his endeavours. These are virtuous endeavours. He could spend his time doing more worldly things but he chose to "chase" for Enlightment instead.
 In this degenerate age most people find it hard even to learn and practice Dharma in the most perfect and comfortable environment. Some are even paid to do full time Dharma related work and find the tasks extremely difficult. Some even have wrong views of the Dharma and life. Some use their whole life in self indulgence and make themselves unhappy. Some learn the Dharma but have unrealistic expectations. All in all, to meet the Dharma can be rare. To have the opportunity to learn and practice is rare. To have met the Dharma and have the right mind set to pursue Dharma is even more rare. I am inspired by this monk's determination and motivation. I pray for him to be quickly Enlightened in order for him to benefit many more beings !