Monthly Archives: July 2015

My quest to learn to write the Heart Sutra

When I started, at the end of May, to try to write the Heart Sutra, I had little idea what a huge task this would be.  I can write it in Korean now, but to write it in traditional Chinese … Continue reading

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Hanja for Cimi: 中 Center 중

中 Center 중 I found the strokes surprising, both in order and number. You can find it in phrases like center (中心), middle school (中学), midday (中午), between (中间), and China (中国).  In Korean,  center (중심), middle school (중학교), midday … Continue reading

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Ji Jang Bosal 지장보살 – Chanting for the deceased

Korean temple compounds include a special hall dedicated to Ji Jang Bosal. In India he is known as Ksitigarbha, in China as Dizang 地蔵, in Korea as Jijang Bosal 지장보살, and in Japan as Jizo Bosatsu. Ji Jang Bosal is … Continue reading

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Zen Yoga

Some Zen temples include exercise (taiso). Zen Yoga blends the flowing movements of Tai Chi, the energized breathing of Qigong, the gentle stretching of Shanti Yoga, and the serenity of mindful meditation.

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Forgetting a language

My blog documented the first year of trying to acquire Korean language.  Now, I am wondering about maintaining and forgetting of language.  What do experienced language learners do to maintain the knowledge they have acquired?  How quickly is knowledge lost? … Continue reading

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Hanja for Cimi: 田 field 전

I’ve been eager to do the character for field, because of my rice farmer friend.

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Chinese menu

As much as I am jealous of my friend’s future trip to China, I have to admit the idea of reading an all Chinese menu terrifies me. Some day, I would like to be able to read the food items … Continue reading

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How to tie a Korean robe 옷고름

One of the first challenges at the Zen center was how to put on the gray guest robe. Thankfully, there was someone to show me. The tie should look like a hanbok half bow with the ribbons of equal length. … Continue reading

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Zen Poem by Master Seung Sahn

Poetry can be a way to teach.  Here is one poem from Bone of Space: Zen Poems by Master Seung Sahn. Autumn leaves fall in the cold wind. Is there right or wrong in this? Here is a scripture not made … Continue reading

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Koan 공안

Koan in Zen Buddhism is a problem or riddle that admits no logical solution.   (Korean: 공안, Chinese: 公案) The term is a compound word, consisting of the characters 公 “public; official; governmental; common; collective; ” and 案 “table; desk; … Continue reading

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Hanja for Cimi: 勺 spoon, ladle 작

It doesn’t take long watching Korean dramas before realizing that Koreans like to eat, and they are fond of eating together. At the Cambridge Zen Center, I got to experience their ritual for eating together as part of the Buddhist … Continue reading

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Hanja for Cimi: 休 rest 휴

Combine a person leaning against a tree, and you get rest.

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Exploring religion

  With the hope that some day I might do a Temple Stay in Korea, I want to learn more about Korean Buddhism. I was raised a Protestant Christian, and I practice Metta (loving kindness) meditation.  My knowledge of other … Continue reading

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Korean Buddhist Monk Drumming

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Sumi-e capturing a moment

The ancient art of Japanese brush painting is called Sumi-e (墨絵).  It embodies Zen principles of simplicity, balance, and harmony. The objective of Sumi-e is not to recreate the subject exactly, but to capture its essence. Every brush stroke contains meaning … Continue reading

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