Wednesday 25th November
Dhamma Talk with
Ven. Chong Go Sunim
(American monk – Korean lineage)
Phra Pandit Cittasamvaro
(British Theravada monk)
The Nature of Buddha Nature
Celebrating its 10th anniversary in Bangkok the Korean Soen (Zen) One-Mind temple is arranging a number of activities (See here for celebration and dhamma talk on Sunday 22nd Nov 09).
On the Wednesday 25th of November Venerable Chong Go Sunim – an American monk of the Korean Seon (Zen) lineage, and Phra Pandit Cittasamvaro – British monk of the Thai Theravada lineage, will jointly give a Dhamma talk on Buddha-nature and consciousness. The event is free of charge, in English and open to all. No reservation is needed.
The nature of consciousness is the great unexplored realm of humanity of the modern age. Only in the last decade has it even become an acceptable topic of research. Despite cracking the organic cell and mapping the neural pathways, science still has practically no idea of how or what consciousness is. And yet it is the very foundation of human life!
Essentially this was the quest of the Buddha, and was the basis of his ultimate discovery. He followed consciousness to its source in what we would now call a replicable experiment – that is anyone can do as he did. Of course, it takes discipline and dedication in training the mind in the right way. ( see the recent Littlebang blog on the Skeptic’s Dilemma)
‘Buddha-nature’ is a Mahayana Buddhist name for the basic nature of the mind. It is not quite a ‘shared consciousness’, but nonetheless is the same for everyone. Much of the Korean One-Mind school of Buddhism meditation approach focusses on this nature, and ones relationship to it.
Though the term does not appear in Theravada, the theory sits well with standard Theravada teachings. The Buddha himself was an explorer of the conscious experience, and claimed to have found an Unconditioned base to the mind that is Enlightenment. And he described these resulting experiences in different ways.
Venerable Chong Go Sunim:
Venerable Chong Go Sunim, originally from the United States, was ordained in the Korean Jogye Order (the largest Buddhist Order in Korea) in 1993. He completed an MA in Seon Studies in 2003 and received 3rd level certification from the Jogye order in 2002 allowing him to ordain others and serve as an abbot.
Ven. Chong Go Sunim’s Dharma teacher is the Venerable Seon Master Daehaeng KunSunim and he practices at the Hanmaum International Centre where he helps translate the works of Master Daehaeng into English and other languages. He also runs several Dharma groups and gives regular talks in English and Korean.
Venerable Phra Cittasamvaro Bhikku:
“There is a beautiful place in the mind, peaceful, bright and aware, that shows itself when you put everything down. It is free to all who undertake the search.”
– Phra Cittasamvaro Bhikku
Venerable Phra Cittasamvaro Bhikku, originally from England, has been an ordained member of the Thai Sangha for over 13 years and is the founder and continuing inspiration and guide behind what has come to be known as The Littlebang Sangha, the community of English-speaking Buddhists in Bangkok.
The Bangkok Hanmaum Seon Center:
The Bangkok Hanmaum Seon Center is an overseas branch of Hanmaum Seon, established by Seon Master Daehaeng Sunim, a female Seon master widely respected throughout Korea, and part of the Jogye order of Korean Buddhism. Seon is the Korean word for Zen, and Master Daehaeng’s teaching is to realize and awaken to our inherent nature, sometimes called Buddha-nature, inherent mind, or Juingong.
The Bangkok branch of Hanmaum Seon was established ten years ago and is very much a centre of the Korean Buddhist community. The centre is run by two resident Sunims and holds regular ceremonies and teachings in Korean, and a monthly English-language Seon group that usually meets on the evening of the first Saturday of the month.
A point to note:
- There are no bare feet in Korean temples, it would be much appreciated if those wishing to come will remember to bring socks!
Wednesday November 25th
6.30pm onwards – Arrival
7pm to 8.30pm – Dharma talk by Ven. Chong Go Sunim and Ven. Cittasamvaro Bhikkhu
The Bangkok Hanmaum Seon Centre
86-1 Soi 4 Sukhumvit 63
BTS – Ekamai, Exit 1
Leave the Ekkamai Skytrain station at exit 1, on the side opposite the Bus Terminal. The temple is in Sukhumvit 63. A short way down 63 on the right you will see soi 4. Go all the way to end of soi 4 and it’s on your left.
You can get a motorbike taxi from the BTS station, just ask for the Korean Temple (‘wat gowlee’). It’s only a few minutes away and should cost just 10 or 20 baht.
Click map for a lager version:
Fabulous night last night! Thank you to Phra Cittasamvaro Bhikku, Chong Go Sunim, the Bangkok Hanmaum Seonwon, and all the wonderful people who came along.
My report on the event is here:
And the next meeting of the Bangkok Seon Club is on Saturday December the 12th at 7pm. All welcome!
With palms together,
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