With countless daily busyness and worries, perhaps many times we forget that really, what is the biggest goal that we are aiming for in life.
Is our purpose in life happiness? As a human, who does not want to be happy, who does not want to live a carefree, carefree life. But if asked if “now, are you happy?”, there will be many people confused by this seemingly simple problem.
Now, are you happy? That’s the first question Zen Master Pomnyun set out in Life Lessons (How to learn all of life?). The book includes Dharma talks, short questions and answers of the teacher in public, revolving around many different issues in life, gathered in each group of topics.
Those who are interested in the economic field can know that Korea is one of the countries with a miraculous growth rate in Asia. In just about six decades, South Korea has risen from a poverty-stricken nation and risen dramatically. According to data from the Bank of Korea on January 25, cited by Reuters, the country’s GDP grew by 4% in 2021, the fastest economic growth rate in 11 years to 2021.
If according to current common sense, with such economic development and material affluence, Koreans would surely live a happy life. But the reality is not so. For a long time, if we follow through the media, every now and then, we see news about celebrity suicides happening in this country.
Even in recent years, the suicide rate of young people in Korea has increased to a worrying level, especially after the event caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. At the same time, the terrible pressures in daily life are also frequently mentioned. Pressure to study for exams with students, students; promotion pressure on employees; pressure in family life, home, finances; pressure from the loneliness of people in the city…
Countless things like that surround the townsfolk, gradually corroding their souls without even knowing it themselves, so that they gradually forget the simplest things in life such as whether they are Happy or not, do I really have a meaningful life? But not only with them, even us, who are also surrounded by countless plans and expectations, maybe we ourselves gradually forget to question our true purpose in life. life.
As an influential Buddhist spiritual leader in Korea, Zen Master Pomnyun has devoted much of his time to helping people heal. He approaches individual problems and solves them through simple, close and sometimes humorous sharing.
The book How to learn all about life? Zen Master Pomnyun’s books are among the top 10 most widely read Buddhist books in Korea, but there’s nothing but his concise stories and sharings revolving around the most ordinary things in life: work, promotion, marriage, old age, loneliness, death, etc. As a monk, Mr. Pomnyun sees everything from a Buddhist perspective, illuminating all problems with neutrality and offering solutions. in a very… Buddha way. The key to unlocking here is just living a simple life and being fully present in the present.
“When I was young, I thought that as long as I became an adult, I would happy. When I was in school, I thought that as long as I went to college, everything would be fine. We are always waiting for tomorrow ‘just graduate from college’, ‘just get married’, ‘just have children’. We always make promises to the future and suffer today.” Everyone seems to have fallen into such confusion. Wondering about what has yet to come, about expectations that have not yet happened, so that when time goes by, we go back to regret the things that have passed.
Of course, living simply is not an easy thing. Most people always tend to ask for more than they have, which is the driving force for social advancement but also the key to suffering. In his sharing, Mr. Pomnyun does not suggest that people have to let go or hide from everything, but just face and accept reality as it is, with what is happening, including sadness and disappointment. hope or misfortune. Only by facing it and finding a way to transform it, can we have the opportunity to break out of the dark curtains that surround us. That is also the spirit of Zen Buddhism.
Reading the sharing of Zen Master Pomnyun, the writer suddenly remembered Phong Tu Khai. Phong Tu Khai was born in 1898, died in 1975, was a famous painter and art theorist of modern China. He is also a Buddhist, a student of Master Hoang Nhat Ly Thuc Dong.
Phong Tu Khai has a collection of essays called Living Capital, which includes the stories he recorded from real life, which contains the author’s own clear outlook on life. With Phong Tu Khai, life is inherently a very simple thing, just live with all the kindness and innocence of a child, one can enjoy the simplest happiness in every minute. seconds on earth. That is also how Phong Tu Khai has lived, painted and written for most of his life.
Finally, sometimes, amidst the hardships and burdens, whether more or less, let’s try once to look at ourselves and ask ourselves: Am I happy now? Am I living a good life?
Zen Master Pomnyun was born in 1953 in Ulsan, South Korea, is a Buddhist monk, writer, social activist with great influence in Korea. In 1988, he founded Jungto (meaning Good Land), a Buddhist community organization with the goal of helping people who are suffering, overcome mental trauma.
Zen Master Pomnyun has organized more than 1,000 live Q&A sessions to listen and comfort those who have been and are facing difficulties in life. At the same time, he also has a YouTube channel to share his lectures. His lectures are translated into English and other languages so that foreigners can also easily access them.
Zen master Pomnyun has received many awards for religion and peace. In 2018, he received the Moran Civil Medal awarded by the President of Korea. In 2020, he was awarded the 37th Peace Prize by the Niwano Peace Foundation of Japan for his important contributions in many aspects such as humanitarian, social activities, environment, world peace, etc.
Zen master Pomnyun is the author of many books with healing content. In particular, Life Lessons (How to learn all about life?) is one of his most famous books, having a great influence on the public in Korea.
Luong Hoang/Golden Newspaper