Here I’m going to share my thoughts and some translations of his book. I hope this will be a small clue to know what Jang Keun Suk was feeling during his trip in Berlin and Paris, and what he is feeling now. At least for me, I was comforted after reading this book personally. And thanks to this, I have a feeling that I understand him more than before. That’s why I don’t worry a lot about him now. I’m sure he knows how to stop and restart now.
tenshi_akuma’s note: Before reading my fan account, you can refer to the related thread posted previously.
[28.09.2012] AsiaPrince_JKS twitter
The author, Ven. Haemin is a Korean Buddhist monk. He became a monk when he was in Harvard university. He is the first Korean monk to teach in the United States as a professor at Hampshire College in Amherst, Mass. He’s not only a monk or professor, but he’s now well-known in Twitter world. The reason he started twitter was very simple. Because he has lived in U.S., English-speaking country, for a long time, he missed his native tongue, Korean language. Then he started to tweet in Korean. He said in this book that he was comforted by exchanges with people using Korean. And he found that the people were also comforted by his tweets. Then, he decided to start tweeting something makes them comfort. Eventually, he got a number of followers and has been supported by people beyond generations. This book consists of 352 tweets and his additional thoughts. I hope this book will be published all over the world and comfort people’s view of life. Needless to say, he’s quite good at English, so it won’t be long before the English version is out 😉
tenshi_akuma’s note: As of 20 November 2012, the number of his followers reaches around 298,023. His twitter account is @haeminsunim . He sometimes tweets English, too.
Translation of quotes (from Japanese into English):
In this book, there are hundreds of words for people in various situations. Some words will reach those who always try to do their best. They think life is too short to live, and they don’t know how to rest properly. Such people (I think Sukkie is this type, and I’m also kind of this type..) face up even to heavy stress. They try to be perfect with a lot of efforts. They’re never discouraged with their strong will power. Other words will reach those who lost their confidence. They are tired of work and human relations, and they’ve frustrated why the world isn’t kind to them. The two types of people I mentioned are just examples. Surely each page has profound words to everyone. Even the same person can change the feeling day by day. That’s why I recommend this book to everyone, everyday in hand.
tenshi_akuma’s note: I’m afraid my English is limited so as to convey his thoughts to you. But I’ll try, even it’s just pieces of them… I hope you can feel something.
Below are some words I really empathize.
Chapter 1: Rest
Do you think the world troubles you? When you rest, the world rests, too.
Are you feeling depressed?
If so, just see a sleeping baby’s face for one minute.
You’ll feel a calm repose in your mind.
The reason music is beautiful is
because there is a rest, a pause, a sense of distance between notes.
The reason language is beautiful is
because there is a pause between words.
We sometimes need to review
whether we’ve been running without stop or we’ve talked too much endlessly.
When you’re eating ramen for dinner alone,
please eat it with a feeling that takes care of and cherish yourself.
“You worked hard today, with this weary body and cares for others.”
Let’s give a word to you, “Well done!”, giving yourself a hug,
and go to bed one hour earlier than usual.
You deserve it.
Why don’t you buy flowers instead of a lottery?
For your beloved family.
If you buy two or three flowers and put it on a table after a long interval,
you’ll be filled with peaceful and happy feelings for a several days with 100% winning rate.
#23 (this was quoted in JKS’ twitter)
The world keeps turning all right even without you.
Let’s release your obsessiveness that no one can do anything without you.
p30 (summary of the author’s thought)
I’m so busy as a monk and a professor. I’m also a scholar, a teacher, a religious person and a disciplinant. During weekdays, I teach students and also do studies as a scholar. During weekends, I drive to New York for three hours and visit my former teacher monk’s temple and do my role. During a long vacation, I’m busier. I go and see senior monks, work as a interpreter if I’m asked and go and preach as I’m asked. Needless to say, even under such situations, I have to spare time for ascetic training. Besides, I have to write an essay and do studies. “Who am I? What am I doing?” To be honest, I sometimes wonder if I am a real monk and if it’s OK that a monk lives in a rush. But I soon realize that the world isn’t busy but my mind is busy. In short, when my mind rests, the world rests, too. Then, reviewing such a busy me, I found the reason my life is busy because that I want to be busy. If I really want to rest, I can just rest. Even if an offer comes, I can just refuse it. Nevertheless, the reason my schedule is packed is because I enjoy this busyness to some extent. As for me, it’s a big pleasure to meet and give a help to someone who needs me. Are you really want to take a rest? If so, just bring your mind to the present for sure. The busy mind such as I should do this and that passes between past and future. If your mind is set on the present, there is no past, no future. Only present exists. And the moment without any time phase is not busy at all. The situation of your mind’s eye to the world reflects how you feel seeing to the world. When your mind rests, the world rests, too. When your mind is happy, the world is happy, too. Your mind and the world don’t exist independently. Before blaming for the world, let’s polish your lens beautifully.
“Rest and rest again” is important.
No matter how hard you try,
if the situation you are put in now is almost impossible to change,
why don’t you change the attitude of your heart sees the situation?
If so, you’ll be happy.
Originally there is no goodness or badness.
When you see the world with aspects of your heart, goodness and badness appear.
Chapter 2: Human relations
In our relationships, we should deal with others like a stove.
Don’t approach too close. Don’t act too distant, either.
Please forgive the person for your own sake.
#50 (summary of the author’s word)
Please forgive the person who did something that shouldn’t have been done as a human.
For yourself, not for himself.
For yourself, again, for your own sake.
Not because the person is adorable.
Not because the person is forgivable.
Not because the person is a human being like us.
Because it’s necessary for you to live.
Because it’s necessary for you to forget the person to live your own life.
Because you have right to be happy.
That’s why you forgive the person.
Surely it’s not so easy.
You may still feel frustrated.
You may still feel anger swelling inside.
But please consider if it’s good for you.
Even if your mind can’t accept what your head decided,
please decide tentatively.
To forgive the person.
To forget the person.
When you try to solve human-relation problems,
Don’t start with your feeling why the other person doesn’t understand you
or why he doesn’t act as you expect him.
If so, the problems won’t be solved.
Because the feeling starts not from your understanding to the other person
but from your request to him.
if you start with feelings why the person thinks so about you,
which part he misunderstands you and thinks that it’s hard to understand you,
your understanding will deepen and the problems will be solved easier than you imagine.
If you say the same thing,
why don’t you say not like “Why do you say such a sad thing?”,
but like “I feel sad and lonely when you say so?”
when you speak,
please try not to use accusing tone of voice.
please just describe your situation.
This is good for communications.
An apple contains the entire universe.
It contains nourishing material of soil, sunlight, oxygen, nitrogen, rain and farmers’ sweat.
The entire universe relies on each other to live.
What do you contain?
I wish you’ll lead a life with gratitude.
If I have children,
I have something to teach them without fail as follows.
All people are the same human being,
no matter how famous, strong or rich they are.
As you are not so special, other people are not special, too.
Therefore, you don’t have to cower for living.
I have a favor to ask parents.
If you really hope that your children can lead a happy life,
please try to lower your interest and expectation to them to some extent
and attend to your interest to your parents instead.
If so, your children surely will grow up to be much better.
No matter how huge your dream is,
please tell it to people.
By the time you tell it to around 10 people,
the probability of realizing the dream will be higher.
Please act with confidence like your dream already came true.
And please put your heart and soul into the preparation.
If so, curiously the dream will come true.
When I choose a person, I check only one thing.
I prefer the person who can say “I can be mistaken.”
There is no necessary even to check other matters.
The person saying so has confidence and can get along with others.
[by Ahn Cheol-soo]
Knowledge tries to speak.
Whereas, wisdom tries to listen.
The person without wisdom can’t absorb new ideas
because their way of thinking starts from “I’ve already known that kind of thing.”
Whereas, the person with wisdom can get much more wisdom
because they are always all ears to what others say,
thinking “There are things I haven’t known yet.”
An enlightened person feels both an entire flow and the individual existence at one time.
Whereas, an ignorant person cares only about the individual existence,
judging it’s good or bad whether it fits their conditions precisely or not.
Your friends doesn’t expect you to find the fundamental solution
while you’re listening to their difficult situation.
They’re thankful enough to you for the situation you’re listening to them.
And it is a comfort to them.
Therefore, if someone comes and starts to talk his worries,
please just listen to them sincerely, not trying to find the solution.
If you concentrate on it,
even a telephone directory is interesting to read.
If your life isn’t interesting,
that’s because you’re not concentrating on it now.
I look up at one of countless shining stars in the night sky.
I, one of countless people living on the earth, look up at the star.
Meeting with people is also brought by fate like this,
one of tens of millions of coincidence but destiny.
Love means staying together.
Love means you’re always ready for listening with a tender heart.
Love means believing.
Love has no reason other than just to love the person.
Love is giving anything for love and there is no regrets about it.
Love means to watch over them.
Love is to love someone as he or she is.
It’s not love that you wish your beloved one would be like this.
It’s a projection of your desire.
Please don’t live your life through your beloved one.
It’s a true love that you free him or her to let them live their own life.
When you love someone, you care about the person.
When you care about someone, doing something for the person is important.
However, controlling yourself not to do what you shouldn’t do is also very important.
Visible love is small, compared to invisible big love behind that…
[by Kahlil Gibran]
There are a lot of people who ask how to let their mind go blank.
If you try hard to let your mind go blank with determination,
you will end up being shook-up.
Because trying to empty your mind means actually having the idea in your mind.
Then, how can we rest for thinking and let our mind empty?
The answer is just watching over the idea occurred in your mind.
While watching over, your thinking is resting.
If you want to live without any worries, the answer is very simple.
All you have to do is just focus on the present.
Both ideas and worries belong to the past or the future.
Can you think of the present?
Can you think of the present in this moment?
Please try it and see.
How did it go?
Don’t you think it’s almost impossible?
Again, all you have to do is just put your mind on the present.
That’s all. Then, your worries will pause.
p181 (summary of the author’s thought)
The most common question I’m asked is how we can control ourselves without panic and keep calm when negative feelings such as anger, irritation, loneliness, and hate swell in our mind. Whenever I’m asked, I feel that asking such a question itself means at least half of the question has been solved already. Because when such feelings swell inside, the person has already noticed the state of mind that he is overwhelmed and struggling with them. The problem is that when such feelings emerged, many people consider them only as a target which is necessary to ease. They don’t consider their mind as a target which is necessary to understand. In fact, when such a negative feeling occurs in mind, they just think that they want to get out of the feeling soon by all means. They don’t try to understand the state of mind or get along with the mind. I compare negative feelings such as rage and hate to ”mud”. The mind (water) is totally mixed with mud and has become a fully muddy water. Nevertheless, are you stirring the muddy water with your hand to clear it? Does it end up to make mud mix more and more? Let’s take an example. After you envied someone and hate emerged inside you, even if you try harder and harder to remove the feeling by thinking other good things, the feeling of hate will occur again without realizing. Like this, even if you try to change the negative state in mind by yourself, doing something toward your mind, the essential problem won’t be solved and which will confound the situation. Then, how should we do? In fact, the answer is simple; just stand back from the feeling and gaze it quietly as if you watch movies or dramas. That is, you shouldn’t try to do anything entering your vessel of mind like muddy water, but just get out of the vessel of mind and try to watch the feeling quietly as if watching movies or dramas. In this way, you’ll see the negative state of mind gradually shifts into different one very naturally, and disappears. Some may ask, “Is it OK just to watch over it?” “Doesn’t it mean running away from our problems?” No, it’s not escaping from reality at all. This process is not to escape from reality, but rather to face it. Staring things as it is; straight gaze at reality. Practicing to gaze straight at what is happening now in mind, eventually, you’ll notice that feelings come to mind are unsubstantial. After knowing this, you won’t easily swayed even if the feelings like anger, irritation, worry, hate, and so on occur. Please don’t force yourself to assuage you mind. All you have to do is just to become friends with the mind and watch over it quietly.
Hearing someone’s term of reproach,
it sounds like the person who is blamed did something reprehensible.
But, listening it carefully and deeply,
you’ll see he just blames the person
just because the person didn’t listen to what he said to the person.
Please don’t be fooled!
Instead of trying to make people around you change to fit you,
please try to release your desire that you want to change them.
It’ll be the fastest.
How can you change others on your own wishes
although you can’t control even your own feelings?
Things I used to love when I was young but, not so much now:
the air from air conditioners, buffet, horror movie, plane ride, big city, and playing all night…
Things I used to dislike when I was young, but I like now:
millet rice, walking, meditation, being alone, Mozart, exercise, tea…
Our mind has changed without realizing. And it is changing with each passing moment.
When praying, it’s sometimes necessary to pray your wish to come true.
But, rather it’s better to pray to expand the size of your mind enough to accept everything
no matter what happens.
Please don’t bargain with Buddha or God to grant your wish
because you have contributed money to them.
Please be ready to accept everything.
Even if things doesn’t go as you expect,
please don’t get angry.
Please release yourself, and accept the situation.
Resistance makes you unhappy.
If you can’t accept it,
please pray so that you can accept it.
p236 (summary of the epilogue)
When you are too busy and feel as if you are being chased by time,
When you have too many worries and there seems no end to think through,
When you were hurt by others and have a hard time,
When you feel just worried about your future looks very bleak,
why don’t you pause for a while?
Even for one minute, let’s stop.
Put your mind on the present and take a deep breath for a while.
What kind of sound do you hear now?
How do you feel your body now?
How does the sky look now?
When you pause, you can finally see…
your thoughts, your pains, and your relations.
That’s because when you stop, you can take a step back from it.
That’s why you can see more clearly than before when you were swayed by it.
And when you pause, you can finally see your surroundings…
such as family and co-workers’ face who always support you,
the scenery of towns where you always go but haven’t noticed,
and the talk you were hearing but actually you couldn’t catch.
If you stop doing now for a while,
the whole inside and outside of yourself will gradually emerge.
And feeling what emerged will lead to the fact that
in our mind there is not only an unsatisfied and imperfect me but also the one who is watching over it.
p125 (summary of the author’s thought about identity)
Americans (Westerners) judge the person’s identity from “what he does”. Whereas, in Korea the most important to judge his identity is “organization he belongs to and his job title”. Koreans consider that what kind of group the person is now belonging to is more important than what he is doing now and what he can do. Every time I return Korea, I’m puzzled why Koreans are so particular about educational background. If Steve Jobs had been Korean, not American, he would have faced a lot of difficulty carrying out his plans because of his educational background. Even if he had tried to establish an company like Apple Computer, he would have been thought his plan couldn’t be great because he hadn’t graduated from Harvard, Princeton, or Yale University and he wouldn’t have been able to get any supporters. Therefore, I feel sorry about it. Because my ideal society is the one focuses on “what the person can do now and what he is trying to do now”. If we try to find his identity from his background or organization, we tend to see his “past”, not his “present”. It’ll be a big mistake.