No River to Cross: trusting the enlightenment that’s always right here
It is often said that enlightenment means "crossing over to the other shore," that far-off place where we can at last be free from suffering. Likewise, it is said that Buddhist teachings are the raft that takes us there.
In this sparkling collection from one of the most vital teachers of modern Korean Buddhism, Zen Master Daehaeng shows us that there is no raft to find and, truly, no river to cross. She extends her hand to the Western reader, beckoning each of us into the unfailing wisdom accessible right now, the enlightenment that is always, already, right here.
A Zen (or seon, as Korean Zen is called) master with impeccable credentials, Daehaeng has developed a refreshing approach; No River to Cross is surprisingly personal. It's disarmingly simple, yet remarkably profound, pointing us again and again to our foundation, our "True Nature"—the perfection of things just as they are.
“No River to Cross speaks directly and simply from the heart, much in the manner of Shunryu Suzuki's Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind. Master Daehaeng's ability to penetrate the skin with plain and pointed words should give this work the same longevity."
—Francisca Cho, Georgetown University, translator of Everything Yearned For
"...introduces readers in the West to an unsung Zen heroine, 80-year-old Korean Buddhist nun Daehaeng Sunim. Her training and achievements as a Seon, or Zen, master are unusual, particularly for a woman. She spent 30 of her early years practicing alone in the mountains of South Korea and subsequently founded one of the largest and most influential Korean Buddhist institutions. No River to Cross is organized topically and presents a well-edited sample of Daehaeng's teaching, which range from the conceptual to the practical, from non-duality to money, from nirvana to family. This first taste of a fresh female voice leaves you hungry for more."
—Shambhala Sun magazine
"No River to Cross gives us a strong voice, at times astonishingly direct; a balance of clear explanations of the complex terms and concepts of Buddhist practice with precise, perfectly chosen, illuminating examples; and a striking relevance for today's world in Daehaeng Sunim's reflections, among other topics, on creation, evolution, and religious conflict."
—David McCann, recipient of the Manhae Prize for Arts and Sciences, and Director of the Korea Institute at Harvard University
"Daehaeng Sunim is a Korean Zen master who was born in 1927 and spent many years training in the mountains before she began to teach. The organization she founded has emerged as one of the most influential Korean Buddhist institutions today with more than 15 domestic branches and 10 overseas centers. This anthology of her writings is aimed at scholars and students alike who want to understand and put into practice the essentials of Buddhism. Daehaeng Sunim is especially helpful in her overview of 'letting go,' which is possible when we believe in our true Buddha nature. When we cling to fixed ideas, we continue to live in a prison, unwilling to taste the freedom the comes with an open mind and an appreciation for the connectedness of all things. For Daehaeng Sunim, the essence of Buddhism lies in applying and experiencing. A chapter on "Practice in Daily Life" is a gem. She discusses handling difficulties and suffering, illness, money and prosperity, family, true love, happiness, and harmony."
—Spirituality and Practice
"Daehaeng Kun Sunim emerges in this collection as one of the most creative and accessible of contemporary Korean Buddhist teachers, capable of using even the most mundane of daily events as grist for the mill of Buddhist teaching and practice."
—Robert Buswell, Director of the Center for Buddhist Studies, UCLA, from his Foreword
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Daehaeng Sunim emerges in one of the most creative and accessible of contemporary Korean Buddhist teachers. Her disciples, quite unusually, also include a number of monks—something unheard of previously in a patriarchal monastic tradition. The organization she founded over three decades ago, the Hanmaum Seonwon, has emerged as one of the most influential Korean Buddhist institutions today, with over fifteen domestic branches and ten overseas centers.