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Awakening, an English Translation of Enlightenment - Opening Our Eyes Has Been Published


To a life without regrets! Back on the starting line!


Ven. Pomnyun Sunim, who has been passing wisdom on how to live a happy life through books such as Wisdom for Newlyweds, Lessons for Mothers, and Prayer has published Awakening, an English translation of his book Enlightenment - Opening Our Eyes.



Most people live their lives habitually with their eyes closed without knowing what it means to be mindful in the moment or why they should do so. Ven. Pomnyun Sunim tells us that it is possible for all of us to live a life of happiness and freedom regardless of the situations we are in, but to make that possible, we must first “open our eyes.” Instead of using conceptual and philosophical terminology, Awakening conveys teachings of the Buddha with specific and vivid everyday language. Through the short stories in the book, we get an opportunity to deeply reflect on our lives and ourselves. When we examine ourselves according to Ven. Pomnyun Sunim’s teaching and practice being awake to the present, we are able to perceive correctly what a meaningful life may be. Only then do we finally realize how futile life is. Then, we can replace the futile life we have been living with a life of happiness.



Our life up until now is practice. Now, we begin a new life.


Ven. Pomnyun Sunim showed us the path to self-transformation with Prayer, a book well-known for the fact that Buddhist monks read it first and recommend it to laymen. In the new book, Awakening, he talks about being faithful to the present moment. Many of us either cling to the past or worry about the future. This is not because we don’t want to live in the present. Rather, we live habitually with our inner eyes closed without knowing what it means to be mindful to the present and why we should do so. Then, we complain that the world is dark and that we are not happy.” Ven. Pomnyun Sunim says that if we are not happy in this moment, we should “open our eyes” first.” He imparts his teaching on “mindfulness” with specific and vivid real-life language rather than with conceptual and philosophical words.



We should choose to live a life that’s joyful both at this moment and as we look back on our lives.

When was it that you felt content and proud of yourself? Was it when you were looking out for your own interests, or was it when you went out of your way to help your family members or friends? Isn’t it true that you remember the time when you were helpful to others as the proudest and most rewarding moment? At the end of the day, didn’t such a moment actually end up benefiting you the most?


Through the short stories in the book, Ven Pomnyun Sunim presents us with an opportunity to deeply reflect on our lives and ourselves. Accordingly, when we look inside ourselves and practice being mindful in the present, we can correctly perceive what is a meaningful life and what is a futile one. When we truly recognize the difference between those two, we can choose to pursue a meaningful and happy life over a futile one, so it is urgent that we “open our eyes.” Only when we do so, can we help others also awaken and open their eyes. This book helps us realize that this is the meaning of “attaining enlightenment and liberating all unenlightened beings,” the wisdom that the Buddha imparted to us a long time ago.



Once we open our eyes, the world is already bright.


Some people ask me, “How come you just give advice to people about their lives, laughing with them or scolding them instead of delivering Dharma talks about the profound teachings of the Buddha.” However, that is not accurate. I scold people when they stubbornly hold onto the views that go against natural principles, so that they can awaken and see their surroundings. Happiness is always with us in the same way that the sun shines down warmly in the spring. However, if we close our eyes or stay in the shade, we will complain that it is dark and cold. Once our eyes are open, all of us will see that the world is already bright.



1. Freedom from Existence
- Where Are You at This Very Moment? 14
- Nothing Is Inherently Right or Wrong 19
- One Bowl of Rice 23
- Freedom from Existence 26
- At This Moment 30
- Be Happy with Yourself 34
- Repentance 37
- Obstacles That Hinder Practice 42
- Seeing with an Empty Mind 45


2. Your Life Is Already in Front of You
- Prayer 50
- Have You Ever Seen a Stone Float on Water? 54
- The Principle of Cause, Condition, and Effect 57
- Interconnectedness of Every Existence in the World 60
- Good Causes and Conditions, Bad Causes and Conditions 63
- Your Life Is Already in Front of You 67
- Only Wash Hands When You Wash Hands Only Eat When You Eat 71


3. The Path to Enlightenment
- The Path to Enlightenment 76
- Practice in Name Only 78
- It Is You Who Makes Someone into a Teacher 81
- Things as They Are 84
- Reflect on the Past and Look at the Present from the Perspective
of the Future 89
- Why Love Turns into Hatred or Sorrow 95


4. Those Who Influence Others
- Those Who Are Easily Influenced by Negative Conditions 100
- Those Who Are Not Influenced Because They Distance Themselves from
External Conditions 104
- Those Who Are Not Influenced by External Conditions 108
- Those Who Influence Their Surroundings 112
- True Freedom 118
- Like Water, Like Wind 120
- Nothing to Be Attained 126


5. People · World · Nature
- Pure Land 132
- Future World 135
- The World, Beautiful Just the Way It Is 138
- Awareness Revolution 142
- Pure Mind, Good Friends, and Clean Land 147
- Returning to the Fundamental Teachings of the Buddha 153
- Cultivators of Pure Land 157


In Closing the Book 160


About the Author 162 

<깨달음 –내눈뜨기> 영문판, <Awakening>출간

후회없는 인생을 위하여! 다시 새로운 출발!

<스님의 주례사>, <엄마수업>, <기도> 등으로 행복하게 사는 법을 전하는 법륜 스님이 <깨달음-내눈뜨기>의 영문판 <Awakening>를 출간했다 


 많은 사람들이 지금 이 순간에 깨어 있다는 것이 어떤 의미인지, 왜 그래야 하는지 알지 못한채 마음의 눈을 감고 습관처럼 세월을 보낸다. 법륜 스님은 누구나 자신이 서 있는 그 자리에서 자유로운 삶, 행복한 삶을 누릴 수 있으며, 그러기 위해서는 ‘내 눈을 뜨는 것’이 먼저라고 말한다.< 깨달음>은 지금 ‘깨어있음’에 대해 관념적이고 철학적인 말 대신 구체적이고 생생한 현실의 언어로 가르침을 전한다. 짤막한 일화들을 통해 지금까지의 내 삶과 현재의 나를 들여다볼 수 있는 깊은 성찰의 시간을 갖게 한다. 스님의 가르침을 따라 자기 내면의 들여다보고 지금 이 순간 깨어 있는 연습을 통해 우리는 가치 있는 인생이 무엇인지 바르게 인식할 수 있게 된다. 헛된 삶이 무엇인지 그때서야 비로소 알게 되는 것이다. 그것을 바르게 인식할 때 그동안의 헛된 삶을 버리고 가치 있는 삶, 행복한 삶을 살아가게 된다.


이제까지의 삶은 연습이다. 지금부터 새로운 인생의 출발이다!

스님들이 먼저 읽고 권하는 책으로 널리 알려진 『기도』를 통해 자기변화 방법을 일러주었던 법륜 스님. 이제 스님이 지금 이 순간에 충실한 삶에 대해 이야기한다.
많 은 사람들이 지나간 과거에 매달리거나 아직 오지 않은 미래를 상상하며 두려워한다. 현재를 살고 싶지 않아서 그렇다기보다는 이 순간에 깨어 있다는 것이 어떤 의미인지, 왜 그래야 하는지 알지 못한채 마음의 눈을 감고 습관처럼 세월을 보내는 것이다. 그러고는 세상이 어둡다고, 행복하지 않다고 아우성이다. 법륜 스님은 이 순간 행복하지 않다면 무엇보다 ‘내 눈을 뜨는 것’이 먼저라고 말한다. 지금 ‘깨어있음’에 대해 관념적이고 철학적인 말 대신 구체적이고 생생한 현실의 언어로 가르침을 전한다.

순간순간 즐겁고, 돌아봐도 즐거운 삶을 선택해 살아야 한다

지 난날을 돌아보면 자랑스럽고 만족스러울 때는 언제였는가? 내 자신을 위했던 때인가, 아니면 내가 조금 어렵더라도 가족을 돕고 친구를 돕고 남을 도왔던 때인가? 남에게 도움이 될 때가 오히려 더 자랑스럽고 뿌듯한 일로 남아 있지 않은지. 결국 그러한 일이 결과적으로 나에게도 더 이롭지 않았는지.

법륜 스님은 짤막한 일화들을 통해 지금까지의 내 삶과 현재의 나를 들여다볼 수 있는 깊은 성찰의 시간을 갖게 한다. 스님의 가르침을 따라 자기 내면의 들여다보고 지금 이 순간 깨어 있는 연습을 통해 우리는 가치 있는 인생이 무엇인지 바르게 인식할 수 있게 된다. 헛된 삶이 무엇인지 그때서야 비로소 알게 되는 것이다. 그것을 바르게 인식할 때 그동안의 헛된 삶을 버리고 가치 있는 삶, 행복한 삶을 살아가게 된다. 지금 여기서 ‘내 눈을 뜨는 것’이 절실한 까닭이다. 감았던 눈을 뜨고, 무엇이 헛되고 무엇이 가치 있는 삶인지 바르게 알 때, 우리는 비로소 세상을 위해 불을 밝히는 노력을 할 수 있다. 이것이 상구보리 하화중생, 붓다가 오래전에 우리에게 전한 가르침이라는 것을 이 책은 깨닫게 해준다.

누구나 눈 뜨면 세상이 밝다

“스님은 무슨 부처님 깊은 가르침은 얘기하지 않고 인생 상담이나 하고, 그저 웃고 야단만 치고 그럽니까, 사람들은 얘기하지만 그렇지 않습니다. 여러분이 원리에 어긋나는 것을 계속 고집하면 스님이 야단을 하는 겁니다. 깨라고. 깨어서 사물을 보라고 말입니다. 행복은 늘 봄볕 들 듯이 나한테 들어 있는데 내가 눈을 감고 있거나, 내가 응달에 있으면서 세상이 어둡다, 세상이 춥다고 아우성치는 것과 같습니다. 눈 뜨면 누구에게나 세상은 밝습니다.” _법륜 스님


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About the author

About the Author

Ven. Pomnyun Sunim is the founder and the Head Monk of the Jungto Society. Guided by his teacher Ven. Bulshim Domoon Sunim, he entered the Buddhist Sangha at Boonwhangsa Temple, South Korea, in 1969, and was ordained a bihikku in 1991. He is not only a Buddhist monk but also a social activist who leads various movements such as an ecological awareness campaign, promotion of human rights and world peace, and eradication of famine, disease, and illiteracy.

Ven. Pomnyun Sunim has been advocating a new paradigm of civilization movement in which everyone becomes happy through practice, creates a happy society through active participation in social movements, and protects our environment and the Earth by leading a simple lifestyle. This vision is expressed in the Jungto Society’s motto, “Open Mind, Good Friends, and Clean Earth.”

Ven. Pomnyun Sunim has an exceptional ability for explaining the Buddha’s teachings in simple layman’s terms. Instead of giving lectures about Buddhist principles, he invites individuals in his audience to ask him questions about their concerns and doubts. Then he engages them in a dialogue to help them gain insight into the true nature of their problems, based on Buddhist principles. He challenges them to question their personal biases and helps them become more aware of their own perception of the world.

His talks have become very popular and familiar among South Korean audiences over the years. His “Hope” speaking tour from 2011 until 2014 was attended by more than 600,000 participants across 436 locations in South Korea. In 2014, he visited 106 cities around the world in 114 days and delivered 115 talks to more than 20,000 Koreans living overseas. Of these 115 talks, 8 were conducted in English for English-speaking audiences. Currently, in 2017, he is holding “Happiness” and “Reunification of the two Koreas” speaking engagements all over South Korea.

Pomnyun Sunim’s words of wisdom can be accessed through his books, social media, YouTube, TV, and radio. He has published more than 50 books since 1994, and many of his books were #1 bestsellers in South Korea. He has over 1 million followers in South Korea’s most popular messaging platform KaKao Talk, 100,000 daily downloads of his podcasts, and over 3 million views of his YouTube videos.

His extensive humanitarian work includes efforts to alleviate the suffering of ordinary North Koreans through the development of food aid programs and by working with marginalized people in Asian countries to build schools and promote community development. In recognition of his humanitarian work, he received the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Peace and International Understanding in 2002 and the POSCO TJ Park Community Development and Philanthropy Prize in 2011. Finally, in 2015, Pomnyun Sunim received Kripasaran Award from the Bengal Association at the 150th  Birth Anniversary Celebration of Ven. Mahasthavir Kripasaran, for his efforts in reviving Buddhism in India. 

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법륜法輪 스님은 평화와 화해의 메시지를 전하는 평화운동가이자 제3세계를 지원하는 활동가이며 인류의 문명전환을 실현해 가는 사상가, 깨어있는수행자이다. 1988년, 괴로움이 없고 자유로운 사람, 이웃과 세상에 보탬이 되는 보살의 삶을 서원으로 한 수행공동체(정토회)를 설립해수행자들과 함께 생활하고 있다. 법륜 스님의 법문은 쉽고 명쾌하다. 언제나 현대인의 눈높이에 맞추어 깨달음과 수행을 이야기 한다.

법륜 스님의 말과 글은 빙돌려 말하지 않고 군더더기 없이 근본을 직시한다. 밖을 향해 있는 우리의 시선을 안으로 돌이킨다. 어렵고 난해한 경전 역시 법륜스님을 만나면 스님의 지혜와 직관, 통찰의 힘으로 살아 숨쉬는 가르침이 된다.

지은 책으로는 직장인을 위한 <행복한 출근길>, 즐거운가정을 위한 법문집 <날마다 웃는집>, 부처님의 교화사례 <붓다, 나를 흔들다>, <붓다에게 물들다>, 불교입문서 <실천적 불교사상>, 대승불교의 대표 경전인 <금강경 강의>, 부처님의 일생을 다룬 <인간 붓다>, 즉문즉설 시리즈 <답답하면 물어라>, <스님 마음이 불편해요>, <행복하기 행복전하기>, 수행지침서 <기도_내려놓기>, <깨달음_내 눈 뜨기>, 젊은이들에게 꾸준히 사랑받고 있는 <스님의 주례사>, 자녀 교육의 마음 지침서 <엄마수업>, 청춘들을 위로하는 <방황해도 괜찮아>, 한반도의 평화와 통일의 비전을 제시하는 <새로운 100년> 등이 있다.

2000년 만해상 포교상(좋은벗들), 2002년 라몬 막사이사이상, 2007년 민족화해상, 2011년 포스코 청암봉사상, 통일문화대상, 2015 인도 벵골 불자연합 크리파사란 상 등을 수상했다.

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Sep 30, 2015
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