Tuesday, January 6, 2009

January Update

The Mind is the Buddha, No mind is the Way. Just be without busy mind and you will discover countless moments of bliss. Peace will be your partner in life free of yes and no. May you all find the time to continue to find your true nature? May you come home again and again to the happy country within your heart? May you love yourselves enough to find the time to cultivate your practice and touch the tender places that reside in this body we call the self. May the I in you find more moments of We and those with over burdened lives find more I in the We. I is we and we is I, I is no other than We and We is no other than I. Take the time to become what you envision a loving Bodhisattva is and discover the true I. Sankhdoae Sunim

Sunday, February 3, 2008

What is the relationship between spirituality and your ministry in the role of a chaplain in a clinical setting?

I guess to answer the question, we should define what spirituality means to me using Webster’s dictionary: incorporeal or immaterial nature, predominantly spiritual character as shown in thought, life, etc.; spiritual tendency or tone, and concern with things of the spirit. I am using these three definitions to speak to the topic of the spirituality integrative piece of my ministry. On the surface my integrative pastoral work is first do no harm. Patients’ autonomy is also of paramount concern, and if the opportunity arises through discussion, observation, and intuition then my spiritual intervention piece may be used if the patient is open and receptive. This may include any of the following healing pastoral modalities in order of priority: spiritual presence, exchange self for other, radiant energy, active listing, verbal and non verbal feedback (to include proper tone inflection and pauses), silence, possible interventions during life review, relaxation, meditative techniques. In addition, my spiritual intervention my also include guided meditation and imagery integrating three of the senses, prayer appropriate to patient, music, song, logic, humor, spatial orientation and lighting.
Second, my life, which I believe to be an insignificant piece of the relative phenomenon which we are all part of, is interdependent made of spirit, energies, planetary elements and empty space at its roots. From that context, every moment I am an incarnate being in this physical world I am operating from the premise of spirituality. My life is nothing more than a ministry recognizing the oneness. Whether I am present in the most mundane and tedious activities to the most profound, it is part of my experience and my ministry to see this world as an amazing puzzle and sacred mystery. During Pastoral visits it takes all of my energy and focus, which I have developed over my life, to just be present with all of my senses and energy body. This, at many times, can be very taxing depending on the patient I am working with. This focus of awareness, and as some have called it intensity, seems to bring new hidden information to the surface; when the opportunity arises through proper questioning, often times relief and healing take place. This is often confirmed by unsolicited patient and peer feedback.
My spirituality is integrative drawing from science, research, meditation, logic, clairsentience and many of the mystic wisdom traditions of the world. This ongoing exhaustive search of what is this thing we are experiencing will end when time no longer remains for me. My love affair with the unknown and the great painful uncertainty that lurks around every corner led me to a very profound quote by Washington Carver which I have found to be true. “If you truly love something it will reveal it self to you.” I love the unknown “God” and its many creatures. I hope to continue to have a greater understanding of these experiences and rhythms of life with the intention of bringing greater peace, love, and understanding through continuing to develop my own empathic abilities. It is my hope that this leads to greater compassion for all beings, those seen and unseen.
In closing, there is no difference in my spirituality and ministry. In short, I go to bed ministering to myself through contemplation and reflection and wake to contemplation. I minister to all I meet, bearing witness to this continually changing world. Great is the matter of birth and death, impermanence surrounds us, be awake each moment, and do not waste this life. I have lived by these tenets and have said them aloud in the morning in my prostrating prayers for more than a decade. In addition to the eight fold path: right view, right thinking, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right meditation. What is it that observes this life?
Rev. Sankhodae Sunim aka Chaplain Vaughn

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Morning Calm

White morning calm has come my way.
Her frozen tears fall with nothing to say.
Touching my heart she fills with snow.
All I have is a tea spoon and a lifetime to show.
Bowing to her grace with tender heart and hand.
The bitter cold she shares has frozen my stand.
Knee deep in comedy at times painful to the touch

Unique and precious there nature is concealed.
Soon to be melted with nothing lost and nothing healed.
Sankhodae Sunim

Monday, September 24, 2007

What a ride!




Three times have passed.
No food to eat.
Surrounded by homes.
No shelter no sleep.
One foot in front of the other.
So tired no other.
Just you and me little brother.
Sankkhodae Sunim

Autumn Flower

May the Autumn Flower

Awaken in the winter of pracitce.

Sankhodae Sunim