Caveat: 108 On Cloth

When I was at 보문사 [bomun temple] on Sunday, in the shop beside the temple I found something I had always wondered if existed but had never actually seen before: an “on cloth” rendering of [broken link! FIXME] the 108 Buddhist affirmations that I translated (attempted to translate) in 2010~11.
So I bought one – I seem to have developed a habit of collecting these cheap little cloth renderings of aphorisms and phrases and excerpts of sacred writings.
2013-08-19 17.19.41
I haven’t analyzed it too closely, but I think they’re exactly the same list. I still have no idea if these affirmations are uniquely Korean in origin or if they are translations of some older Chinese or Gandharan or Pali tradition.


After yesterday morning’s session at the hospital, I felt really tired. I napped for a short time, then met my friend Mr Kwon for lunch while Andrew and Hollye did their own touristic trip into Seoul. After lunch I went to work but there wasn’t much for me to do there. Given I wasn’t feeling very good, that was a good thing, so by about 6 pm I had come home. Andrew and Hollye came over and we watched a movie and I went to sleep.
It felt like a useless day. I felt tired and achey and grumpy all day. I struggle with all these worries about the radiation: is that twinge of toothache a symptom? is that pain in my neck a symptom? how about the headache? Some no doubt are, others are just hypochondria.

Caveat: A Consolidated List of 108 Affirmations

Quite some time back, I translated (or, rather, attempted to translate) a list of 108 Korean Buddhist affirmations, which I had initially encountered on a Buddhist
television channel in early 2010, but then subsequently
researched and found online.

After having finished that little translation project more than a year and a half ago, I have finally decided to put the complete list in a single place (instead of being scattered through [broken link! FIXME] 108 blog entries, using the "create page" functionality of my blog host (a "page" is different from a "post" in that it isn't a dated entry but a sort of stand-alone entry).

[broken link! FIXME] Here is my newly-created page of the 108 affirmations with translations.


One thing I have wondered about is if these affirmations were natively Korean, or if they derived from some older tradition. There is definitely a tradition in the wider Buddhist sphere of creating lists of 108 affirmations, prayers, or other types of things, but I haven't run across this particular list of affirmations (I mean in terms of the content of their meanings). I don't have the linguistic ability to research very thoroughly or effectively, though. If the Korean 108 affirmations came from somewhere, they were likely mediated through classical Chinese, about which I know nil. I'm a little better with Pali (the Prakrit language of the core Buddhist scriptures – only in that I can muddle through the abjad and/or find romanized versions that are vaguely decipherable or provided with translations), but I haven't seen anything like this list in Pali.

I recently learned that China acquired Buddhism from the Gandharan civilization – which was the Indo-Hellenic civilization in the upper Indus valley and the Kush (i.e. modern Northwest Pakistan and eastern Afghanistan). This is interesting to think about, as it leads to scholarly speculation as to the level of influence between classical Greek thought (I'm thinking here of the same currents of Platonist and neo-Platonist thought that so strongly influenced the New Testament) and the evolution of Mahayana Buddhism (i.e. as practiced in the "North": China, Korea, Japan, etc.) as distinct from Theraveda Buddhism (i.e. as practiced in the "South": Sri Lanka, Burma, India, Thailand, etc.). The so-called "Esoteric" Buddhism of Tibet and Bhutan is a third strain that has its own history.


I took the picture below in June, 2010, visiting 원효사 (Wonhyo Temple) near Gwangju.

20100619-temple-picture38

 

Caveat: 108) 부처님. 오늘 지은이 인연 아낌없이 시방 법계에 회향하며 절합니다

“Buddha. I bow and turn today to the realm of Buddha now in generosity and kindness.”
This is the last of a series of [broken link! FIXME] 108 daily Buddhist affirmations that I have been attempting to translate. I started, almost accidentally, in September of 2010, and now I’ve reached the last one.  I can’t guarantee the results, as I don’t really know Korean very well, but it’s been nice to try.


106. [broken link! FIXME] 부처님. 저는 선지 식을 만날 수 있기를 발원하며 절합니다.
           “Buddha. I bow and pray to be able to find the ways of the prophets.”
107. [broken link! FIXME] 부처님. 저는이 세상에 부처님이 오시기를 발원하며 절합니다.
           “Buddha. I bow and pray that Buddha comes into the world.”
108. 부처님. 오늘 지은이 인연 아낌없이 시방 법계에 회향하며 절합니다.

I would read this one hundred eighth affirmation as: “Buddha. I bow and turn today to the realm of Buddha now in generosity and kindness.”
This was difficult.  I didn’t know what to do with “인연” (probably “karma” in this context) – so I ignored it as a gratuitous extra noun.  There was nothing for it to “attach to,” grammatically.  I had all these adverbs (“in kindness,” “in generosity,” “today,” “now”) but no verbs to attach to.
So I finish with the same doubts and ambivalences as I started with. As I’ve said in other places in this blog, I’m feeling very discouraged about my progress in learning Korean. I’m not doing very well with it. Having these little translations to turn to over the last year has been a good way to recover some focus on this project, so I’m going to miss it.  I’m fishing around for a replacement project, but so far I haven’t come up with anything.
“We are here on Earth to fart around. Don’t let anybody tell you any different.” – Kurt Vonnegut, A Man Without a Country, 2005.

Caveat: 107) 부처님. 저는이 세상에 부처님이 오시기를 발원하며 절합니다

“Buddha. I bow and pray that Buddha comes into the world.”
This is #107 out of a series of [broken link! FIXME] 108 daily Buddhist affirmations that I am attempting to translate with my hands tied behind my back (well not really that, but I’m deliberately not seeking out translations on the internet, using only dictionary and grammar).


105. [broken link! FIXME] 부처님. 저는 수행하는 마음이 물러나지 않기를 발원하며 절합니다.
           “Buddha. I bow and pray not to withdraw from a functioning mind.”
106. [broken link! FIXME] 부처님. 저는 선지 식을 만날 수 있기를 발원하며 절합니다.
           “Buddha. I bow and pray to be able to find the ways of the prophets.”
107. 부처님. 저는이 세상에 부처님이 오시기를 발원하며 절합니다.

I would read this one hundred seventh affirmation as: “Buddha. I bow and pray that Buddha comes into the world.”
What I’m listening to right now.

정재은, “당신과 둘이라면.”  This is a genre of music called 트로트 [teuroteu “trot”] and it is the Korean cultural equivalent of country-western music in the US, or maybe norteño music in Mexico.  Basically, the genre consists of Korean folk-songs and love ballads, with cheesy 70’s-style backing music.  Also please pardon the cheesy Korean historical-drama screenshot on the youtube I found with the song.

Caveat: 106) 부처님. 저는 선지 식을 만날 수 있기를 발원하며 절합니다

“Buddha. I bow and pray to be able to find the ways of the prophets.”
This is #106 out of a series of [broken link! FIXME] 108 daily Buddhist affirmations that I am attempting to translate with my hands tied behind my back (well not really that, but I’m deliberately not seeking out translations on the internet, using only dictionary and grammar).


104. [broken link! FIXME] 부처님. 저는 반야 지혜가 자라기를 발원하며 절합니다.
           “Buddha. I bow and pray to grow in wisdom.”
105. [broken link! FIXME] 부처님. 저는 수행하는 마음이 물러나지 않기를 발원하며 절합니다.
           “Buddha. I bow and pray not to withdraw from a functioning mind.”
106. 부처님. 저는 선지 식을 만날 수 있기를 발원하며 절합니다.

ImagesI would read this one hundred sixth affirmation as: “Buddha. I bow and pray to be able to find the ways of the prophets.”
I’m not sure about “ways of the prophets” for “선지 식” – but just “the prophets” made me uncomfortable. “식” means “ceremony” or “rite.”  I decided to make it “ways.”
I have two affirmations left.  [broken link! FIXME] Raggedsign day is approaching. I think I will make my last post on that anniversary.  Another finishing, another beginning. Year 13 of my life as ghost-in-the-world draws to a close.

[Picture: [broken link! FIXME] Saul on the road to Damascus]

Caveat: 105) 부처님. 저는 수행하는 마음이 물러나지 않기를 발원하며 절합니다

“Buddha. I bow and pray not to withdraw from a functioning mind.”
This is #105 out of a series of [broken link! FIXME] 108 daily Buddhist affirmations that I am attempting to translate with my hands tied behind my back (well not really that, but I’m deliberately not seeking out translations on the internet, using only dictionary and grammar).


103. [broken link! FIXME] 부처님. 저는 보살행을 실천하며 살아가기를 발원하며 절합니다.
            “Buddha. I bow and pray to live and practice toward becoming a bodhisattva.”
104. [broken link! FIXME] 부처님. 저는 반야 지혜가 자라기를 발원하며 절합니다.
           “Buddha. I bow and pray to grow in wisdom.”
105. 부처님. 저는 수행하는 마음이 물러나지 않기를 발원하며 절합니다.

I would read this one hundred fifth affirmation as: “Buddha. I bow and pray not to withdraw from a functioning mind.”
Or… functioning heart.  Or heart that functions.  Mind and heart:  마음. It’s not so much linked to a specific organ in the body, as the western terms are, as to the function of feeling, I think.
I like this affirmation.  It seems to be saying:  trust your feelings. Follow them.  Maybe I’m wrong.  I don’t know.
I’m running out of affirmations.  I can’t decide what I’m going to replace this amazingly regular blog-feature with, when I run out.  Any suggestions, O universe?  I guess I’ll just follow my heart.
Not at all related, and maybe even somewhat inappropriate… what I’m listening to right now.

Eisbrecher (a pallific German goth/industrial rock group), “Schwarze witwe” (black widow).  The song seems to be about vampiric sex, or something like that.  I’m not so good at understanding German – but I never let a failure to understand a language interfere with my ability to enjoy it.  So I have a lot of music in various languages that I barely understand in rotation among my mp3 files – German, Japanese, Portuguese, Korean, etc.

Caveat: 104) 부처님. 저는 반야 지혜가 자라기를 발원하며 절합니다

“Buddha. I bow and pray to grow in wisdom.”
This is #104 out of a series of [broken link! FIXME] 108 daily Buddhist affirmations that I am attempting to translate with my hands tied behind my back (well not really that, but I’m deliberately not seeking out translations on the internet, using only dictionary and grammar).


100. [broken link! FIXME] 부처님. 저는이 세상에 전쟁이 없기를 발원하며 절합니다.
           “Buddha. I bow and pray not to be at war with the world.” 
101. [broken link! FIXME] 부처님. 저는이 세상에 가난이 없기를 발원하며 절합니다.
          “Buddha. I bow and pray not to be destitute in the world.” 
102. [broken link! FIXME] 부처님. 저는이 세상에 질병이 없기를 발원하며 절합니다.
           “Buddha. I bow and pray not to suffer sickness in the world.”
103. [broken link! FIXME] 부처님. 저는 보살행을 실천하며 살아가기를 발원하며 절합니다.
            “Buddha. I bow and pray to live and practice toward becoming a bodhisattva.”
104. 부처님. 저는 반야 지혜가 자라기를 발원하며 절합니다.

I would read this one hundred fourth affirmation as: “Buddha. I bow and pray to grow in wisdom.”
I have no idea what “반야” is – is it a verb with a “-야” ending, or a noun that I can’t find in the dictionary?  The only dictionary meaning found was “midnight” which makes no sense.  I basically ignored it in the above effort at translation.
Robot 005
 

Caveat: 103) 부처님. 저는 보살행을 실천하며 살아가기를 발원하며 절합니다

“Buddha. I bow and pray to live and practice toward becoming a bodhisattva.”
This is #103 out of a series of [broken link! FIXME] 108 daily Buddhist affirmations that I am attempting to translate with my hands tied behind my back (well not really that, but I’m deliberately not seeking out translations on the internet, using only dictionary and grammar).


100. [broken link! FIXME] 부처님. 저는이 세상에 전쟁이 없기를 발원하며 절합니다.
           “Buddha. I bow and pray not to be at war with the world.” 
101. [broken link! FIXME] 부처님. 저는이 세상에 가난이 없기를 발원하며 절합니다.
          “Buddha. I bow and pray not to be destitute in the world.” 
102. [broken link! FIXME] 부처님. 저는이 세상에 질병이 없기를 발원하며 절합니다.
           “Buddha. I bow and pray not to suffer sickness in the world.”
103. 부처님. 저는 보살행을 실천하며 살아가기를 발원하며 절합니다.

I would read this one hundred third affirmation as: “Buddha. I bow and pray to live and practice toward becoming a bodhisattva.”
I was completely stumped by the -행 ending in 보살행.  It’s not in online Korean-English dictionaries, but it’s in the Korean only ones, where the definition is: “보살이 부처가 되려고 수행하는, 자기와 남을 이롭게 하는 원만한 행동.”  I decided to take 보살행 as meaning something like “bodhisattvaism,” but then basically to disregard it in my effort to translate, and use a phrase like “becoming a bodhisattva” instead.  I have no idea if this the right meaning.

Caveat: 102) 부처님. 저는이 세상에 질병이 없기를 발원하며 절합니다

“Buddha. I bow and pray not to suffer sickness in the world.”
This is #102 out of a series of [broken link! FIXME] 108 daily Buddhist affirmations that I am attempting to translate with my hands tied behind my back (well not really that, but I’m deliberately not seeking out translations on the internet, using only dictionary and grammar).


100. [broken link! FIXME] 부처님. 저는이 세상에 전쟁이 없기를 발원하며 절합니다.
           “Buddha. I bow and pray not to be at war with the world.” 
101. [broken link! FIXME] 부처님. 저는이 세상에 가난이 없기를 발원하며 절합니다.
          “Buddha. I bow and pray not to be destitute in the world.” 
102. 부처님. 저는이 세상에 질병이 없기를 발원하며 절합니다.

I would read this one hundred second affirmation as: “Buddha. I bow and pray not to suffer sickness in the world.”
I say that, currently suffering sickness.  Well.  Such is life.  It’s not a severe sickness, setting aside certain subtle inclincations toward hypochondria that I sometimes experience.
What I’m listening to right now.

Sarah Jarosz, “Left Home.”

Caveat: 101) 부처님. 저는이 세상에 가난이 없기를 발원하며 절합니다

“Buddha. I bow and pray not to be destitute in the world.”
This is #101 out of a series of [broken link! FIXME] 108 daily Buddhist affirmations that I am attempting to translate with my hands tied behind my back (well not really that, but I’m deliberately not seeking out translations on the internet, using only dictionary and grammar).


99. [broken link! FIXME] 부처님. 저는 모든 생명이 평화롭기를 발원하며 절합니다.
        “Buddha. I bow and pray to exist harmoniously with all life.” 
100. [broken link! FIXME] 부처님. 저는이 세상에 전쟁이 없기를 발원하며 절합니다.
           “Buddha. I bow and pray not to be at war with the world.” 
101. 부처님. 저는이 세상에 가난이 없기를 발원하며 절합니다.

I would read this one hundred first affirmation as: “Buddha. I bow and pray not to be destitute in the world.”
I would only add that poverty is in part, at least, a state of mind.  Not that I deny real causes and inequalities – as a lapsed marxist, I must allow them.  But beyond the most basic needs of food and shelter, most of our needs are manufactured for us by our culture.  Hence true destitution is starvation and exposure to the raw elements – that’s something worth praying against.
On a lighter note, here’s a handy happiness diagram I found online.  
Life
Observe its truth, in your own life, today.

Caveat: 100) 부처님. 저는이 세상에 전쟁이 없기를 발원하며 절합니다

“Buddha. I bow and pray not to be at war with the world.”
This is #100 out of a series of [broken link! FIXME] 108 daily Buddhist affirmations that I am attempting to translate with my hands tied behind my back (well not really that, but I’m deliberately not seeking out translations on the internet, using only dictionary and grammar).


98. [broken link! FIXME] 부처님. 저는 맑고 밝은 마음 가지도록 발원하며 절합니다.
        “Buddha. I bow and pray to bear a clear and bright heart.” 
99. [broken link! FIXME] 부처님. 저는 모든 생명이 평화롭기를 발원하며 절합니다.
        “Buddha. I bow and pray to exist harmoniously with all life.” 
100. 부처님. 저는이 세상에 전쟁이 없기를 발원하며 절합니다.

I would read this one hundredth affirmation as: “Buddha. I bow and pray not to be at war with the world.”
I’m not sure if this is supposed to be “not to be at war with the world” or “that  there is no war in the world.”  There is a pronoun with both a topic and and subject marker, and then the strange verb 없다 [eops-da = not to have] (which essentially slots two subjects, grammatically, with I as one subject and war as the other).  So it means “I don’t have war” or “War doesn’t have me” or “Around me there is no war” or “Around war I am not.”  Or something like that.  Translating it clearly is challenging, given my limited understanding.  I suppose from a pragmatic standpoint, all of these are roughly similar.
All of which is relavant in the context of Qaddafi’s death yesterday, which leaves me queasy despite his possibly deserving to have died – did he die fighting, or was he summarily executed?  I’m guessing the latter, and that makes me uncomfortable, just as it did with Osama bin Laden.  When did summary execution once again become the norm?  I thought sometime during the 20th century we decided, at a globally collective level perhaps – but most certainly at the level of “Civilization” – that such things as summary executions were uncivilized.
It’s so pleasing that [broken link! FIXME] the future Space Emperor signed off on this Libyan project.  Um.  Not.  Then again, the quote from Lincoln (at link) is the right sort of forshadowing – Mr Lincoln wasn’t exactly a pacifist, was he?
 

Caveat: 99) 부처님. 저는 모든 생명이 평화롭기를 발원하며 절합니다

“Buddha. I bow and pray to exist harmoniously with all life.”
This is #99 out of a series of [broken link! FIXME] 108 daily Buddhist affirmations that I am attempting to translate with my hands tied behind my back (well not really that, but I’m deliberately not seeking out translations on the internet, using only dictionary and grammar).


97. [broken link! FIXME] 부처님. 저는 자비로운 마음으로 살기를 발원하며 절합니다.
         “Buddha. I bow and pray to live with a compassionate heart.”
98. [broken link! FIXME] 부처님. 저는 맑고 밝은 마음 가지도록 발원하며 절합니다.
        “Buddha. I bow and pray to bear a clear and bright heart.” 
99. 부처님. 저는 모든 생명이 평화롭기를 발원하며 절합니다.

I would read this ninety-ninth affirmation as: “Buddha. I bow and pray to exist harmoniously with all life.”
 

Caveat: 98) 부처님. 저는 맑고 밝은 마음 가지도록 발원하며 절합니다

“Buddha. I bow and pray to bear a clear and bright heart.”
This is #98 out of a series of [broken link! FIXME] 108 daily Buddhist affirmations that I am attempting to translate with my hands tied behind my back (well not really that, but I’m deliberately not seeking out translations on the internet, using only dictionary and grammar).


96. [broken link! FIXME] 부처님. 저는 매사에 긍정적이기를 발원하며 절합니다.
        “Buddha. I bow and pray to think positively in everything.”
97. [broken link! FIXME] 부처님. 저는 자비로운 마음으로 살기를 발원하며 절합니다.
         “Buddha. I bow and pray to live with a compassionate heart.”
98. 부처님. 저는 맑고 밝은 마음 가지도록 발원하며 절합니다.

I would read this ninety-eighth affirmation as: “Buddha. I bow and pray to bear a clear and bright heart.”
A picture of an exterior temple wall from somewhere in Jeollanam Province that I took sometime in 2010.
P1040835

Caveat: 97) 부처님. 저는 자비로운 마음으로 살기를 발원하며 절합니다

“Buddha. I bow and pray to live with a compassionate heart.”
This is #97 out of a series of [broken link! FIXME] 108 daily Buddhist affirmations that I am attempting to translate with my hands tied behind my back (well not really that, but I’m deliberately not seeking out translations on the internet, using only dictionary and grammar).


95. [broken link! FIXME] 부처님. 저는 매사에 정직하기를 발원하며 절합니다.
“Buddha. I bow and pray to be honest in everything.”
96. [broken link! FIXME] 부처님. 저는 매사에 긍정적이기를 발원하며 절합니다.
“Buddha. I bow and pray to think positively in everything.”
97. 부처님. 저는 자비로운 마음으로 살기를 발원하며 절합니다.

I would read this ninety-seventh affirmation as: “Buddha. I bow and pray to live with a compassionate heart.”
What I’m listening to right now.

DownloadAntonio Carlos Jobim’s instrumental from his album Stone Flower, “Tereza My Love.”   As one critic put it: “Brazilian music made for Americans.”  But that doesn’t really detract from it, that much.

Caveat: 96) 부처님. 저는 매사에 긍정적이기를 발원하며 절합니다

“Buddha. I bow and pray to think positively in everything.”
This is #96 out of a series of [broken link! FIXME] 108 daily Buddhist affirmations that I am attempting to translate with my hands tied behind my back (well not really that, but I’m deliberately not seeking out translations on the internet, using only dictionary and grammar).


94. [broken link! FIXME] 부처님. 저는 매사에 최선을 다하기를 발원하며 절합니다.
         “Buddha. I bow and pray to do the best in everything.”
95. [broken link! FIXME] 부처님. 저는 매사에 정직하기를 발원하며 절합니다.
         “Buddha. I bow and pray to be honest in everything.” 
96. 부처님. 저는 매사에 긍정적이기를 발원하며 절합니다.

I would read this ninety-sixth affirmation as: “Buddha. I bow and pray to think positively in everything.”
Spinoza This affirmation is quite important.  It is perhaps one of the affirmations that I have in fact been practicing, on and off, for a very long time.  It brings to mind the French philosopher Gilles Deleuze, writing on Spinoza:  “ethical joy is the correlate of speculative affirmation.”  I’ve mentioned that quote before, on this blog – it’s one of my favorite and most meaningful, so [broken link! FIXME] I come back to it a lot.  I found the silly image of Baruch de Spinoza in a random online search.  Philosophical powers, indeed!

At hagwon, yesterday, we returned to the regular schedule (post-시험대비, so to speak), but many of the middle-schoolers didn’t bother to show up – out recovering from their mid-terms, I suspect.  So we ended up showing them a movie:  Green Lantern.  One of the other teachers thought it could be justified “educationally” by having me ask some “comprehension” questions afterward, so I got to watch it too – during which I took notes and imagined I was going to have to write some kind of review.  My semiotician’s trope-detector kicked into overdrive, entertainingly.
We didn’t finish the movie, but in the last few minutes of class, I asked the kids what they would do if the alien had chosen to give one of them the green lantern and magic green ring (with it’s seemingly infinite, vaguely Nietzschean powers).
One girl said, confidently, “I will sell it.”  I laughed.  Money is better than infinite powers of Will.  Of course.  So… Man.  Superman.  Billionaire.

Caveat: 95) 부처님. 저는 매사에 정직하기를 발원하며 절합니다

“Buddha. I bow and pray to be honest in everything.”
This is #95 out of a series of [broken link! FIXME] 108 daily Buddhist affirmations that I am attempting to translate with my hands tied behind my back (well not really that, but I’m deliberately not seeking out translations on the internet, using only dictionary and grammar).


93. [broken link! FIXME] 부처님. 저는 매사에 겸손하기를 발원하며 절합니다.
         “Buddha. I bow and pray to be humble in everything.”
94. [broken link! FIXME] 부처님. 저는 매사에 최선을 다하기를 발원하며 절합니다.
         “Buddha. I bow and pray to do the best in everything.”
95. 부처님. 저는 매사에 정직하기를 발원하며 절합니다.

I would read this ninety-fifth affirmation as: “Buddha. I bow and pray to be honest in everything.”

Caveat: 94) 부처님. 저는 매사에 최선을 다하기를 발원하며 절합니다

“Buddha. I bow and pray to do the best in everything.”
This is #94 out of a series of [broken link! FIXME] 108 daily Buddhist affirmations that I am attempting to translate with my hands tied behind my back (well not really that, but I’m deliberately not seeking out translations on the internet, using only dictionary and grammar).


92. [broken link! FIXME] 부처님. 저는 남을 원망하지 않기를 발원하며 절합니다.
         “Buddha. I bow and pray not to resent other people.”
93. [broken link! FIXME] 부처님. 저는 매사에 겸손하기를 발원하며 절합니다.
         “Buddha. I bow and pray to be humble in everything.”
94. 부처님. 저는 매사에 최선을 다하기를 발원하며 절합니다.

I would read this ninety-fourth affirmation as: “Buddha. I bow and pray to do the best in everything.”
And hence, to Nirvana.  Not the end state of Buddhist practice, but the rock band.
On the radio there is a lot of retrospective about the 20th anniversary of Nirvana’s Nevermind album.  Everyone is saying it’s a group and album that changed everything.
So, speaking of doing one’s best, actually, I am inclined to agree.  I remember hearing the boys from Aberdeen, Washington, in 91 or 92 when I was in the Army, or shortly after getting out, and thinking, this is a band that is really representing something new, something different, something capturing the alienation of the post-disco, post-Reagan generation.  And I have a very, very distinct and clear memory of when I was studying in Valdivia, Chile, in 1994, and going to some bar or nightclub with some Chilean friends I’d made, and “Smells like teen spirit” playing, and one of them (who happened to be an activist in the post-Pinochet truth and reconciliation movement) turning to me and saying “Este grupo Nirvana es el más importante de nuestra generación – verás” [this group Nirvana is the most important of our generation – you’ll see].
I listened to the sound carefully, because of that, and felt inclined to agree in that moment, having drunk 1 or 2 Pisco Sours (Chile’s national cocktail).
What I’m listening to right now.

Nirvana, “Come as you are.”  My personal favorite from that album, maybe.  Perhaps one strength of Nirvana was that they managed to be huge and famous and yet in some weird way remained raw and utterly unpretentious. Not that that lack of pretention rescued Mr Cobain from his untimely suicide, right?  That means something, too.

Screencap from the video – note the lyric, “no I don’t have a gun.”
Idonthaveagun_html_7fc8cd83

Caveat: 93) 부처님. 저는 매사에 겸손하기를 발원하며 절합니다

“Buddha. I bow and pray to be humble in everything.”
This is #93 out of a series of [broken link! FIXME] 108 daily Buddhist affirmations that I am attempting to translate with my hands tied behind my back (well not really that, but I’m deliberately not seeking out translations on the internet, using only dictionary and grammar).


91. [broken link! FIXME] 부처님. 저는 남을 무시하지 않기를 발원하며 절합니다.
        “Buddha. I bow and pray not to disdain other people.”
92. [broken link! FIXME] 부처님. 저는 남을 원망하지 않기를 발원하며 절합니다.
         “Buddha. I bow and pray not to resent other people.”
93. 부처님. 저는 매사에 겸손하기를 발원하며 절합니다.

I would read this ninety-third affirmation as: “Buddha. I bow and pray to be humble in everything.”

Caveat: 92) 부처님. 저는 남을 원망하지 않기를 발원하며 절합니다

“Buddha. I bow and pray not to resent other people.”
This is #92 out of a series of [broken link! FIXME] 108 daily Buddhist affirmations that I am attempting to translate with my hands tied behind my back (well not really that, but I’m deliberately not seeking out translations on the internet, using only dictionary and grammar).


90. [broken link! FIXME] 부처님. 저는 남을 비방하지 않기를 발원하며 절합니다.
        “Buddha. I bow and pray not to slander other people.”
91. [broken link! FIXME] 부처님. 저는 남을 무시하지 않기를 발원하며 절합니다.
        “Buddha. I bow and pray not to disdain other people.”
92. 부처님. 저는 남을 원망하지 않기를 발원하며 절합니다.

I would read this ninety-second affirmation as: “Buddha. I bow and pray not to resent other people.”
200909_UlleungdoKR_buddhaandseamonstersp090914174140 Resent.  Is this like jealousy?  The dictionary also offers the word “blame” as a translation of 원망하다.  It also lists “hold a grudge” and “feel bitter toward.”   I see resentment and blame as being very different things.  But I can see how they’re linked.  I would say resentment and blame, together, are the number one “sins” of the expat community in Korea – foreigners like to sit in Korea and resent how things are different, or blame strange Korean culture for all the various misunderstandings and frustrations they have.  It’s so very easy to slip into that mode.  It’s why I stay away from online groupings of foreigners at all costs, generally.
Actually, I don’t feel like this is one of my bugaboos.  Maybe my big problem isn’t with resentment but rather with metaresentment.  By which I mean the fact of resenting others’ resentments.  Haha.
I took the picture at left two years ago during my visit to Ulleungdo (an isolated island off Korea’s east coast by a few hours by ferry).  Ulleungdo is by far my favorite rural place in Korea that I’ve visited.  I’m mostly a city person, but I seem to like my rural places “extreme” or remote, in some sense:  Patagonia, Southeast Alaska, Upper Michigan, Ulleungdo.

Caveat: 91) 부처님. 저는 남을 무시하지 않기를 발원하며 절합니다

“Buddha. I bow and pray not to disdain other people.”
This is #91 out of a series of [broken link! FIXME] 108 daily Buddhist affirmations that I am attempting to translate with my hands tied behind my back (well not really that, but I’m deliberately not seeking out translations on the internet, using only dictionary and grammar).


89. [broken link! FIXME] 부처님. 저는 거짓말하지 않기를 발원하며 절합니다.
        “Buddha. I bow and pray not to tell lies.”
90. [broken link! FIXME] 부처님. 저는 남을 비방하지 않기를 발원하며 절합니다.
        “Buddha. I bow and pray not to slander other people.”
91. 부처님. 저는 남을 무시하지 않기를 발원하며 절합니다.

I would read this ninety-first affirmation as: “Buddha. I bow and pray not to disdain other people.”
The one-word substitutions from one affirmation to the next are the easiest to translate.  Even if I don’t know the word, with the syntactical matrix being exactly the same all it takes is a simple dictionary look-up.  무시하다 can also mean “ignore,” and I nearly preferred that word over disdain.  Mostly because it would make it a very “relatable” affirmation – I am, in fact, sometimes quite guilty of ignoring other people.  I have such strong anti-social tendencies, maybe… or else, in a more positive way, it could be said that I value and need my solitude, daily.  It’s so difficult when people “reach out” to me and I’m just not “in the mood” to be social.  It seems more polite to ignore them than to respond with a “leave me alone” (clearly), but I nevertheless feel guilty about it.
I wonder how this could connect to those Buddhist monks who go off and live solitary, isolated lives.  Are they still called upon to not ignore others?  I suppose they’re making it difficult for others to reach out to them … isn’t that a kind of ignoring? 

Caveat: 90) 부처님. 저는 남을 비방하지 않기를 발원하며 절합니다

“Buddha. I bow and pray not to slander other people.”
This is #90 out of a series of [broken link! FIXME] 108 daily Buddhist affirmations that I am attempting to translate with my hands tied behind my back (well not really that, but I’m deliberately not seeking out translations on the internet, using only dictionary and grammar).


88. [broken link! FIXME] 부처님. 저는 모진 말을하지 않기를 발원하며 절합니다.
        “Buddha. I bow and pray not to speak harshly.”
89. [broken link! FIXME] 부처님. 저는 거짓말하지 않기를 발원하며 절합니다.
        “Buddha. I bow and pray not to tell lies.”
90. 부처님. 저는 남을 비방하지 않기를 발원하며 절합니다.

I would read this ninetieth affirmation as: “Buddha. I bow and pray not to slander other people.”
 

Caveat: 89) 부처님. 저는 거짓말하지 않기를 발원하며 절합니다

“Buddha. I bow and pray not to tell lies.”
This is #89 out of a series of [broken link! FIXME] 108 daily Buddhist affirmations that I am attempting to translate with my hands tied behind my back (well not really that, but I’m deliberately not seeking out translations on the internet, using only dictionary and grammar).


87. [broken link! FIXME] 부처님 . 저는시기하지 않기를 발원하며 절합니다.
        “Buddha. I bow and pray not to be envious.”
88. [broken link! FIXME] 부처님. 저는 모진 말을하지 않기를 발원하며 절합니다.
        “Buddha. I bow and pray not to speak harshly.”
89. 부처님. 저는 거짓말하지 않기를 발원하며 절합니다.

I would read this eighty-ninth affirmation as: “Buddha. I bow and pray not to tell lies.”
No lie.
P1050303
Photo, above, taken exactly one year ago, in Gwangju (during a Mudeung Mountain hike).

Caveat: 88) 부처님 . 저는 모진 말을하지 않기를 발원하며 절합니다

“Buddha. I bow and pray not to speak harshly.”
This is #88 out of a series of [broken link! FIXME] 108 daily Buddhist affirmations that I am attempting to translate with my hands tied behind my back (well not really that, but I’m deliberately not seeking out translations on the internet, using only dictionary and grammar).


86. [broken link! FIXME] 부처님 . 저는 교만하지 않기를 발원하며 절합니다.
        “Buddha. I bow and pray not to be arrogant.”
87. [broken link! FIXME] 부처님 . 저는시기하지 않기를 발원하며 절합니다.
        “Buddha. I bow and pray not to be envious.”
88. 부처님 . 저는 모진 말을하지 않기를 발원하며 절합니다.

I would read this eighty-eighth affirmation as: “Buddha. I bow and pray not to speak harshly.”
The following has a lot of harsh language in it  – so consider yourself forewarned.  But I don’t think it should be taken in that spirit. 
What I’m listening to, right now.

Prof, “Daughter,” featuring Brother Ali.

Caveat: 87) 부처님. 저는시기하지 않기를 발원하며 절합니다

“Buddha. I bow and pray not to be envious.”
This is #87 out of a series of [broken link! FIXME] 108 daily Buddhist affirmations that I am attempting to translate with my hands tied behind my back (well not really that, but I’m deliberately not seeking out translations on the internet, using only dictionary and grammar).


85. [broken link! FIXME] 부처님 . 저는 화내지 않기를 발원하며 절합니다.
        “Buddha. I bow and pray not to get angry.”
86. [broken link! FIXME] 부처님 . 저는 교만하지 않기를 발원하며 절합니다.
        “Buddha. I bow and pray not to be arrogant.”
87. 부처님 . 저는시기하지 않기를 발원하며 절합니다.

I would read this eighty-seventh affirmation as: “Buddha. I bow and pray not to be envious.”
Grandeza mexicana …Speaking of economics. 
But actually, I experienced a moment of envy, this morning, upon learning that my closest friend from graduate school has published a book.  It’s an “edition,” such as academics do – in this case, an edition of Balbuena’s “Grandeza mexicana” from 1604.
Envy, I guess, because it was once the sort of future I ambitiously imagined for myself… but it seems that I’ve traveled a different road.  Regardless, congratulations to my friend, and at some point look forward to reading what she wrote.
The problem with envy is that it’s pernicious – it doesn’t always really feel like a “negative” emotion.  How is it different than, say, aspiration?  Or is aspiration something to be avoided, too?  That’s a possible implication.  Desire as the source of suffering, and all that.

Caveat: 86) 부처님 . 저는 교만하지 않기를 발원하며 절합니다

“Buddha. I bow and pray not to be arrogant.”
This is #86 out of a series of [broken link! FIXME] 108 daily Buddhist affirmations that I am attempting to translate with my hands tied behind my back (well not really that, but I’m deliberately not seeking out translations on the internet, using only dictionary and grammar).


84. [broken link! FIXME] 부처님. 저는 욕심을 내지 않기를 발원하며 절합니다.
        “Buddha. I bow and pray not to be greedy.”
85. [broken link! FIXME] 부처님 . 저는 화내지 않기를 발원하며 절합니다.
        “Buddha. I bow and pray not to get angry.”
86. 부처님 . 저는 교만하지 않기를 발원하며 절합니다.

I would read this eighty-sixth affirmation as: “Buddha. I bow and pray not to be arrogant.”
This is a difficult one for me.  Through the years of my life, so many people have told me that I seem like an arrogant person.  I strive for non-arrogance.  Is that the same as humility?  How is this done?

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