A Wish


Hyun-Sook Lee


It was for the carving of a wish that had branched out for such a long time that people gathered one after another at the place that was far off like a dream. A seed of hope flew here from nowhere ever before, it rooted in the depths of the heart, and now it pushed out new shoots, whispering low in a tinkling manner. When you pour out your heart and soul, your wish will be accomplished.

Whenever the breath of a small wish rose, its heart somehow began to go pit-a-pat. The seed of hope grew more and more into a stalk and then leaves, and then it was near to bud. A wish had grown into a big purpose desired to stretch out its stalk toward a bigger world just as the expanded mind is likely to burst forth. If you do not quickly catch up with the mind that is leaning toward a place, you will fail to appreciate the fruits of the wish. Walking hastily on the road at dawn, people get to the place where the mind has reached. In that place wrapped within a dense fog they look up at the sky with a mind in prayer. If a sincere wish reaches the sky and draws Buddhist benevolence, an earthshaking convulsion will be created in this bustling world and then Paradise will unfold so that everybody's dreams are able to come true.

What they desire is not a heavenly Paradise which they cannot approach because they are blinded by a light, but a good beautiful earthly Paradise that freshly unfolds on this earth where I live. It is a small wish that parents and children get together to lead a simple thrifty life and people in the whole world join together in harmony to live by sharing love. Holding crude rocks and pouring their true heart into them, their bare hands begin to engrave Buddha's mind at that far-off place, dream or reality. They plant Buddha's mind into their mind toward the rocks, eternally believing that once our wish reaches the heavens, a new world will soon open.

But it is truly strange. What is revealed from chiselling a carved Buddha from the rocks is in fact myself. The Buddha that I discover in the rocks is myself. Look around! Burning wishes are piling up here and there. He who is piling up heavy rocks one by one and setting up pagodas is piling up the stones of his everyday life. Thus a thousand buddhas are figures of a thousand people, and a thousand pagodas are not sacrificial offerings for God but become numerous reflections of the aspects of our lives.

People come to a realization: The forthcoming world is carved by people not by Buddha. The new beginning of the world is not to be performed by erecting Buddha as a proxy, but by erecting oneself.

A dream is not floating up high but is buried under our feet. So do not look up at the sky but look down at the earth. Denying himself to be a standing God image and lowering himself on the ground as a full human being, a lying buddha says, "Do not try to look up by erecting me, but try to arise yourself to look down at me." A buddha born out of a rock with a look of a human looks up a man that resembles himself and whispers low.

In the valley of Mt. Cheonbul 'a thousand,' men see buddhas, and buddhas see men. Scores of pagodas with previous lives on them greet scores of people with present lives, asking one another. "How is the world you are living in coming along?" The question getting space-time recede faraway suddenly makes the mind fade away.


unjusa 01 2009 | 17x22 photo | 139.14.11
unjusa 03 2009 | 17x22 photo | 140.14.11
© 2015 Inland Empire Museum of Art
All Art © by The Artist
unjusa 05 2009 | 17x22 photo | 141.14.11