Maggie H is a Global Explorer and Wellness Guru from Hong Kong. Among many spiritual endeavors, Maggie practices and leads Qigong meditation to help people around the world find their inner balance. Find out more about this practice and join her weekly on ICBRKR's live Qigong Meditation stream every Wednesday.

Photo credit: Mr. Lee Gilwoo

Ven. Hye Guk Sunim burned off three of his fingers in his early 20s, right before going into 2 years and 7 months of meditation where he wouldn't lie down for the entire duration.

I have met many practitioners who possess abilities beyond the normal range of human capabilities. Korean Zen master Venerable Hye-Guk Sunim was one of them. My first connection with him was over the phone, because I was living in Canada at that time. I boldly made a call to his monastery's general line for my burning questions. The lady on the phone wasn't sure if he'd be around to take the call, but she put me through.

After one ring, he himself picked up the phone. The first call lasted only a couple of minutes and I was given a mantra to practice. About a year and a half later, I stopped over in Korea for a week on my way to Hong Kong. Although it wasn't planned, I had a sudden desire to go see him at his monastery, so I got on the chartered bus that left at 7AM the next day. As it turned out, his monastery only allowed outsiders in one day a month – the third Saturday of each month. Somehow, that was the day I arrived and everything worked out for me, as if I had preplanned the whole trip.

When I got on the bus, everyone seemed to know one another except me. As we got closer to the monastery, a kind-looking old lady, who turned out to be the organizer of the monthly visits, came to me and asked if the Zen master knew me. I said no because we only spoke once on the phone briefly a while ago. She immediately replied, “Of course, then he knows you.” I doubted it, but everyone on the bus seemed to be agreeing with her.

After listening to his dharma talk and following a Bibimbap lunch with mountain vegetables, I had a chance to sit down with him. Naturally, we picked up where we left off as if we were continuing our phone conversation in person.

On the way back to Seoul, the kind lady told me a story. Once, a publisher had wanted to publish a book on all the dharma talks the Venerable Hye-Guk Sunim had delivered over the past 20 years, expecting that the Zen master would have saved all his scripts on his hard drive somewhere, as one does. Oh, but the Zen master was a computer illiterate. Apparently, he never had any scripts for his dharma talks, so he never saved any. The publisher panicked, but the Zen master promised he'd rewrite the scripts from memory. In the end, as expected, the Zen master produced the entire dharma talks for the publisher. But the story doesn't end there... Some of his dharma talks were privately recorded by his followers, and the recordings and scripts are identical word for word — even after 20 years!

How is this even possible? Because when he was preparing, delivering and recalling the talks, Ven. Hye-Guk Sunim was in the neutral, perfectly balanced state of body, mind, and spirit.

Let's imagine we walk into a stranger's living room for the first time and leave after 10 minutes. What would you remember? If you're an art lover, you'd remember the person's art collection. If you're into sports, you'd remember the trophies on the shelf. It really depends on what kinds of filters you normally use to gather information and blur out the rest.

Life becomes much simpler and painless when we are able to see things the way they are. All filters are lifted as we put our body and mind in a neutral, meditative state.

Sometimes, things are just what they are.

See you soon, at the next ICBRKR live Qigong Meditation stream, every Wednesday.

Maggie H is a Life Cartographer, Eastern philosopher, Qigong master, Buddhist and Taoist meditator, Feng Shui practitioner, and researcher of Buddhist scriptures. She lives in Hong Kong, and regularly travels to both India and South Korea to further her spiritual growth and development. Her lifelong motto is: "benefit to all humankind."

To find out more about Maggie's work, check out her website and join other ICBRKRs around the world in her live streams every Wednesday. Check the app, under Global Live Streams, for exact times in your location.


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