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Giving Thanks

Hyo Jin Moon October 8, 2006 7:00 am Belvedere

Here are my notes from Hyo Jin nim's speech Sunday 08 October 2006. My ability to convey what was actually said is limited. These, at most, convey some sense of what Hyo Jin nim said and are not a verbatim record.

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Joe Kinney

Rev. Andrew Compton is the MC. All welcome Hyo Jin nim and Yeon Ah nim and offer a bow.

(Hyo Jin nim bows to the audience as he approaches the stage; he brings a small notebook to the podium.)

Sorry that I'm a little late.

Based on Korean Tradition, just a few days ago we passed Thanksgiving. (Chu'sok the Korean "Harvest Moon" festival is on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month)

What are we thankful for? When you are first born.. I don't know if a baby can realize the status of their own being at the moment of inception when they emerge from the womb venturing into something that is absolutely foreign to them.

That's a different state. I don't know whether the newborn coming out of the womb can actually feel that stuff or anything for that matter. This is something that I wish that I could understand. Does the infant coming right out of the womb feel anything, and if it feels anything what does it feel? That's pretty much where you have to start.

Anything that is going to be anything; that is the start. Do you see God? And that kind of stuff. Do you know God personally? Do you have His cell phone number? (Laughter) That kind of stuff.

We believe in something because we want ... because of our intellectual capacity to look at the past. And the past doesn't really look pretty in terms of building what we want in the ideal sense.

That's why religion is a powerful force in history. Because we want to know "what did I think when I first came out of the womb?" Think? If I did then what did I think? Was I happy to be here or not happy? We could start with that.

Do you remember what you thought when you were first born? Can you honestly say to somebody else, yourself even, that you know absolutely, for sure, that I know the answer, "I was happy." I was not happy." Or what ever in between, I don't care. Do you have that answer? Pretty much, basically that's where we start from, our individual self. Everything else is influenced. If you are nor sure of your self, if you don't know who you are, if you don't know your limit, pretty much you're the product of influence around you, your reality.

Go back and think about your situation. Think about your reality. How far can I go back? To my beginning, my beginning. Now just put aside somebody else for now OK? Your beginning. How far can I go back and start to fundamentally ask myself and give myself fundamental answers?