Haemin Sunim Love Quotes and Sayings
#1-7 Love for Imperfect Things, Haemin Sunim, Translation: Deborah Smith and Haemin Sunim
1. In the depths of the heart, love is always flowing, like a river.
2. When you care for yourself first, the world will also find you worthy of care.
3. As you would invest in the person you love, so you should invest in yourself.
4. Do not despair over what is imperfect in yourself. Instead, look at your flaws with love.
5. We are worthy of being loved not because of what we do well but because we are precious living beings. Even if you don’t achieve the perfection the world demands, your existence already has value and is worthy of love.
6. Don’t think you are lovable only when you succeed at what the world demands. You are already worthy of love.
7. Love needs no reason other than love itself.
#8-12 Love for Imperfect Things, Haemin Sunim, Translation: Deborah Smith and Haemin Sunim
8. When we love someone, the greatest gift we can give is to be fully present for them.
9. Love is the state of not knowing, and of wanting to know more. Consider whether you think you already know your loved ones. If you do, you are failing to see them as they are right now and seeing them instead through the prism of previously held opinions.
10. The more expectations you have for a relationship, the more likely it is to go awry. When a relationship feels difficult, examine it closely. Might it be that one of you is expecting too much?
11. Obsession feels a lot like love. But of course it is not love. With obsession, unlike with love, you feel the subtle selfish desire to manipulate the other person according to your wishes. While love lets the other person be, obsession wants control.
12. Much of the stress in relationships comes from the lack of communication. If you stop talking to each other, your hearts will grow distant, and you will misunderstand each other. In your relationships with family, partners, and friends, however angry you may be, do not let the rope of conversation go slack for very long.
#13-15 The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down
13. Love is trusting someone, being there for someone, being ready to listen with a tender heart for no other reason than love.
14. Love means loving someone the way she is. Wanting her to be a certain way is not love but your desire.
15. Love comes naturally and effortlessly. If you try to love someone, then it is not real until you stop trying.
HAEMIN SUNIM is a Zen Buddhist teacher, writer and the founder of the School of Broken Hearts in Seoul. Born in South Korea and educated at Berkeley, Harvard, and Princeton, he received formal monastic training from Haein monastery, South Korea and taught Asian religions at Hampshire College in Massachusetts for seven years.
Sayings by Haemin Sunim
#1-5 Love for Imperfect Things, Haemin Sunim, Translation: Deborah Smith and Haemin Sunim
1. When we become kinder to ourselves, we can become kinder to the world.
2. Only if you are happy will you be able to make those around you happy.
3. Don’t judge people based on how they appear, as they may have difficulties that nobody can see.
4. When I extend a small kindness to others, I find it easier to like myself. If you feel that your self-esteem is low, try doing something nice for a stranger. As you begin to like yourself, your self-esteem will improve.
5. Even products labeled “limited edition” are made on a production line with hundreds that are exactly the same. But there is only one you in the world. Please cherish the unique individual that is you.
#6-11 Love for Imperfect Things, Haemin Sunim, Translation: Deborah Smith and Haemin Sunim
6. Everyone needs time alone…Go for a quiet walk alone and listen to your favorite songs. Being alone makes the world pause for a moment and helps to restore harmony.
7. Make the decision to be happy for yourself, and act on it.
8. Rather than trying to improve someone, just be a mirror, reflecting them without judgment. If you want them to improve, you stop seeing them as they are. Instead, you see only their shortcomings, measured against your own subjective standards.
9. What distresses us is less the circumstances we find ourselves in and more the energy we expend in resisting them.
10. A person’s behavior might not be motivated by any particular thought or feeling, but still we make all kinds of assumptions, deciding, “This person must think x about me.” Even though these are just projections of our anxiety onto someone else, we teach ourselves to dislike and even hate them, firmly believing in the truth of our assumptions.
11. Do not try to fit yourselves to each other to make one whole moon. Instead, be more like two full moons. You’ll respect each other’s individuality and interests while creating a relationship in which each of you shines brightly on the other.
#12-17 Love for Imperfect Things, Haemin Sunim, Translation: Deborah Smith and Haemin Sunim
12. If your current circumstances are stressful, try visualizing this: Your circumstances are a hurricane, and you are the eye of the storm. Do not get swept away by the storm. Follow the wisdom emanating from the storm’s peaceful eye.
13. Don’t assume another bus will be coming. Sometimes the route will have changed, and you will never get another chance to catch the bus you missed. If an opportunity is presented to you, don’t give in to your fear. Muster your courage and get on that bus.
14. There lives a far stronger and wiser being inside you than you imagine.
15. Starting is often the most difficult part. Once you have started, it’s much easier to continue.
16. You cannot control what other people think of you. But you can control what you are doing right now.
17. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel. It will reveal itself not suddenly but gradually. Don’t be discouraged. Things will get better for sure.
#18-23 Love for Imperfect Things, Haemin Sunim, Translation: Deborah Smith and Haemin Sunim
18. Just because you have failed to achieve your goal, it does not mean all your efforts were in vain. Failure is meaningful in itself, teaching you many new things.
19. When something hasn’t turned out well, don’t get up; keep going, and try different ways of making it work. There is no fixed answer, no single solution. We find the best approach through trial and error.
20. If you allow yourself to be shaken, the world will shake you all the harder. Be like the rock, which is not easily moved by other people’s praise or criticism.
21. No matter who you are, it is impossible for you to please everyone.
22. If we have too many possessions, we do not possess them; they possess us.
23. Though I am lacking in many ways, I want to be a person who can bring some small comfort to people, who can give them courage, like a ray of warm sunshine.
#24-28 Love for Imperfect Things, Haemin Sunim, Translation: Deborah Smith and Haemin Sunim
24. We sometimes find it difficult to control our emotions. At such times, take some quiet time alone. Go for walk on your own, watch a great film, read a new book, or do some meditation. Give the suppressed emotion space until it can breathe easily.
25. Any object that can be observed is not your true nature. For example, a cup, tree, or building can be observed, which means they are not you, the observer, but objects. In the same way, thoughts and emotions can be observed, but you still remain even after they disappear into silence. The main reason we suffer is because we mistakenly equate objects with the observer.
26. Your life is difficult not because the past is holding you back, but because you keep thinking about the past and lingering there. Rather than haggling with your past, let it be, so that it can flow like a river. Your true self is not the river of memory but the one who stands beside the river, quietly observing its flow.
27. The moment we allow ourselves to be, we finally feel at peace with ourselves. Remember that we can only be ourselves. When we accept ourselves, others begin to accept us, too.
28. Until you started thinking something was a problem, it hadn’t really bothered you much, had it? Labeling something a problem is often what makes it one.
#29-33 Love for Imperfect Things, Haemin Sunim, Translation: Deborah Smith and Haemin Sunim
29. In many things in life, the good is mixed with the bad. If you throw away the whole thing because you dislike the bad part, you’ll also throw away much that is good.
30. Happiness comes when our hearts are peaceful and content, and when we learn to appreciate what we already have.
31. We don’t become wise by thinking more. When our mind becomes relaxed and open, we suddenly have a brilliant idea. Trust the wisdom that exists in silence, and rest your hardworking mind for a while.
32. Your efforts, however small, are never in vain. Even the most vicious storm runs its course eventually; as long as you hold on and don’t give up, you’ll be able to see the sun come out again.
33. When somebody annoys you, recognize that you feel annoyed because they didn’t do something the way you wanted it done. They may have their own reason for doing something their way, which you should not disregard and try to replace with your own.
#34-36 The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down
34. Don’t just wait for what you want to happen. Act first.
35. Forgive them. So you can be free. So you can be happy. So you can go on living your life.
36. True giving is done without expecting anything in return. It also means we relinquish control over what we have given.
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37. When we are making progress, we often can’t feel it. Only when we are done, we see how far we have come along. Don’t give up just because you don’t feel any difference now.
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38. Bring your mind to the present moment and appreciate what is in front of you.
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39. Instead of looking for someone to change your life, take a look in the mirror and be the person.