Seo Jung-ju - The Song of Avalokitesvara at Seokguram
Type of Spiritual Experience
Avalokiteśvara (Sanskrit: अवलोकितेश्वर) is a bodhisattva who embodies the compassion of all Buddhas. This bodhisattva is variably depicted, described and is portrayed in different cultures as either female or male.
The Lotus Sutra is generally accepted to be the earliest literature teaching about the doctrines of Avalokiteśvara. It describes him as a compassionate bodhisattva who hears the cries of sentient beings, and who works tirelessly to help those who call upon his name. A total of 33 different manifestations of Avalokiteśvara are described, including female manifestations, all to suit the minds of various beings. The chapter consists of both a prose and a verse section. This earliest source often circulates separately as its own sutra, called the Avalokiteśvara Sūtra (Chinese: 觀世音經; pinyin: Guānshìyīn jīng), and is commonly recited or chanted at Buddhist temples in East Asia.
A description of the experience
From The Temple of Words: An Anthology of Modern Korean Buddhist Poetry
The Song of Avalokitesvara at Seokguram
I have come here through longing,
longing like the tides,
Between this cold stone and the stone
beneath tangled arrowroot vines,
the azure breath that is mine.
The times that see me as useless dust
send me away, a wave welling up
into the empty sky, the empty sky
such love as mine
In wind that comes and goes, O sun and moon.
Capital city Seorabeol, radiant,
men, women, like flowers buried in the ground.
And O, if born, if born,
one who loves ‘I’ more than I,
who loves one thousand years, one thousand years
were to be born again into the sun’s light
Born and emerging into the sun’s light
taking me into darkness