Enlightenment as a process: what might it have been like for a Korean Buddhist monk who lived hundreds of years ago?
If enlightenment is an unfolding of wisdom, what progressive awareness is suggested by that unfolding?
Imagine, then, this same monk becoming the leader of the nation’s most important Buddhist Order: the Chogye. Magnolia and Lotus: Selected Poems of Hyesim suggests what Hyeim might have valued in life; as a monk; and as an early founder of Korea’s largest Buddhist sect.
Despite his achievements, this collection asks, did Hyesim eventually relinquish his position? If so, why? What were Hyesim’s thoughts in his final years?
Each of the translated poems, attentive to the nuances of Hyesim’s Buddhist and Confucian background as well as the landscape of Korea, posits the point of view of Hyesim, his voice, and his time.
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The thing about me is that I function best after meditation.
When I first get up in the morning, I try to meditate at least an hour.
The most important thing in my life is my wife and kids.
I love to travel to Europe but Korea is good too.
In my spare time, I meditate, or exercise, or spend time with family.
One thing I learned about life was it’s all in your head.
The sole mission I am on this earth is to help the next generation live better.
One little known fact about me that might surprise you is I love chocolate.
My favorite time of day is usually night because I’m free.
I love to write about conflict—inner or outer.
The most difficult aspect about writing is not being repetitive—easy to catch but never goes away.
My most favorite aspect about writing is feeling like I’ve newly connected to the world through language.
When I became a published author for the first time, I knew it was time to make a website.
The inspiration behind my book comes from Hyesim—what I know about his life and the practice of meditation.
The most asked question about my book is how come there aren’t any pictures? My little girl just can’t understand that. J
ABOUT IAN HAIGHT
Ian Haight was a co-organizer and translator for the UN’s global poetry readings held annually in Pusan, Korea, from 2002-4. He has been awarded 5 translation grants from the Daesan Foundation, Korea Literature Translation Institute, and Baroboin Buddhist Foundation for the translation, editing, promotion, and publication of Korean literature. Ian is the editor of Zen Questions and Answers from Korea (2010), and along with T’ae-yŏng Hŏ, the translator of Borderland Roads: Selected Poems of Kyun Hŏ (2009) both from White Pine Press. Ian’s translations, essays, poems, and interviews have appeared in Prairie Schooner, Writer’s Chronicle, Barrow Street and Hyundae Buddhist News, among many other publications.
For more information, please visit ianhaight.com.
His latest book is Magnolia and Lotus: Selected Poems of Hyesim
Magnolia and Lotus Virtual Book Publicity Tour Schedule
Tuesday, July 2 – Book featured at Cindy’s Love of Books
Thursday, July 4 – Guest blogging at Read 2 Review
Friday, July 5 – Book featured at Parenting 2.0
Tuesday, July 9 – Guest blogging at The Writer’s Life
Thursday, July 11 – Interviewed at Literal Exposure
Friday, July 12 – Guest blogging at Allvoices
Monday, July 15 – Up Close and Personal at Between the Covers
Wednesday, July 17 – Book featured at Beyond the Book
Thursday, July 18 – Guest blogging at The Book Barista
Friday, July 19 – Interviewed at Book Marketing Buzz
Monday, July 22 – Book featured at I’m Shelf-ish
Tuesday, July 23 – Interviewed at Review From Here
Wednesday, July 24 – Guest blogging at The Story Behind the Book
Friday, July 26 – Interviewed at Pump Up Your Book