Meditation, Mind Practice, and small Library
We have enshrined as the object of faith and the model of practice Il-Won-Sang (One Circle Image), the Dharmakāya (law-body) Buddha, which is the original source of all things in the universe and the mind-seal of all the buddhas and sages. We have laid down as the main principles of faith and practice the Fourfold Grace of Heaven and Earth, Parents, Fellow Beings, and Laws, and the Threefold Study of Cultivating the Spirit,
The master just told him, “You need to practice the dharma.”
From the very next day that man attended all the services and rituals, and learned many rites. When he thought that he had learned all that he needed to know about the dharma, he again visited the master. However, he was once again told, “You need to practice the dharma.”
Now the man began to study the scriptures fervently and with great determination. The next time he visited the master, he was told the very same thing, “You need to practice the dharma.”
The man then commenced to practice sitting meditation, nearly all day long, for several years, and once more went to see the teacher thinking that this time he had really practiced the dharma. Yet again the teacher told him, “You need to practice the dharma.”
The man, now very upset and frustrated, shouted angrily, “Master! What IS practicing the dharma?!” The master replied, “Practicing the dharma is working with your mind.”
Spiritual practice is none other than calming, brightening, and correcting our minds. In the calm, bright and focused state of mind, perpetual, unconditional, indestructible happiness and freedom arise.
The purpose of having you recite the essential dharmas of daily practice in the morning and evening does not lie in reciting simply the words. Rather, it is intended to help you grasp their meaning in your hearts and assess it in your minds, reviewing them generally once a day, and more specifically examining them each time you are faced with sensory conditions. You must assess and check your mind over and over to see whether or not your mind-ground is disturbed, deluded, or subject to wrong-doing; whether or not you have been making active progress in belief, zeal, questioning, and dedication; whether or not you have been living in gratitude, living a life of self-power, readily learning, readily teaching, and benefiting others. You must do this until ultimately you reach a state in which the mind needs no checking. It is said that a person’s mind is so extremely subtle that it exists when you take hold of it, but disappears when you let it go. How then can a person cultivate one’s mind without checking it? Therefore, in order that you may realize this checking mind, I have established Items of Heedfulness in Daily Applications and Items of Heedfulness Regarding Temple Visits, and also established the Dharma of Keeping a Diary to examine thoroughly whether one has followed these instructions well. Thus, I have provided perfectly precise guidance regarding your methods of practice. I urge all of you to practice diligently according to this dharma, and to accomplish the great task of transcending the ordinary and entering sagehood as quickly as possible.
- The Founding Master Sotaesan
The founding master Sotaesan said that a living religion or practice is not separate from our ordinary lives, and that Buddhadharma exists for the sake of our life, not the other way around. Won Buddhist practice is characterized by a balanced and simultaneous practice of the Threefold Practice in our daily lives.
There is a certain type of African elephant that is said to travel to its birthplace when it feels that it is near death. Spiritual practice is returning to our home, our true self, through discovering our original nature, which is inherently wise and compassionate, lacking nothing. When the ripples disappear from the surface of a lake, the moon is reflected accurately. Similarly, spiritual practice begins with calming down and concentrating our minds. From the surface of a calm, tranquil and focused mind, wisdom, compassion, inner happiness and freedom will arise.
There was a man who had led a very anxious and restless life. One day he visited a prominent Buddhist master in order to restore peace and tranquility to his mind.
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