TIMELESS SŎN (ZEN)
THE SOTAESAN CENTER
TIMELESS SŎN (ZEN)
MEDITATION PRACTICE AT ALL TIMES
Timeless Sŏn(Zen) is the way of practicing meditation at all times, every day. It is not only the way to maintain a peaceful, focused, and right state of mind, but it is also a way to use our original mind well in our daily activities.
Authentic practice begins with realizing our true nature, and based on that realization, we practitioners cultivate our original mind through meditation. The fruit of being enlightened to and nurturing our original mind is the ability to use our minds properly to enrich our lives. Timeless Sŏn is the simultaneous practice of Spiritual Cultivation, Dharma Study, Mindful Choice in Action in our daily lives. Timeless Sŏn is a mind-training with four stages and in the Sŏn tradition is compared to taming an ox.
TAKING HOLD OF THE MIND
Timeless Sŏn(Zen) starts with taming the mind. An untamed, wild mind is just like a stubborn, unbridled ox. Our ordinary mind, full of bad habits and unwholesome desires, drives us to all kinds of dangerous situations just as an untamed ox pulls people to wherever it wants to go. We begin by putting our minds in a harness and holding tightly the reins of the ox, who constantly wanders away in search of sweet grass. Prac-titioners should sometimes raise the whip to tame the ox. Sotaesan, the founding master of Won-Buddhism, warned practitioners not to lose the spirit to fight whenever we encounter a trying situation and are tempted to walk on the deviant path.
MIND WATCHING THE MIND
When the ox becomes tamed and obedient, we can just watch our mind wherever it would like to go. Only when it is about to go to a dangerous place, should we pull on the reins to put it on the proper path again. At this stage, practitioners should still be always alert, not letting go of the reins.
FORGETTING THE MIND
When the ox becomes tamed, we sometimes forget about the existence of the ox, just as we forget about shoes when they fit well. The ox and the person begin to become one. Without making extra effort, the mind works according to its original nature and our freedom is expanded and enhanced.
UTILIZING THE MIND
When the mind reaches Buddhahood, it becomes completely wise, compassionate and empowered. Just as a well-tamed ox benefits the farmer wherever it goes, the enlightened one helps suffering people wherever he or she goes. May all people discover the footprints of their potential, their true self, and help others to become enlightened.
THE DHARMA OF TIMELESS SŎN
(from The Principal Book of Won Buddhism)