The Scripture of the Fo...


The Scripture of the Founding Master

Chapter Two: Doctrine


Kwangjŏn continued with his questions, “How do we pursue the practice of Il-Won-Sang?” The Founding Master answered, “Our aim is to take Il-Won-Sang as the model of practice, and to develop our character by modeling ourselves wholeheartedly on its truth; and, by awakening to the truth of Won-Sang, to understand without any obstructions the beginning and end and the roots and branches of the myriad things in heaven and earth, the human cycle of birth, old age, sickness, and death, and the principle of the retribution and response of cause and effect. As is also the case with Il-Won, our minds should have no selfishness, nor be swayed and taken in by cravings and attachments, but instead should nourish the nature that is clear and round. As with Il-Won, in using our minds in all sensory conditions, we should act always in a fair and upright manner, without being drawn in by joy, anger, sorrow, or happiness, or by degrees of remoteness or closeness, intimacy or distance. Therefore, awakening to the principle of Il-Won means to see one’s nature (kyŏnsŏng); to guard the essential nature of Il-Won means to nourish one’s nature (yangsŏng); and to engage in conduct that is well-rounded like Il-Won means to command one’s nature (solsŏng). These are the essential Ways of our practice, namely Cultivating the Spirit, Inquiry into Human Affairs and Universal Principles, and Choice in Action, and they are the equivalent of the three trainings in precepts (śīla), absorption (samādhi), and wisdom (prajñā) taught by the Buddha of the past. Cultivation is both absorption and nourishing one’s nature; Inquiry is both wisdom and seeing one’s nature; Choice is both precepts and commanding one’s nature. If we sincerely follow this practice, then regardless of whether we are educated or not, intelligent or not, male or female, old or young, we will all be able to attain buddhahood.”