The Scripture of the Fo...

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The Scripture of the Founding Master

Chapter Two: Doctrine

18

The Founding Master said, “The Threefold Study, which is our essential Way of practice, is the most necessary dharma for cultivating spirit and creating well- rounded character; this is a dharma that cannot be neglected even for a moment. It is, for example, no different than the three requisites of clothing, food, and shelter for the body. When our physical body is born into this world, we need something to eat, something to wear, and a dwelling in which to live, and if even one element is missing, we will have difficulty sustaining our lives. For our spirit, we need the power from Cultivation, Inquiry, and Choice, and if even one element is deficient, nothing will work out satisfactorily. Therefore, from the perspective of the wholeness of spirit and flesh, I say that the six great principles are comprised of the three physical requisites of clothing, food, and shelter and the three spiritual requisites of the one mind, knowledge, and implementation. These six great principles, being in symbiotic relationship with each other, together form a single life source for us. However, ordinary people recognize only the importance of the three physical principles and forget how crucial the three spiritual principles are. What ignorance! In actuality, one should realize the fact that when one cultivates the three spiritual principles well, the three physical principles will naturally follow. This is the dharma of acting with knowledge of the roots and branches.”