The Scripture of the Fo...


The Scripture of the Founding Master

Chapter Three: Practice


The Founding Master addressed the congregation at a meditation hall: “I have heard that one of the members of the Yŏnggwang congregation works in the neighborhood of the temple on the day of the regular dharma meeting in order to earn a day’s wages. What do you think about him?” One disciple replied, “It is wrong to be concerned only with money and to ignore practice. But if his parents, or wife and children, would starve but for that day’s wages, then, wouldn’t it be all right for him to relieve his family’s hunger and cold even if he misses the service for the day?” The Founding Master said, “What you say makes sense, but since meetings are not held every day, if he were a person who has a true aspiration regarding practice and deeply understands the value of the dharma, he would have done his best to prepare ahead the daily provisions for that meeting-day. Still to be searching for provisions on the very day of the meeting shows that he is neglectful of his practice and lacks devotion to the dharma. This is already spelled out in the Items of Heedfulness Regarding Temple Visits. Furthermore, if a person tried in advance and still could not prepare enough provisions, there is also the principle that if one practices without one iota of selfishness in one’s mind, then provisions will naturally appear. To give you an example, it is just as when an infant is born from its mother’s womb, previously nonexistent mother’s milk starts to flow and it survives by drinking that Heaven-sent endowment.”