The Scripture of the Fo...


The Scripture of the Founding Master

Chapter Three: Practice


The Founding Master asked Yi Sunsun, “How do you practice as a lay adherent?” Sunsun replied, “I mainly strive to settle my mind.” The Founding Master asked again, “What method do you use to settle your mind?” Sunsun replied, “I just try to keep it settled, but I don’t know any special method.” The Founding Master said, “Generally, people are always in moments of either action or rest, and the method of achieving absorption and quiescence also involves the two paths of external and internal absorption and quiescence. External absorption and quiescence means that, when you are involved in an active situation, you must embrace a grand purpose and initially exercise Choice in Action so you do not get involved in distracting or complicated matters, thereby eliminating the root of Māra that disturbs the spirit. Internal absorption and quiescence means that, when you are free from activity, you recite the Buddha’s name and sit in meditation, and, by whatever other method, put to rest any defilements that may arise and nurture the undisturbed fundamental spirit. External absorption and quiescence becomes the foundation for internal absorption and quiescence, and vice versa. Only by advancing both internally and externally will one achieve a true settling of the mind.”