The Scripture of the Fo...


The Scripture of the Founding Master

Chapter Three: Practice


The Founding Master said to the congregation at a meditation hall, “Intensive meditation training is like training an ox. When one behaves in the world without moral discipline and, in what one sees, hears, and thinks, does only as one pleases, deviating from the righteous path of humanity, one is like an unweaned and undisciplined calf that runs around just as it pleases. After practitioners leave their homes and enter a meditation hall, they often frustrate their teachers because they find it hard to sever their old habits when they are trying to keep all the regulations and precepts; many delusive states of mind and distracting thoughts arise in their minds, and they are unable to settle their minds in their practice or in their work. They are then just like a weanling calf who is tied to a pole, crying for its mother and writhing in agony. When practitioners follow all the re-quired courses of training regularly every day, gradually start to comprehend the import of what they are taught, and little by little begin to eliminate delusive states of mind and distracting thoughts, finding joy in progressively understanding what one did not know before about human affairs and universal principles, they are then like an ox who is not yet fully trained but is gradually becoming accustomed to its situation. When one does not go astray in interpretations of the doctrine or in practice, and thereby gradually matures the powers of Cultivation, Inquiry, and Choice, and one also benefits the public everywhere one goes by offering up one’s spirit, body, and material possessions, then one is like a well-trained ox that fulfills all its tasks well, bringing much profit to its owner wherever it goes. In this wise, the purpose of a farmer training an ox is to use it well when ploughing the field, and our purpose in putting you through these intensive sessions in the meditation hall is to enable you to utilize well what you have learned here when you are active in human society. Thus, it is my wish that by not wasting your time, but by diligently practicing and taking full advantage of this opportunity and by serving the whole world with your well-trained ox of the mind, you become glorious apostles who will deliver sentient beings and cure the world.”