The Scripture of the Fo...


The Scripture of the Founding Master

Chapter Three: Practice


Kim Taegŏ asked, “Since precepts are no longer required after the rank of dharma strong and Māra defeated, is the practice in Choice then finished?” The Founding Master replied, “After the rank of dharma strong and Māra defeated, one ascends to the first stage of sagehood, so one no longer needs to train to bind oneself to the dharma or to restrain oneself with precepts. Internally, however, the mind-precepts are still present. One of them is to guard against being concerned only with one’s own cultivation of the Way and contentment, lest one fall into the Lesser Vehicle. A second is to beware of falling into a life of wealth and pleasure lest they obscure one’s original vow. A third is to be cautious lest one should hinder the right dharma by possibly acquiring superpowers and heedlessly betraying them before the eyes of other sentient beings. Beyond these, through the practice in the Threefold Study of Cultivation, Inquiry, and Choice, one must accumulate merit by further securing the stage of buddhahood above and, furthermore, nurturing loving-kindness and compassion below in order to deliver sentient beings.”