THE DHARMA DISCOURSES O...

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THE DHARMA DISCOURSES OF CARDINAL MASTER CHŎNGSAN(CHŎNGSAN CHONGSA PŎBŎ)

Part Two: Dharma Discourses

Chapter Four: Vision and Plans

1

1. A guest asked, “Since the name of your order is Won-Buddhism, I would like to know the meaning of Won.” Cardinal Master Chŏngsan replied, “Won (circle), in metaphysical terms, is that realm where language, names, and signs are extinguished; hence, it is impossible to describe. However, in physical terms, the myriad things in the universe are all expressed through this Won; hence, it is simultaneously the root source of the dharmas and the true reality of those myriad dharmas. Therefore, although all the various religious teachings in Heaven and Earth may differ in their expression in millions of ways, in reality there is not a single dharma other than Won.” The visitor asked, “If the meaning of Won is in this way so perfectly interfused, may I be so bold as to suggest that naming this Order Wondo (The Way of Won) or Won’gyo (The Won Teachings) might more adequately subsume all religious teachings? Although Buddhism may be an ancient and great religion, in the eyes of the world its religious principles are often presumed to be partial. What about reconsidering this matter?” The Master replied, “Pul (‘Buddha’) means ‘awakened’, and also ‘mind.’ Even though the truth of Won is complete and thus subsumes the myriad dharmas, it would be a vacuous principle without the awakened mind. Thus, the two terms Won and Pul are originally a non-dualistic truth and are inseparable. In the case of traditional Buddhism, too, its fundamental teachings are free of partiality, but on account of particular institutions, people naturally misunderstood it as a partial doctrine. But if its institutions are renewed, the real essence of the Buddhadharma, in accordance with truth, will be made fully manifest in the world.”

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