THE DHARMA DISCOURSES O...

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

Part Two: Dharma Discourses

Chapter Six: Exposition of Scriptures

65

65. Elucidating the gist of the Right Scripture for Cultivating the Mind (Susim chŏnggyŏng), the Master commented on external cultivation and internal cultivation: “External cultivation is a practice that externally involves counteracting the sensory conditions. First, it involves the practice of turning away from the sensory conditions, where at the beginning stage of practice one tries to stay far away from the enticing external sensory conditions. Second, it involves the practice of forsaking, where one tries to let go of matters that are not urgent or overly complicated. Third, it involves the practice of relying on the dharma, where one reveres and has faith in the dharma of liberation and seeks peace through the Truth. Fourth, it involves the practice of wide learning, where one tries to listen to as many true stories of outstanding persons as possible, so as to expand one’s magnanimity. Through these practices, external sensory conditions will naturally become pacified, and one’s mind will be at peace.
“Internal cultivation is the practice of cultivating one’s own mind internally. First, it involves the practice of taking hold of the mind, where one tries to take hold of one’s own mind when reciting the Buddha’s name or doing seated meditation, as well as at other times, so that one’s mind does not flow out into the external sensory spheres. It is like an oxherder holding on to the ox’s lead rope and not letting go. Second, it involves the practice of contemplating the mind: once the practice of taking hold of the mind is going well, one is relaxed and content so that one is able just to observe one’s mind as it flows and to control delusory thoughts. It is like an oxherder letting go of the ox’s lead rope and only disciplining it when it goes astray. Third, it involves the practice of no-mind: once the practice of contemplating the mind matures, one lets go of even the thought of contemplating, so that one contemplates without contemplating anything. It is like an oxherd entering that state where the ox and the oxherd are not two, so that rest and action remain the same. When the mind is pure and clear, myriad external conditions all become pure and clear. In the way, when there is no gap between the sensory conditions and oneself, a single pure land will be realized.”