THE DHARMA DISCOURSES O...

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

Part Two: Dharma Discourses

Chapter Seven: Exhortations to Practice of the Way

44

44. The Master said, “If a patient’s pulse is too rapid, you prescribe medicine to slow it down, and if it is too weak, you prescribe medicine to strengthen it; the blood flow is thus regulated and the physical body rendered free of maladies. In the same way, if we are excessive or deficient in using our mind, or biased in any particular direction, then we must regulate it through the impartial and non-dependent Middle Way, in order to develop a disposition that is free of maladies. An overly good-hearted disposition may suffer from the malady of being unable to overcome even minor sensory conditions. An overly vivacious one may suffer from the malady of lacking substance and thus being arbitrary. An overly courteous one may suffer from the malady of not being nimble enough. If talent dominates a person, there may be the malady of being frivolous and scanty of virtue. Furthermore, if one’s thoughts are always too lofty, one may suffer from the malady of arrogance. If one’s mind is overly humble, one may suffer from the malady of lacking the courage to advance. A person who is too drawn to grandiose ideas may suffer from the malady of neglecting the prosaic details. A person who is too detail-oriented may suffer from the malady of being unable to grasp the gist and the principles. An overly ardent person may suffer from the malady of easily resenting those who do better. A commonplace person without special aspirations may suffer from the malady of insufficient ardor. An overly solemn person may suffer from the malady of having little gentleness. An overly docile person may suffer from the malady of having little dignity. If one’s disposition is overly upright, one may suffer from the malady of people not wanting to follow him. If one is pointlessly too congenial, one may suffer from the malady of being unable to distinguish between pure and soiled. An overly forceful person may suffer from the malady of cruelty. An overly gentle person may suffer from the malady of indecision. Hence, each of us must recognize well our own dispositions, so that if we notice maladies that involve bias in any one direction, we will make every effort to regulate them. Also, in practice, we must avoid any partiality toward just a part of the process and, in enterprises, any partiality toward just one aspect; then, we will not suffer from the malady of neglecting enterprises during our practice or neglecting practice during our enterprises. People who continue their practice in this way will gradually achieve the well-rounded Way; thus they will become highly useful people; their dispositions will be faultless and their characters will become more and more perfect.”