THE DHARMA DISCOURSES O...

Dictionary

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

Part Two: Dharma Discourses

Chapter Nine: Attending to the Fundamentals

27

27. The Master continued, “Along with the practice of reflecting on your purpose, you should also cultivate the practice of reflecting on your self-nature. The authentic practice of reflecting on your self-nature is only accomplished when you have ‘seen your nature’ and awakened; however, a practitioner with belief and dedication, even if he or she has not yet seen the nature, can still cultivate the practice of reflecting on the self-nature by relying on the Buddha’s teachings. The principle is to take as the standard the ‘Essential Dharmas of Daily Practice” in The Principal Book of Won-Buddhism and always search for the precepts, meditative absorption, and wisdom of the self-nature amid the myriads of sensory conditions.
“Let me offer some examples in explanation. If at times you have an unjust thought regarding a certain matter because discrimination between self and other arises, then, by immediately reflecting on the self-nature think of the realm of Il-Won where originally there is no self or other. If at times you have a mind to look down on someone below you due to discriminatory thoughts, then, by immediately reflecting on the self-nature, think of that realm of equality where originally there is no distinction. If at times your defilements blaze up so that your spirit will not settle on its own, then, by immediately reflecting on the self-nature, think of that pure and calm realm that is originally free from defilements. If at times an aberrant attachment arises due to being biased toward hatred or love, then, by immediately reflecting on the self-nature, think of that ultimate realm that is originally free from both hatred and love. If at times you have difficulty extinguishing your desires for material possessions due to attachment to being, then, by immediately reflecting on the self-nature, think of that realm of true voidness where originally there is nothing. If at times you become nihilistic toward all things by being attached to nonbeing, then, by immediately reflecting on the self-nature, think of the truth of marvelous existence where originally there is no nonbeing. If at times, facing a life-and-death situation, you develop a clinging to life and a fear of death, then, by immediately reflecting on the self-nature, think of that realm of the Dharmakāya where originally there is no arising or ceasing. If at times the signs of dharmas arise and you are thereby unable to get along with others, then, by immediately reflecting on the self-nature, think of that realm that is free even of the signs of dharmas.
“If you practice in this manner, then, regardless of whether or not you have seen your nature and awakened, the functioning of your mind will gradually accord with the self-nature. When you continue with this practice over a long period of time, then, at all times and in all places, you will never be separate from the self-nature. Ultimately, you will clearly awaken to the truth of the self-nature, and, at the same time, the radiance of the self-nature will shine forth. This is the realm of the buddhas and the functioning of the sages.”