The Principal Book of Won-Buddhism
Part Three : Practice
Chapter Two: Fixed-Term Training and Daily Training
Section One: The Dharma of Fixed-Term Training
In order to have practitioners receive training in the dharma for fixed terms, the following subjects of fixed-term training are established: reciting the Buddha’s name, seated meditation, scripture, lecturing, conversation, cases for questioning (ŭidu), the principle of the nature, keeping a fixed-term diary, keeping a daily diary, heedfulness, and deportment, and so forth. Reciting the Buddha’s name and seated meditation are the training subjects for Cultivating the Spirit; scripture, lecturing, conversation, cases for questioning, the principle of the nature, and keeping a fixed-term diary are the training subjects for Inquiry into Human Affairs and Universal Principles; keeping a daily diary, heedfulness, and deportment are the training subjects for Choice in Action.
“Reciting the Buddha’s name” means to recite repeatedly the single incantatory phrase we have designated, in order to concentrate our spirits that are distracted in myriad directions on this single incantatory phrase and to transform the myriad thoughts into but a single thought.
“Seated meditation” means to settle both the mind and the energy on the elixir field (tanjŏn) in order to correct the energy and guard the mind and yet, letting go even of the attachment to abiding in a single thought, to rest only in that genuine realm of consummate quiescence and nondiscrimination. This is the method for nurturing the pristine, fundamental spirit of human beings.
“Scripture” refers to our designated texts and other scriptures used for reference, so that practitioners may know the road that goes in the right direction of practice.
“Lecturing” refers to settling on a certain issue regarding human affairs or universal principles and expounding on its significance, so that practitioners may hone their wisdom while exchanging opinions in front of the congregation with due formality.
“Conversation” means to allow practitioners to talk freely about the impressions they have each received from among the various things they have seen and heard, so that they may hone their wisdom while exchanging opinions vigorously and without restriction.
“Cases for questioning” means to inquire into, and be evaluated on, topics that create doubt regarding the universal principles of great and small, being and nonbeing, and the human affairs of right and wrong, benefit and harm, as well as regarding the hwadus (keywords) enunciated by past buddhas and enlightened masters. This is intended for practitioners who are engaged in a profound stage of inquiry to attain a clear analysis of human affairs or universal principles.
“The principle of the nature” means to enable us to resolve and understand the original principle of all things in the universe and the fundamental principle of our self-nature.
“Keeping a fixed-term diary” means having practitioners record for that day their hours of work, income and expenditures, the specific handling of the functioning of their bodies and minds, and their awakenings and impressions.
“Keeping a daily diary” means having practitioners record whether that day their handling of affairs was mindful or unmindful, the state of their study, and whether or not they transgressed the precepts.
“Heedfulness” means that state of mind in which we do not forget in each situation to do what we have resolved to do and not to do what we have resolved not to do, when our six sense organs are active.
“Deportment” means that human conduct incumbent on human beings. This is all intended to enable practitioners to gain the real effect of practice by constantly assessing (taejo) practice and carrying it out.