The Principal Book of Won-Buddhism

Part Three : Practice

Chapter Thirteen: The First Dharma Words

A. The Essential Dharmas on Self-Cultivation

1. Devote yourself to the business of learning, as appropriate to the times, so that you prepare yourself in all kinds of knowledge.
2. Through cultivating the spirit, achieve peace of mind in keeping your proper bounds; do not neglect what is right, even in situations involving joy or anger, sorrow or happiness.
3. By inquiring into both human affairs and universal principles, analyze the false and spurious as well as the factual and true and adjudicate correctly right and wrong, benefit and harm.
4. When you are applying yourself, maintain heedfulness in making choices, and let your understanding and conduct conform to each other.

B. The Essential Dharmas on Regulating the Family

1. Secure an appropriate occupation and adequate food, clothing, and shelter; emphasize frugality and thriftiness by comparing each day your income and expenditures.
2. Heads of the households should not neglect widening their experience and knowledge, the education of their sons and daughters, or their duty to care for their elders and to guide their juniors.
3. Family members should place great emphasis on living in concord and on the mutual exchange of opinions.
4. Inwardly, one should have moral teachers and friends who clarify principles of the mind; outwardly, one should obey a government that clarifies rules.
5. You should be heedful to examine what kinds of hopes or methods have brought happiness and ruin to all families in both past and present.

C. The Essential Dharmas Regarding How the Strong and the Weak May Evolve

1. If we were to explain the general import of “strong” and “weak,” “strong” is that which wins in any situation, while “weak” is that which loses. Because the strong achieve their goal of strength through the weak and the weak gain strength through the strong, both depend on and base themselves on each other and they can thus be either friendly or unfriendly.
2. The way for the strong to remain strong forever is for the strong, when using their strength toward the weak, to have the weak become strong by treating them according to the dharma of mutual benefit. The way for the weak to become indisputably strong is to take the strong as their guide and, however much hardship and suffering they must endure, continue to progress until they move from the position of the weak to the position of the strong. If the strong merely go on taking advantage of others without thinking how the strong may remain forever strong and how this strength could degenerate into weakness, then no matter how strong they may be, they inevitably will become weak. If, before the weak become strong, they merely resist the strong without thinking about how the weak may become strong and the strong weak, and fail to discover the principle by which the weak may become strong, then they will remain forever weak.

D. The Essential Dharmas for Preparation as Leaders

1. Leaders should be more knowledgeable than the led.
2. Leaders should not lose the confidence of the led.
3. Leaders should not exploit the led.
4. Leaders should assess their knowledge and conduct in all situations.