Episode 17. Water in a Skull

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1500 years ago, there was a famous monk named Won Hyo in Korea. Won Hyo thought he would become a better monk if he went to China to attain more knowledge about Buddhism. He embarked on a long journey to China with his colleague, ‘Eui Sang’.

water in a skull

He continued his journey on foot and one day, he was passing one region in Baek-je. They faced a very heavy rain so they sought out some shelter. They took shelter in a very safe looking cave and decided to stay one night inside the cave.

water in a skull

While he was sleeping, Won Hyo woke up and felt extremely thirsty. He was groping the darkness for something to drink. He found water in a gourd and drank it without hesitation. The water was cool and refreshing, and it quenched his thirst. He could fall asleep again.

water in a skull

Next morning, Won Hyo and Eui Sang woke up and they were frightened by the skulls scattered around them. The shelter they had spent one night in was not a cave but an old grave. Also, Won Hyo realized that the fresh water in the gourd that quenched his thirst was actually some stagnant water in a skull. The moment he realized this, he threw up.

water in a skull

Through this experience, Won Hyo had attained a big realization about how important one’s mind was. He then reflected and realized that he had been trying to become a good monk by attaining more knowledge about Buddhism. Won Hyo then cancelled his plan to study in China and abandoned his position as a monk. He became a laity again and reverentially devoted himself to meditation through his entire life. He gave inspiration to many laities.

water in a skull

Like this story, the type of mind that we have in every moment decides the world that we live. If my mind is a real mind now, I would be living in the real world. If my mind is a false mind, I would be living in the false world. Then, how can you know whether your mind is a real mind or a false mind? To answer this, I would like to introduce you to a piece of writing by Master Woo Myung who has presented a clear answer about the real mind and the false mind.

The Human Mind I

Man’s eyes, nose, ears, mouth and body were made as picture-taking tools from birth, and his mind is where the pictures taken of the world are stored. What we call sin or karma is taking pictures of that which belongs to the world and living in those pictures in one’s mind, instead of having a mind that is one with the world. Such a person is a sinner – one who has accumulated karma – because he has betrayed the origin that is the world by making and living in his own world.

When man dies after living in the world, he ends up dying forever because he lives in an illusion, a world that does not exist in the real world. However one who has been absolved of all his sins and has been reborn in Truth is an eternal immortal. Man does not know this because his mind is overlapping the world and he mistakenly thinks he is living in the real world. His sin is living in an illusionary world that he himself has made in his own mind. This is why life is futile; why life is that of a weed, a cloud, a bubble and something that simply does not, exist.

Man, whose mind is false, is always hungry, which is why he constantly tries to consume things, and tries to gain and seek Truth from what he has consumed. However, such actions only add more falseness to falseness; adding ever more suffering and burden. Only by discarding those burdens, and by this path only, can one truly become Truth.

While the time of incompletion was the period of addition and gain, the time of completion is one of subtraction. If one eliminates all that is false, only what is true will remain. Because man is false he can become true when he is eliminated. Those who try to gain Truth while holding onto falseness cannot achieve Truth, and even if they do achieve it, it is false.

The human mind is one’s own world that he made by taking pictures of the world and engraving his emotions therein; emotions made by what he has seen, heard, smelled and felt in his mind. The human mind only has pictures; it is an illusionary mind that is self-centered and selfish – a mind that knows only itself.

From <Stop Living In This Land, Go To The Everlasting World Of Happiness, Live There Forever> by Master Woo Myung

Story Source : Wikipedia – Wonhyo (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wonhyo)

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