Episode 20. A King and A Pigeon

A long, long time ago, there was a truly merciful king. He committed himself to reach enlightenment and someday, attain Buddhahood.

One day, a pigeon was chased by a hawk. The pigeon screamed and flew into the king’s bosom.

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The hawk that was chasing the pigeon sat on a branch and said to the king, “Give me the pigeon back. That is food for my dinner.”

“I cannot give this pigeon back to you. When I pledged to attain Buddhahood by practice, I also pledged to protect all creatures.”

“Aren’t I included in those creatures? How dare you not show mercy to me and even steal my prey?” The king was embarrassed by what the hawk said. However, the king can never take a life.

The king did not hesitate to cut off flesh from his leg and give it to the hawk. But the hawk was demanding flesh as heavy as the pigeon.

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The king brought a scale and weighed his flesh and the pigeon. The pigeon weighed much more than his flesh. The king cut off his flesh from another leg and weighed it. It was still lighter than the pigeon. The king continued to cut off flesh from his body – his arms, hips, chest, and so on, and put it on the scale. However, it was still lighter.

In the end, he loaded his entire body on the scale. The weight was finally the same. The king was neither resentful to the hawk nor regretful for what he had done.

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“Although I cut my own flesh and bled, I felt neither pain nor regret. I kept pursuing enlightenment with a consistent attitude. If it were true, my body would recover its original state.” As soon as he had pledged, all of a sudden, his body recovered its original state.

This story is from a Buddhist Commentary.

Dying Is Living And Living Is Dying

The Mahaparinirvana Sutra, a Buddhist holy writing, says that in the future, in the world of the future Buddha, parinirvana or perfect death can be achieved. Parinirvana is to die completely, without holding onto anything. What this means is that one must discard all that is of the human mind and body. Thus, death means to discard or eliminate.

Death means to not exist. To die a ‘big’ death is to die fully without anything remaining – when man kills everything in his mind and discards all preconceptions and habits. This is parinirvana or nirupadhishesha-nirvana (nirvana without residue). When one dies completely, the original mind, the origin, the mind of the universe, is revealed. This is the mind of the origin; it is God, Buddha, Allah and Haneol-nim. This is Truth. When man who is false completely dies and he has the mind of God, Truth, and he is reborn with the Soul and Spirit of God, he will live forever in heaven – in the world of immortals, the land of Truth.

There is a saying in the Bible that he who tries to die will live and he who tries to live will die. This essentially has the same meaning as the sutra above: once one’s false self completely dies, his true self is reborn and lives in his land that is true. So, in order for the true self to live, the false self must die. Man believes that he is alive but as he does not exist in the true world, he is a dead entity.

The only way for man who is dead to live, is to discard the false man. Falseness must die, if the new, true man is to be reborn and live. People often think that when the Savior comes, their bodies will live forever or the souls of their bodies will live forever. However, they are dead because they do not have the mind of the true world and their true souls are not born in the true world.

It is nonsense to say that one can truly live, if one has not died and resurrected while he is living. When one repents his sin, it is the death of his self. It is the complete elimination of one’s self that has turned his back on Truth. Without true repentance that is death, one’s false self lives in sin that is the false world. This is not truly living; it is death. Only those who have died completely will live forever in the land of Truth.

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

Episode 19. In Order To Maintain Human Body

The organs of the body, broadly, are the heart, lungs, stomach, liver, large and small intestines, kidneys, and reproductive organs.

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We naturally think that the heart plays the most important role as it pumps blood throughout the whole body. However, from the perspective of the organs, there is no such thought. The heart plays the role of the heart, that is, to circulate blood. The lungs play the role of breathing. The stomach plays the role of digestion by breaking food into small particles.

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What if each of the organs fights each other like humans because they have their own selfish minds? What if each of them says that they are more important and better? Probably, our body cannot be maintained.

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Organs do not have their individual minds and silently do their own role by themselves. If individual humans also do their own role diligently – like the organs – without the self and for the whole, our society would become a much better society worth living in, wouldn’t it?

A Sense Of Inferiority

Human desires differ from person to person but every desire is manifested from feelings of inferiority: of feeling lower or having less. He who lacks love seeks love and he who lacks money chases money. The powerless seek power and he who has had his pride trampled on seeks to regain his pride. What one felt he lacked during his developmental years becomes his sense of inferiority. For example, if a woman suffers abuse from her mother-in-law, she will in turn be harsh to her daughter-in-law because she has that mind. One pursues what he desires and that arises from the innumerable minds that he has; they are all expressions of his mind.

There is a saying that things will happen according to the mind one has. This means that one lives exactly according to the mind that he has taken in, no more and no less. What one eats is excreted through urine and feces but man has never excreted any of the countless minds he has consumed from birth and he lives bearing its heavy burden, suffering, worries and anxieties.

They are all pictures taken of what belongs to the world. Man has only consumed these pictures without ever taking any out; he is dead in the world of that mind, which itself is a picture. He strives to achieve within that picture world and he lives according to the script of that mind, therefore all of it are false deeds and an illusion.

The world beyond the world, that is, beyond the human mind that has been eliminated, is the true land; a real world that is not a picture. When this real world is inside one’s mind, then his feelings of inferiority will disappear and he will have only the highest mind of Truth. He who is born in this place is God; he is one who has shed all human mind and he is one who is free. It is because of the pictures of one’s mind that there are conflicts and obstacles while living in the world. When this framework of mind is gone, then those conflicts and obstacles also disappear and one will be able to live better than he did before.

Acceptance is the absence of judgment and discrimination; when one sees things just as they are, when he just lives. If one has a framework of pictures in his mind, then many things catch in his mind and bother him, which cause him to blame others and the world. In the world, there is no one who blames himself rather than others. But because your mind exists, everything is your fault. At the time when the people of the world can blame themselves then everyone will have an accepting mind; people will be able to live without conflict and everyone will live well. When man eliminates the false world that he has eaten, he will live a life of universal order and he will be able to live well because he will no longer have feelings of inferiority.

When people act with the mind originating from inferiority, they will act as the worst evil; those actions will only bring evil as their result. Evil begets evil; evil will end up dying within evil. Within evil, evil will live with pain and heavy burden.

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

Episode 18. To Escape from Pain

A young man is sitting on the street and crying. An old man passes by and asks, “Hey, why are you crying here alone?” “It is too painful to live. I lost my job today. I have my wife and kids. It is hopeless to maintain our livelihood,” replies the young man.

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The old man says, “Hey, young man, you are still young but you are forgetting about what’s really important. In order to escape from the pain you are experiencing now, you need to realize that your life is false and exists like a shadow.”

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The young man asks him back, “What do you mean?” The old man continues, “It is what it literally means. Life is false, an illusion and a dream. Someone said that life is like a bubble. The stories and pain you are experiencing now are all false. So you need to know that and escape from that bubble-like life. It’s important to find your true life.”

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The young man says, “Hey, you don’t know my situation now. You are alone and have no wife and kids. But for me, I should give some food to my family and keep our life. You only care for yourself, don’t you?”

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The old man says, “If you understand what I say, you could escape from your pain. I feel sorry for you. It was my pleasure to meet you.” The old man left.

From master Woo Myung’s book, Stop Living In This Land Go To The Everlasting World Of Happiness Live There Forever

God’s World Beyond the Human World

Man has been in the world for a long time; he is born in the world through the balance and harmony of creation and is able to live by the will of heaven and earth. However, he lives as he wishes; he makes his own world and lives thinking he is alive because of his own greatness. He does not know that he exists because the world exists. He does not have any thankfulness for the world and he only acknowledges what suits the framework of his mind; if it does not suit it, he rejects it as being wrong.

We need to think about what the source of the world is, that is, what the existence of the origin is. Let us think for a moment that we had not been born in the world; in that case, the universe would still exist. And if all the stars in the sky that were created by the universe had never been created, then only the empty sky would exist. This existence, the empty sky, existed before the beginning, exists presently and will exist an eternity after. It is the original foundation that exists of and by itself. It is the eternally-living, never-dying Jung and Shin, the Soul and Spirit, the Holy Father and Holy Spirit, Dharmakaya and Sambhogakaya.

There is absolutely nothing in this existence but the one God exists amidst the nothingness. The nothingness is the body of the universe and the one God is the mind of the universe. The word ‘holy’ refers to this existence; it is holy because it is alive and creates all of heaven and earth. It is the way of the world that all of creation comes from this existence and returns to this existence. The Korean euphemism for death, ‘he has returned’ means that when you die you return to this existence.

This existence is the origin, the source and the Creator. This existence is the master of the living universe. This existence brought forth heaven and earth and created heaven and earth. This existence itself is the master and owner of this universe and from the viewpoint of this existence, if man is living a self-centered life, he is not living a life of righteousness.

Man lives in his own mind and is thus a sinner who acts against the original foundation that is Truth and the master of the world. The original form of God is the infinite universe – the empty sky itself. Man was made to resemble God but he copies into his mind everything in the world that God has created and has constructed his own mind world. God is the world that is true, and what man has made is a world of a video, a type of picture. A photograph is a print on paper of what belongs to the world, but man prints and keeps in his mind of what belongs to the world and all that has happened in the world. The place where man is living overlaps the real world and so he mistakenly thinks he is living in the world but he is actually living inside a world of a video. This is his karma and the reason he is a sinner.

God’s world is not that of the human world, but the true world that can be seen. Even though man is born into the world, he has never once lived in the world. When he destroys his mind world and his self disappears, he can then go to the world of God, the true world. Beyond the complete destruction of the human world, the illusionary world, lies the true world, the world of God. When man who is a sinner and an illusion disappears, he can go to the true world of God.

Due to the fact that man is incomplete, people follow the words of saints and we have heard of those who strive to become saints themselves. However, only God knows the way to get to the land of God and only he can give new birth to those who have come to the land of God.

The world of God is the land where one lives as an eternal immortal. Therefore the Savior must be the master of the world. He will take people to the world of God and enable them to be reborn in this world and he will also enable the world to be reborn in the world of God. In other words, only when everything in the universe is reborn in the empty sky, the origin, as the substance of the empty sky, can it live eternally like the empty sky.

The human world is a false world,

The human world is a fake world,

The human world is a non-existent world,

The human world is a dead world.

The human world is one without life,

The human world is a world of hell,

The human world is a world of pictures,

And the human world is that of suffering and burden.

But God’s world is the world of reality,

God’s world is a real world.

God’s world is a world that exists,

God’s world is one that is alive.

God’s world is a world that has life,

God’s world is the world of heaven,

God’s world is what the pictures have been taken of –

The original form of the world.

God’s world is that of freedom and liberation.

The way to go to God’s world beyond the human world is by dying and completely destroying one’s mind world. This meditation has this method which is the reason it is causing such a sensation around the world.

Episode 17. Water in a Skull

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’.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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)

Episode 16. The Woodcutter And the Fairy

Once upon a time, a woodcutter saved a deer from danger. To return the favor, the deer would grant him a wish. The woodcutter said that he would want to have a wife since he could not easily find someone to marry in his old age.

Woodcutter And the Fairy

The deer told him about a pond where fairies come down to bathe and also told him that he should hide one of the fairies’ wing dress to prevent her from flying back into the sky. Later, the woodcutter married the fairy who had to stay here on earth, had children, and lived happily.

Woodcutter And the Fairy

One day, the ever happy woodcutter forgot the deer’s words that he should not give the wing dress back to the fairy until they had three children. When they had two children, he showed the wing dress to the fairy. Then, the fairy put her wing dress on and returned to the sky with her children.

Woodcutter And the Fairy

The woodcutter was left alone and lived in grief. But one day, he grasped a chance to take a bucket from the sky. And he was able to go to the kingdom of heaven to be with his family again.

Woodcutter And the Fairy

Even though the woodcutter lived together with the fairy and his children in the kingdom of heaven, he was not happy all the time as he still missed his mother on Earth.

Woodcutter And the Fairy

The woodcutter whined that he missed his mother. So the fairy let him go to travel by heaven’s horse and advised him not to get off the horse even on the land.

Woodcutter And the Fairy

The woodcutter came down to the land from the sky and met his mother. His mother told him to have red bean porridge before leaving. He was having the porridge on the horse’s back and a dollop of hot porridge fell on the horse foot. The horse reared in fright, dropped him off and flew up to the sky. The woodcutter was left on the land again and could never ever return to the kingdom of heaven.

Woodcutter And the Fairy

This tale is a traditional fairy tale of Korea but similar stories can be found in many other countries as well. It is a tale of losing the chance to live in the kingdom of heaven due to lingering attachments to the land. It also corresponds with many other stories, like Sodom and Gomorrah where they broke their word that they would go looking forward only and not look back; consequently, they became salt pillars. These tales advise us of attachments and lingering feelings in our human mind. They have lessons about stupidity that humans fundamentally have, and so they have been passed down through the many generations throughout human history.

Even though a gold block is in front of you, you cannot pick it up because you refuse to let go of the poo block that you are holding onto with both hands: this is human’s attachment. Although you get to live in the kingdom of heaven, you abandon that opportunity by your own will because of your lingering attachment to your past: that is how foolish we are. If you throw away that attachment and foolishness, you would not look back any more. Rather, you would live with gold blocks in the kingdom of heaven. It sounds so true; however, one who moves his address to heaven will live in the kingdom of heaven and one who has attachments to the land will live on the land. Let us not become a woodcutter who could not go to the kingdom of heaven because of his lingering attachment to the land. I would like for you to attain enlightenment about what it is to abandon the lingering attachments to land and to live in heaven, through master Woo Myung’s poem below.

 

One Who Is Born On the Earth Lives On the Earth, One Who Is Born In Heaven Lives In Heaven

 

The sounds of birds, the sounds of animals

The sounds of the wind, the sounds of everything

The sounds of humans

All are the sounds of heaven

Sound comes from the shape

People have their own language

People have different regional languages

Humans along with the whole of creation

Come from heaven and live in heaven

But because humans do not have heaven in their minds

They live on the earth

One who is born on the earth lives on the earth

One who is born in heaven lives in heaven

One whose body and mind

Are reborn as the body and mind of heaven

Lives in heaven

One who just has his own body and mind

Lives on the earth

When one cleanses his body and mind – his self – and

When that self is no more

When the universe becomes his self

The universe is within him

One who has heaven lives in heaven

Which is the kingdom of heaven

Which is the forever-living, never-dying kingdom

Because it is the living soul and spirit of Truth

It is everlasting and never-dying

–  <The Way To Become A Person In Heaven While Living> By Woo Myung

Episode 15. A Fly’s Worry

 A Fly’s Worry

The fly was so sad about having lost her girlfriend. The fly said, “Oh… my life is now over. I didn’t know I would be this sad losing her. I don’t want to do anything. I am just so depressed. I am hopeless…”

A Fly’s Worry

A man saw the fly’s anguish and told him, “Hey Fly, it is so ridiculous. You only live for a day. You won’t be in the world tomorrow since you would die today. So why are you having these worries? If I were you, I would rather enjoy today.” Eventually, a day passed and the worrying fly died.

A Fly’s Worry

The man started to worry. “Oh my goodness… I have to get a job quickly. I need to pay rent and buy food, too. I don’t know what to do…” The Sun in the sky looked at him and gave him a word, “Compared to me, humans live shorter than a day. They live only 100 years. Why are they worrying? They are so foolish. They will die tomorrow, but then why are they struggling so much? They would live happily if they empty out their mind.”

A Fly’s Worry

Yes, that’s right; our life is equivalent to a second, compared to the infinite life of the universe. If you empty out your greed and false mind, you can live much more freely and joyfully. Moreover, if you become the never-dying universe mind and are born again as the true soul and spirit, you can live forever as the true soul and spirit, just as the universe never dies. In our short life, spanning less than 100 years, what would be a more important task than saving yourself and gaining eternal life? It would be a task you must, at the very least, accomplish. Give it a thought.

 

From master Woo Myung’s book, Stop Living in This Land Go to the Everlasting World of Happiness Live There Forever

Man’s Fate is at a Crossroads of Eternal Life and Death

There are often more days of difficulty and suffering than there are days of happiness in life. And it is in the midst of difficult times that we begin to think of certain matters. I am sure there are many who have given some thought to where they go after they die, though they will never find the answer within their human thoughts. This is because man’s consciousness is dead and instead of living in the real world he is living inside the mind that he has made.

People seek out religion and other institutions in pursuit of Truth because they are incomplete. The ultimate goal of all of these institutions is to live forever. In other words, in their efforts to find a way to live eternally, people seek out religion, pursue Truth in various places and eventually come to places like this meditation. However, the only way for people to live forever is to be reborn in the land of the Creator, the origin, and Truth.

One must live in an eternal place, namely, the land of Truth, in order to live forever. To get to this land, he must first destroy all of his falseness and then he must be reborn there; without doing this, no one can live forever. In other words, only a person who completely discards his entire mind and body is able to go to the land of this existence, the land of Truth. While on the cross, Jesus asked why God had forsaken him, but that he was still willing to die if it was God’s will. This means he was willing to discard himself and stand on the side of God who is Truth; he loved God and Truth more than he loved himself. And it was through Jesus’ death that the way was set to cross over into the land of God.

Everyone living in this world is a sinner. When the sinner completely dies, only Truth remains and this world is heaven – it is the world of Truth and God. No one can live forever unless his self, the sinner, completely dies and he is reborn as a righteous person. Again, every single person in this world is a sinner. So the only way to live in heaven for eternity is to repent fully and be completely absolved of all sin. Then he will have the righteous world in his mind and he will be resurrected as a righteous person.

Unless one’s mind becomes one with the righteous world and is reborn in this world while he is still living, he will die forever. He who has completely destroyed his false self is one who has won the battle against his self. There is no way to live forever without eliminating the false sinner within and being born as a righteous person, as Truth.