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Concepts + Practice

How can we discover and trust the fundamental mind?

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ConceptsPractice

Concepts

It should be said that understanding concepts, words, and ideas aren't the same as practice. Knowing them isn't experiencing "what is." They are just helpful tools to describe and talk about experience.

Hanmaum

‘Han’ means one, infinite, and combined, and ‘Maum’ means mind. So Hanmaum means the fundamental mind that is intangible, invisible, beyond time and space, and has no beginning or end. It means that all minds, and all beings, the world, and the universe are all interconnected and are working together as one. In other words, Hanmaum embraces the whole universe and all the lives within it. Buddha-nature is only one, so it is Hanmaum; it is inconceivably large, so it is Hanmaum. All things come from it, so it is Hanmaum. The minds of all lives are working together as one, so this is called one mind, “Hanmaum”. The way the same electricity brightens this light bulb and that light bulb, Hanmaum connects all things as one.

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Juingong

Juingong is the true doer, so it is called Juin(主人), and it is completely empty, that is, it is always changing, without any fixed shape, so it is called gong(空). Thus, Juingong means your fundamental, underlying essence, which is always changing and manifesting. Juingong is the fundamental mind that each one of us is inherently endowed with, and which is directly connected to every single thing. Through this connection, Juingong functions together with everything as one.

Juingong is the true self that leads you, no matter what name is used. Juingong is the incredible power of Buddha-nature, which everyone is endowed. Juingong means the whole, so you should not think of Juingong as some kind of separate, individual self that belongs to you alone.

Gwan(觀)

The Korean word “ Gwan" literally means “ watching," but in terms of spiritual practice, it also means observing your thoughts entrusting them to Juingong. If you say ‘I’m doing Gwan”, you practice these three processes at the same time; you’re viewing an issue with the eye of Juingong letting go of your fixed ideas, you’re creating a positive thought that ‘the issue will perfectly be handled by Juingong’, and you’re thankfully accepting the result because it will be the best result you can obtain. By doing Gwan, you can let go of your fixed ideas, view this world as an eye of true nature, and free yourself from such prisons of thought.

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Nonduality

When waves occur in the sea, many drops of water are created. However, when they sink, they all become the water of the sea itself. In this case, the drops can be compared to living beings, and the sea can be compared to the fundamental place. Like this, at the fundamental place there is no division of “you” and “I”. Because all things are interconnected and functioning as one, the foundation of the universe is the foundation of my mind. Because nothing is separate, we can manifest non-dually, so there is nothing that is not myself.

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PRactice

The goal of Buddhism can be expressed in just a few words - just to be what you already and truly are, which is totally and completely whole, not separate from anything or anyone. But why does it seem difficult?

Practice doesn't mean gaining something. In fact, there is nothing one can gain. Instead, increase the trust and appreciation of what you already are. It doesn't matter too much where and how you practice, as long as you are practicing. You can do it on a meditation cushion and you can do it in daily life, too.

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1. Observe

“Observing” means perceiving yourself with your inner eye. Keep watching your own steps. Keep watching who is talking, who is listening and who is seeing. Keep watching the one that has been doing everything in your daily life. Carefully observe your tears, laughter, suffering, and happiness. Right there, do the things you cry and laugh about truly exist? Does the self who cries and laughs truly exist? Keep watching very closely and carefully. If you keep practicing like this, your focus will change from letting go and observing to trying to find the foundation, the true self, that watches you let go and observe.

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2. Trust

You have to believe that you have the power within yourself that enables you to become a Buddha. There’s no need for calling out “Buddha, help me." If you do not believe in your ture self, you cannot receive the key to mind. Trust that true self can do all of those things you think cannot be done. The best thing for people to do is to strongly believe that Juingong is always taking care of everything. However, many people ask, “What happens if I believe and entrust things to Juingong, but then they don't turn out the way I want them to?" This is not belief. Once you truly have faith, entrusting something takes only an instant, and there’s nothing left over for you to worry about. Everything is done through sincere belief; belief is the key.

3. Give risE

Giving rise to a thought is not praying for something. Raising a thought from the foundation is not the same as generating a thought with your intellect. A thought from the foundation is naturally free of any sense of the notion “I raised a thought." When you are able to raise this kind of thought, you never lose sight of Juingong, your foundation, for even an instant. Give rise a positive thought and pay attention to what comes out. Connect with your inherent Buddha and observe how the things you entrusted are taken care of naturally and automatically. A thought raised from your foundation is like a middleman: it connects your flesh with your inherent nature. In an instant it can reach anywhere in the universe and Dharma realm. It moves faster than light, so distances of “near" and “far" are meaningless.

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4. Let go

Letting go is itself belief. Without faith, you can't let go. You need to completely let go of everything, knowing that Juingong is taking care of it all, no matter whether things seem to be going well or badly. Letting go means letting go of not only distressing and unpleasant things, but also every kind of fixed idea. We carry around so many fixed ideas such as “You" and “I,” “good" and “bad." Letting go is not saying, “I don’t care" or living in denial. If you try to let go with the attitude that “I don't care" or “Please make things go well," while hoping for a miracle without any effort on your own part, then this is not truly letting go.

How should you entrust? First, sincerely believe in your inherent nature, Juingong, which is taking care of everything. Second, go forward with courage. Third, experiment with how Juingong takes care of everything, continuously apply what you experience, and never let yourself be daunted by anything. As soon as something arises, unconditionally entrust it to Juingong, your foundation. Entrust everything: entrust the things you understand and the things you don't understand, entrust happiness, suffering, poverty, and even diseases. When you can do this, you can live with vitality and you can live freely, like flowing water.

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