1963 VOLUME 1
WON KWANG COLLEGE
lri City Cholla Pukdo, Korea.
Why We Named It W on Buddhism?
CONTENTS Editorial ...................................... .......................................... 1 Golden Rules .............................. ........................................... 2 What is Won Buddhism? ....................................................... 3 Worship And Practice In Won .............................................. 4 Sitting Meditation .................................................................. 6 Western Thinkers Who Suggested Won .............................. 8 Do Good And Never Do Evil However Trifling It May Be .......................................10 Questions And Answers ...................................................... 12 News Corner ........................................................................ 12
As the material civilization makes rapid progress, cultivate the spiritual civilization accordingly.
Keep both the spirit and the body fully integrated. 1) The past religion stressed the spiritual life and physical life was neglected. On the contrary laymen stressed the life of food, clothing and inhabitation and spiritual life was neglected. Spiritual life and physical life-the two should be kept pace with each other so that human life may be a perfect life. 2) It is a live religion that moral training and daily life are 'me and the same thing.
Since the establishment of this periodical, we have received many inquiries about the name, of Won Buddhism. We welcome such inquiries and will try to state briefly here why we named our Buddhist order Won Buddhism. First of all, we must grasp the meaning of Won which has been expounded in previous issues. However, the meaning of Won is so immense and profound that it may not be readily or completely understood by one who has chanced to read or bear about it only once, or twice. Thus a more comprehensive exposition of Won is needed and that is why we offer so frequently articles on Won in this periodical. We do not expect all of our reader to comprehend Won immediately, but will be contented if they come to think about the profound Truth of Won. Now, simply speaking, our worship of Won as the object of faith and our standard of moral discipline are described by the name W on Buddhism. In this universe there is Truth, exhibited in various creations and manifested in the phases of the sun and moon, the four seasons and so forth. Thus all Beings exist and change due to the force of the great, invisible driver, the Truth. All philosophers search for this Truth; some call it the First Cause or the Infinite, others call it the Way, the Law, the Dharma, God or Principle. . This basic principle is immanent and we experience great difficulty in attempting to explain or illustrate it. However, if we would express briefly what it means, we would resort to Won which is literally the circle. This is because Won, the circle, symbolizes better than anything else the Truth which incessantly rotates without beginning or end, and is perfect with nothing lacking or superfluous. Insofar as the Truth as no circumference and no shape like vast emptiness, we can find no other means other than Won, the circle, for expressing it. In ancient religions, men worshipped some natural phenomenon such as the sun, the moon, rocks, or even trees as gods. Sometimes they superstitiously worshipped idols. But in Won Buddhism we do not devoted
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ourselves to a god or an idol; instead, we worship Won as the object of our faith In order to seek the real Truth. There is also another reason why we worship Won: by the medium of Won we can break down superstitious conventions and always perceive that the Buddha image, made of wood or copper, itself is unable to bless or punish us since it is only the Truth which has such power over us. Won, the circle, also reminds us of the truly pious religious life by indicating that the whole creations in the universe are Buddha-images; so our every movement is an offering to the Buddha. Therefore when we treat everything except the Buddha-Image carelessly, we are not truly practicing our religion. We should realize that the universe is our shrine hall and the whole creations are Buddha-rupas. As indicated above, by having a Buddha-Nature, perfect and complete, we are none other than Buddhas. However, we are also conditioned by worldly desires and so are apt to do wrong every moment. In such cases, Won reveals the sameness of our original mind with Won, and encourages us to keep the original mind by abolishing wicked, mundane thoughts whenever our six sense organs are at ease and to act rightly when the six Roots are operative. Thus Won is the superlative way which not only leads us in the right path of faith but also makes all of us real Buddhas. For these reasons, attaching importance to the Truth of Won in our Buddhist doctrine, we named it Won Buddhism.
Golden Rules 1. The ordinary persons will take for granted the fact that they are sometimes in pain and sometimes in pleasure without-trying to know the cause, and thus spoil their future. The wise ones, on the contrary, whether they are in pain or pleasure, seek to know the causes and make them their mirror for the bright future. So, we should imitate the wise and try to understand the causes in every occasion, 2. Not a few people want their children to be obedient and filial though they are not so to their parents. This must be considered. 3. Everybody can use his belongings at his will; but nobody can use his mind like that. Why? 4. To revenge wrong with wrong is just like trying to clean a blood stain with blood. 5. Paradise will be shown to those who forgive others just as they forgive themselves. 6. Those who defeat others may be great, but he is the greatest who conquers himself.
What is Won Buddhism? (2) At the time of his self-enlightenment at dawn, march. 26, 1914, the Venerable Sotesan felt a strange freshness, strength and vitality fill both his spirit and body. In this state of mind he stood up, opened the window, and looked out into the darkness at the cool, clear sky. At that moment he noticed the star, twinkling unusually bright in the dark blue firmament. He went out of the room and walked about in the yard, breathing deeply the sweet air. Suddenly a thought flashed into his mind: all the pain and trouble he had suffered for years for spiritual searching were nothing but a torture of ignorance; an excessively ascetic life would do little for the real selfawakening. It is a roundabout way to Enlightenment. He realized that the unusual ascetic life is meaningless to the man who is anxious to attain selfenlightenment. Early on that historic morning, the Venerable Sotesan changed his manner to a normal one. He shaved off his long hair, cut the nails of his fingers, and cleaned his dusty room. His family, watching this unexpected action, was greatly astonished and much delighted. This was the first step of his renewed life away from the long, uncommon period of contemplation. After his breakfast that morning, some of the Venerable Sotesan's neighbors stopped by his cottage, discussing some phrases in Chondokyo texts, one of Korea's religions. To his surprise, when he listened to that they read he could comprehend the meaning of the phrases. Further more, a few days later when two Confucians visited him and discussed a difficult passage in the "Book of Changes," he similarly at once understood the meaning of it. Consequently the Venerable Sotesan was convinced that he had attained Enlightenment. March 26, 1914 is therefore established as the anniversary date of the founding of-Won Buddhism. He was 24 years old at that time. As time went on, both his mental and physical brightness increased; his haggard appearance turned into a vigorous one with fresh blood and flesh; mysteriously, all his bad blotches left him in an inconceivably short time without medical treatment. Everybody was deeply impressed
39 WON BUDDHISM
by the lustre in his eyes and his shining, compassionate countenance. Since Sotesan, our Master, had learned little in the past and had contemplated without referring to old and new theories or doctrines of others during his spiritual searching, he now wished to examine every Buddhist sutra, Confucian text, and philosophical doctrine in Asian and Western countries so that he might compare the Truth that he had experienced with what they had already said. After reading the books which one of his disciples offered him, the Venerable Sotesan wondered at the fact that the ancient saints and sages had already searched for the Truth. However, he found that some of their teachings were very valuable for our training but were too complicated and even superstitious to be popularly used. So he determined to create a simpler and more convenient way of moral training for all persons in the world and for future generations. Upon referring to many religious and philosophical books, the Venerable Sotesan regarded Buddhist Teachings as a basic Truth realizing that the movement of his own spiritual searching and the course of his own Enlightenment coincided with the Buddhist Truth. Thereupon he resolved that when he would establish a Buddhist order in the near future, spreading the Truth of morality, it would be based upon Buddhist spirit. (to be continued)
Worship and Practice in Won .
The Supreme Scripture of Won Buddhism
Once Kwang Jeon said to our master, the Ven. Sotesan, "What is the right way for us to believe in Won?" . Then the Master said as follows: "As Won is the object of worship, we should believe in the truth of Won so that we may get blessings and happiness from it. Why? In order to know the origin of Won, the four forms of obligation are only the whole things in the universe; that is to say, all beings in this universe are the Won itself, the nature of the Buddha.
thing with pure mind and pious attitude, just as when we respect the Buddha images made of wood or copper, our way of worship is turned toward real and direct worship from the formal and indirect for the purpose of blessings. In short, the purpose of our believing in Won insists in turning our imperfect belief into perfect belief and our superstitious notions into real understanding. " "Then, what is the way of moral practice?'" asked Kwang Jeon. To this question our master answered: "Using Won as the standard of moral practice, you can, by imitating its truth, cultivate your character and form a perfect personality, that is to say, by realizing the truth of Won you will understand the truth of the universe, such as not only the beginning and the end as well as the root and branches of all beings in the universe, but also the truth of inevitable retribution. Imitating the perfect Won, you should cultivate your mind to be perfect without declining to selfishness and covetousness; you should behave yourself keeping your mind perfect from declining to the passions of joy, anger, grief and pleasure or intimacy and estrangement. To realize the truth of Won is to realize the Buddha-Nature; to keep the truth of Won in mind is to grow the mind-of Buddha- Nature; and to conduct perfectly is to use the mind of Buddha-Nature. The three degrees of study in Won Buddhism and the Buddhaâ€™s Samadhi, Prajna, Sila are the same. To cultivate our mind is to gain the original calmness (Nature-Samadhi); to study truth harmoniously is to attain original wisdom (Nature-Prajna); and to choose goodness from badness- is to get original goodness( Nature-Sila). No matter whether one may be learned or illiterate, old or young, all beings that practice in this truth will get Buddhahood."
Hearing this, Kwang Jeon asked. "Do the truth; power the way exist in the very Won drawn as a circle on a piece of wooden board?" Our Master replied: "The Won on the Board is only a symbol for us to know the real Won, the truth of this universe. It is like when a man to let you know the direction of the moon points at the moon with his finger, the finger is never the moon but a mark or a milestone. Therefore the one who searches for truth should find the real Won by means of Won as a pointer. In case you keep the sincere Buddha-Nature or Won and conduct yourself according to the order of Buddha-Nature of Won your life will agree with the Truth of Won."
As all beings in this universe are the manifestations of the Truth we, having reverential respect for everything, should stand before every-
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1. 41 WON BUDDHISM
Put strength in your abdomen, clinging to no self-conscious thoughts and being aware only of the strength you are applying, as it easily becomes separated from your mind if you are inattentive.
Breathe regularly, but inhale a little longer and more strongly than usual, and exhale a little more quickly and weakly.
It is better to keep your eyes open in order not to fall into sleep; you may, however, shut your eyes when your mind is so fresh that you do not fear about falling into light sleep.
Keep your mouth tightly shut, swallow up clean and sweet saliva which, in time, may come from between the tongue and gums if the circulation of the force of water and fire is in good order.
Keep your mind calm in awareness, and at the same time be awake in tranquility. If you fall asleep, recover your mind from it; and if you fall into delusion, renew the right mind and keep on trying to be in state of the original nature.
When we are annoyed and think something deeply, or study something, or speak loudly, our face turns red and mouth dry. That shows evidently that the force of fire rises up in body.
The beginners may often be annoyed at their legs becoming numb and by delusions which attack their minds. But do not be afflicted and disappointed by them, for it is advisable for the beginners to move their legs if benumbed, and if attacked by delusions to regard them only as delusions which will then naturally disappear.
It is necessary to spare the operation of the six sense organs as much as possible, even in doing what ought to be done. Much more is it the case with inflaming our minds day and night with useless delusions. In short, sitting meditation is a way of constantly training the mind to eliminate those delusions to find our inner reality (original nature of mind), and to calm down the force of fire and allow the force of water to rise.
The beginners may feel their faces itching as though ants are creeping over them, which evidently proves that circulation of blood is in good order.
Never search for something eccentric or mystic in your sitting meditation. Even though such cases may appear, do not be attracted but duly regard and consider them as wicked.
Sitting Meditation from The Canonical Text of Won Buddhism
ITS NATURE SITTING MEDITATION is a way of constantly training the mind to stop delusions, to find our original nature of mind, and to make the force of water rise in both body and mind and the force of fire calm down. If delusions cease, the force of water will rise, and if the force of water rises, delusions naturally will disappear; thus our body and mind can keep refreshing and cool. But if delusions do end, the force of fire rises and burns up the force of water covering up the light of mind. Our body, like a machine, cannot be operated without the force of water and fire and so when we use the six sense organs, the force of water is little by little dried up and burnt like kerosene in a lamp.
II. ITS METHOD The method of sitting meditation is so easy and simple that everybody can perform it. 1. Sit on a cushion with your legs folded, and take an easy posture keeping your head and back straight.
If you continue to perform sitting meditation time after time, at last you can maintain the tranquil, true nature of mind, and can enjoy the paradise in mind, being free from the differences between the ego and the non-ego.
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He thought it should be a kind of perfect globe because a reality must be infinite, self-evident, self-perfect, no-wanting and no-superfluous. If there be such a being, we canâ€™t think or imagine none but a circle, the Won.
I Giotto, di Bondone (1276-1337 A.D.) Giotto was an Italian artist who painted many sacred pictures, and especially many mural paintings for churches. As the development of Christian theology reached its summit, the interpretations of the sacred picture were, very profound. The most influential theologist of those-days had to believe in god as a personalized being, therefore they thought that the god created the universe and commanded all things In the universe. However some of the theologist illustrated the god as the Buddhanature in Buddhism, the truth of this universe. According to their viewpoint, the god is unrestricted and perfect â€œoneâ€? that exists everywhere. Being absolute one, the god cannot be able to be named what it is. God exists through everything in the universe. and at the same time exists through nothing. The "One" is changeable and at the same time eternal, none new and none old. The One works always and rests, too. . . . Giotto who might have had the same view in god, drew a circle, the Won, to the man who asked him to paint an image of god. Probably, he could not have drawn but a circle, the Won, as the image of god, if he had wanted to copy the shape of god. .
SITTING MEDITATION in early morning,
William Blake (1757-1827 A.D.)
Western Thinkers Who Suggested the Truth of Won Parmenides. (B.C. 504-480) The philosophers of ancient Greece studied to know what the fundamental reality of the Universe was. Some of them .said the fire, or air, or water were the reality of the universe, one after another, on the standpoint of Hylozoism. Empedocles (c. 495-435 B.C.) insisted that the four materials, air, fire; water and earth were the reality of the universe. But Parmenides, who was also one of the philosophers of those days, was against the hylozoism, insisting that no material could be the reality of' the universe because all the, materials are the subject to be changed from being to nothing. The reality of the universe, therefore, should be, he said, the unique "one" that cannot be divided into many, and neither be born nor perished.
Blake, a poet of England, described some profound truth in some of his own poems. He insisted that the line which combines man and god is a circle. Man would long for and "depend upon' the god, trying to agree with the god at last. But man would not meet the god he wants if the distance between god and man was a straight line. Fortunately, the distance between god and human being is not a straight line but round, a circle, so man can reach god. If man can. he god itself, reaching god, and if, the mind of man becomes perfect as god, his life would be just in paradise, while his mind is imperfect, he cannot avoid living in hell. So if a human mind becomes perfect as a round circle, the Won, the kingdom of heaven will be in his mind. As the Won is hidden in everyone's mind, we are to find out the Won.
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"Do Good and Never Do Evil However Trifling It May Be" by K. Y. S. This advice was given to the future emperors by Liu Pei, an emperor of an ancient Chinese kingdom who breathed his last in an out of the way corner of his country without success while struggling for the unification of whole China and for the welfare of his people. Though he failed as a politician, he has been and, I am sure, will be regarded as a virtuous man and his name, with these words, will be remembered forever: "Do good and never do evil - However trifling it may be." What precious words to human beings, they are! Simple as it is, their implied meaning is deep and profound enough to make everybody ponder. Also, with these words which Liu Pei said from his heart and through his experience, we, can see that good has been welcomed while the evil has been loathed and rebuked. But, since nobody will keep the above words in his mind if he does not know the essence of good and evil, we should know them before we practice, putting aside the problems of practicing them. What is good and what is evil? Which is the most valuable good, and which is only the paltry good? Which is the worst evil and which is only the trifling evil? And how many kinds of good and evil, are there in this world? These questions are worthy to be asked in order to make clear and decide our behavior. Briefly speaking, that which is useful to human beings is good with no exception, and, on the contrary, that which is harmful to human beings is just evil. Accordingly, there are also a million kinds of good and evil. When we move our body, open our mouths and say something, raise our hands, move our feet, and even blink our eyes, we do something good or evil. That is to say, what we do by using our six roots (eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and mind) becomes either good or evil according to its effect upon human beings. And some good is limited to a man, some to family, some to society, some to a nation, and some to the world. Quite so is the case with evil. And some good and evil are very temporary and some are ever-lasting, some good turns out, by chance, to be evil, and vice versa. Thus the kinds of good and evil are so omnifarious, and the courses of their changes are so intricate; that no one who does not pay special attention and is not interested can know exactly their nature. Whoever wants to be a righteous man or to do good and refuses to - 10-
commit evil, trifling as it may be, must know all about the good and needs, an active drill for its practice. But it is wrong to think that we can do good and not do evil only after we know all about such. If we know one good, then we have to do that on, and if we know two, then we have to do those two; if we are aware of one evil, then we must try to avoid doing that, and if we are aware of two, then we must try to avoid them. Thus we have to practice good as soon as we know what is good and have to avoid evil as soon as we know what it is. Without practice, it is of no use to know anything, and nobody will recognize the necessity of knowing something. Some people say that man does not need to know what good and evil are; for though a certain person knows well about them and always speaks of them, his conduct is no better than that of those who do not know about them. And still others proudly say that man does not and need not believe in any religion, for they think that it cannot be great sin if man does not speak ill of others and it is not immoral; they think he will not be able to obtain the title of a sage however hard he may keep the golden rules. But this stubborn assertion is quite wrong. It seems that such people do not know the kinds of good and evil and the transformations of them. It is most dangerous to judge good and evil by their appearances while neglecting the doing of good and avoiding evil. As Liu Pei said, even trifling evi1 can grow to be a large one, and so can the paltry good. It is just like a ripple which, joins another and streams to become a large river or even to become a boundless sea. Man usually likes the good which is done and hates evil, while he does not try to do good and avoid evil; he only regards the significant good and does not care for the trifling good; .and though he avoids doing arrogant evil, he does not mind doing the paltry evil; he likes the good which appears immediately and does not like to do the good which is hidden. and though he hates to do the evil which is shown as it is, he does the evil without hesitation when it can be hidden for a while. This action is a great mistake for those who want to do good often. But, why do we have to do good and refuse to do evil? The good leads us to bliss and happiness and we can be blessed by doing good; but the evil leads us to ruin and sin, and we can be ruined by doing evil. That is why the good has been welcome and those who did good have been remembered, while the evil has been loathed and rebuked and those who did evil have been cursed. "Do good and never do evil-However trifling it may be!"
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Questions and Answers Q:
What subjects do students learn in a Buddhist Course of Won Kwang College, and how are they trained?
The subjects they learn are Doctrine of Won Buddhism, philosophy, ethics, religions, Buddhism and so forth. In this course we have been fostering many missionaries every year. In training them we put much more emphasis on moral discipline which has been in defect of modem education, than on knowledge itself so that they may moralize others taking the initiative to practice morality. For this purpose we accommodate them with boardinghouse, where the practising of sitting meditation in early morning and exercise of preaching in turn are strictly observed. Graduates of this Course in general are not expected to be great scholars or technicians, but a paragon of morality. For the man intending to be a leader or a man of character, broad learning is not enough for his purpose.
Are the monks in Won Buddhism the celibate or the married? If both are included in your Buddhist Order, how should the dispute between the celibate monks and married monks be settled? In Won Buddhism we do not discriminate the married monks from the celibates. To get married or to remain unmarried, it is his own decision. As long as the monk does not break his faith in the course of married life, devoting himself to Buddha's work and keeping the thirty commandments of Won Buddhism, he is not a transgressor.
News Corner The Tenth Annual Priest Training Course held. The Tenth Annual Priest Training Course was held at headquarters from September 18 to October 18, 1962. It was attended by nearly 300 members from both the whole branch temples and each institution of Won Buddhism. It was notable that the First Reading of the newly published canonical Text of Won Buddhism was involved in this course. At the closing day all visited the "Lotus Mountain", where our Master Sotesan once had meditated for his spiritual searching.
Annual General Meeting of Associated Student Councils and short term training course. At headquarters the third students training course was held. It was a five days short term course from Angus. 20 to 24, 1962. The number of attendants were 105 from 25 branch Temples. Annual General Meeting of Associated Students Council was held at the end of the Course. The visits to every institution of Won Buddhism was also performed as usual.
Students of Buddhist course of Won Kwang College laboring after School
PUBLICATIONS RECEIVED We acknowledge with many thanks the receipt of the following. Metta: Vol. 4. No.3, Nov. 1962, Kensington, N. S. W. Australia. Light of the Dharma, The: Vol. IX, No.2, July, 1962, Rangoon, Burma. Light of Buddha, The: Vol. VII, No. 10, Oct, 1962, Mandalay. Burma. International Buddhist News Forum, The: Vol. II, Nos. 9, 10, II, 1962, Rangoon, Burma. Canadian Theosophist, The: Vol, :43, No.4. Sept'-Oct., 1962, Toronto, Canada. World Buddhism: VoJ.' XI, No.2, Sept., 1962. Colombo, Ceylon. Bosat: No. 136, May 1962. Colombo, Ceylon. China Buddhist Monthly: VoL7, No.3, Nov. 1962; Taipei', Taiwan. China. Bodhedrum: No. 120, Nov. 1962. Taiwan, China. Hai Ch'ao Ying Monthly: V01.43, No;, 10, Oct. 1962, Taipei Taiwan. Buddhism Today: No. 58, Feb. 1962, Taipei. Taiwan. Western Buddhist. The: 17th issue, Autumn 1961. London, England.
Middle Way: Vol. XXXII, No.2, August 1962, London, England. Sangha: Vol. 5, No. 11, March 1962, London, W. 1. England . . World Faith: No. 51, Dec. 1961, London, England. Voice Universal, The: No. 43; Sept.-Oct.-Nov., 1962, England. Occult Gazette: 25th issue, Sept. 1962, Kensington, W. 8.,路London, .England. Der Keris: No. 41, Sept.-Oct.;1962. Bnemen, Germany. Yana: Vol. 10, 1962, Mai-Juni, Germany. Maha Bodhi, The: Vol. 70, No.9, Sept, 1962, Calcutta, India. Dharmachakra: Vol. XIV, No.7, Feb. 1962, Bombay, India. Right View: Year 5, No. 3, July 196], Ajmer (Raj). India. Voice of Ahinsa, The: Vol. XII, No.8, August 1962, India. Divine life, The: Vol. XXIV, No. JO, Oct. 1962, India. Bulletin of the Ramarkrishna Mission Institute of Culture: Vol. XIII, No. 10, Oct. ] 962, Calcutta, India. Young East: Vol. XI, No. 43, Tokyo, Japan. Bukkyo Times: No. 517, Tokyo, Japan. K B S Bulletin: No. 56, Sept-Oct. 1962, Tokyo, Japan. Buddhist Union Newsletter, The: Vol. JO, No.3, July 1962, Singapore. Golden light: Vol. V, No.3, Sept. 1962. Penang, Malaya. Pararnhansa Yogananda Magazine: Vol. 3, No. 3/4, March/April. 1962, South Africa. Golden lotus, The: Vol. 19, No.6, August. 1962, Philadelphia U. S. A. Hawaii Buddhism, The: No. 455, August 1962, Honolulu, Hawaii, U. S. A. American Buddhist: Vol. 6, No.9, Sept. J962, San Francisco, California, U. S. A. Suchness: Vol. 2, No.6, Sept. 1962, Chicago, U, S .. A. Harvest newsletter: No. 124, Oct.-Nov.-Dec. J962. U. S. A. Bulletin of the Washington Friends of Buddhism: Vol. 5. No.8, May 1962, Washington. D.C., U. S. A. International Newsletter: Vol. 15, No.4. Sept.-Oct. 1962. California. U. S. A. Lion's Roar Magazine, The: No.2. Taipei. Taiwan. Tenrikyo: New No. JO, Oct. 1962, Tenri-City, Japan. Theosophia: Vol. XIX, No.2. Fall 1962, California. U. S. A. Zen Notes: Vol. IX. No. 10, Oct. 1962, New York, U. S. A. PRS Journal: Vol. 22, No.2, Autumn. 1962. Buddhist World Philosophy: Vol. J, No. I, 1962, Michigan, U. S. A. Awake the World: No. 200, Taipei, Taiwan, China. Unification: 1962, Sept. World Federation: July, 1962. Everlasting Light: No. 16, Oct. 1962.
The magazine WON BUDDHISM is designed to serve YOU! Your comments and suggestions are most welcome.
May all of you be well and happy! All communications should be addressed to: Miss Pal Kn Chun, Won Kwang College Library lry City Cholla Pukdo, Korea.