Pages InformationWriter Jogye Date11 Aug 2023 Read760 Comment0
Ven. Jinwoo, president of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism, marking the 300th day of inauguration, was invited to a culture concert held by the Kumuda Cultural and Arts Foundation(president Ven. Juseok) in Busan on July 24 and appealed to the audience to have the right understanding of the teachings of the Buddha and to practice meditation.
He said, “Young people should know why they have to practice meditation,” and added, “In my case, however stressful the situation is, I don’t let it drag me down for more than a day, and in most of the cases I contain myself within 5 seconds.” He explained the source of his inner strength was the middle way, which is also described as the way to enlightenment or liberation. It transcends dualities such as good and bad, pleasant and unpleasant, happy and unhappy.
He continued, “Why do we eat and sleep? If we don’t, we will suffer,” and “We constantly search for happiness and joy, and strive to eliminate suffering, but the very act of doing so creates even more emotions.” Without suffering there is no happiness. Because of the agony of suffering we come to feel happy. It’s like two sides of a coin. When the sun rises, it is bound to set, when you are born you will die, youth will age, healthy bodies will fall ill.
He explained that emotions are the same. Happiness is bound to change into unhappiness. So happy and unhappy come together, and this is an unchangeable truth. He said, “Happy and unhappy are basically the same. Happy guarantees unhappy will follow. It’s just you do not know for now when it will happen. Science will figure it out in the future.”
What’s important is to deal with the immediate sufferings. He said, “In Buddhism we call suffering and pleasure karma, and the samsara is the repetition of karma. If you are in the middle of suffering, that is the result of pleasure or happiness you experienced in the past.” If you choose one, the other will also arise. If you abandon one, the other will also disappear. Likewise when you give up on happiness, unhappiness will go away. When you abandon pleasure, suffering will disappear. Transcend the duality of pleasure and suffering, then you will be liberated. He said, “The purpose of meditation is to minimize the happy and unhappy feelings. Don’t be attached to those feelings and try to remain in tranquillity whatever you do and wherever you are.
He continued, “Why do you think Elon Musk and Steve Jobs practice meditation? They have suffering too. Even people who seem to have everything have to suffer when bad karma arises. So the important thing is not to be attached to phenomenon, but to entrust everything to as it is and contain ourselves.” He added, “Don’t be obsessed with the idea of becoming rich or successful, but entrust it to what is and contain yourself. Then the time will finally come.”
He urged the audience to strive from this moment to let go of discriminatory mind and act on the ‘Buddhist Conduct Code’. He inspired and encouraged the young people, saying, “Train in generosity, moral discipline, patience, diligence, and concentration, then wisdom and insight will arise. When you reach that stage, whatever you do won’t be restricted by anything, and you will feel completely free. Six perfections will enhance your inner strength and become the anchor for your life ahead.”