Pages InformationWriter Jogye Date04 Mar 2016 Read1,726 Comment0
Introduction to Ganhwa Seon
Chapter 1. What is Seon (禪 Jp. Zen)?
4. Self-assurance and Confident Life
The Path to Self Discovery and Self Development
Some people are too unconfident, scared and hesitated even before they start to do something. In challenging times, they just try their best to avoid the moments rather than bravely facing and going through them. Others say they are afraid of waking up in the morning to go to work, feeling that it is like entering a cave in a hell. As a matter of fact, it is not hard to find someone nearby suffering from Monday blues. They shun, get so nervous and don’t know what to do around confrontational bosses or colleagues they don’t like or even neighbors.
Why is that? It is because they just panic without much confidence and trust in the infinite ability within. So, overwhelmed and haunted by unnecessary worries and thoughts, they hesitate with half-hearted attitude and step back, unilaterally judging that the situation is challenging and ending up avoiding it. This makes them deeply mired into more delusions, leading to waning confidence at work, social life and family life, and eventually, inability to adapt to reality and being forced to leave familiar settings.
However, everyone has the potential to wisely resolve all kinds of situations, including unwelcoming ones. We should discover and feel the unlimited lively energy that enables us to calmly face and work out challenging situations no matter how difficult the situation could be. The preciously inherited Buddha nature should be clearly seen and discovered through the energy. Buddha nature (佛性) is innate from the birth of all human beings. In Seon meditation, it is declared with clearer voice that “I am the Buddha in the first place!”
As such, we can carry on life confidently even in the face of unfavorable moments by realizing the crystal clear fact that we have the inherited Buddha nature within and we are the Buddha originally. Recognizing this fact alone could make us lead a happy life, speak out and carry out what we believe confidently and move forward with self-assurance, driven by unlimited lively energy and potentials within.
Living a Fearless Life
We never need to be anxious about what will unfold going forward. Anxiety originates from our own thoughts. There is no fear, concerns or whatsoever in the first place. On the tombstone of Nikos Kazantzakis, author of Zorba the Greek, is the following phrase:
I hope for nothing.
I fear nothing.
I am free.
We can and should enjoy this genuine freedom without fear. Even if fear and concerns exist, they are imaginary obstacles that we should overcome and transcend. However, imagination is only illusion and does not exist in real. So the imaginary fear crumbles at every moment.
We can overcome roadblocks ahead of us with full of confidence in the power of our inner potentials, no matter how challenging the obstacles could be because they all stem from our imagination. Depending on we believe the pure and pristine power within or not, our lives can be extremely different. The only thing that matters is whether we trust in ourselves or not.
A pure and clean well can be found inside us. Pristine water always springs up there. When the dry season comes, no plant or a single drop of water can be found even in the African Savanna where many animals live. When it rains in the wet season, however, all sorts of plants grow and flowers blossom. It is because the land has seeds inside that can grow into plants and flowers. The same is true for our mind. Even though delusions and misconceptions temporarily bring about gusty wind to our mind, we can bloom abundant and beautiful flowers in our mind with strong faith that originally we are the Buddha. To those with the flowers of mind, there is no fear. It is because they are practitioners of great freedom, not held back by anything.
We can discover and make the most use of this inner power of our mind creatively through Seon practice because we become more confident, and consequently, positive and proactive in our daily lives. In addition, Seon meditation enables us to discover unlimited ability within and to further develop and enhance ourselves with self-assurance.
With this energetic power, no one or nothing can hold us back now. This way, we, as practitioners of great freedom, can live confidently, lively and proactively with no need to cringe or hesitate. We are not afraid of being even right in front of a cliff, walking alone everywhere in the universe powerfully. The way toward our inner confidence and peace is fully opened. So the Buddha said in Sutta Nipata as follows:
Like a lion not trembling at noises,
Like the wind not caught in a net,
Like a lotus not stained by water,
Let one wander alone like a
* Please note that this writing is an excerpt from the book, "Introduction to Ganhwa Seon" published by the Bureau of Dharma Propagation and is contained in the spring 2016 edition of the Lotus Lantern magazine under Buddhist Culture Section on page 18~24.