“The Mind Is the Buddha”, not only enriching your own life but also steering the world in the right directions.
Our minds are even more changeable than water. Our mind is one, and at the same time it functions in tens of thousands of ways.
As we study the texts of Secrets on Cultivating the Mind, we must not only learn to cultivate our lives to achieve bliss, but we must also strive to become great sages who can save the world by engaging in a practice of seeking, training, and using our minds well
Secrets on Cultivating the Mind among The Essential Scriptures of the Buddha and Patriarchs by Master Pojo. Master Pojo, the author of Secrets on Cultivat-ing the Mind, was a Korean monk of the Goryeo period, who lived a short life of fifty-two years from 1158 through 1210.
It is said that he ardently engaged in meditation and recitation of Buddha’s names and was quite unconcerned with fame and gain. He was also meticulous and strict in character, while spending much of his time with the public. He was particularly outstanding in his studies and wrote many books, the list of which includes Secrets on Cultivat-ing the Mind, Encouraging to Practice: The Compact of the Samādhi and Prajñā Community (Kwŏn su chŏnghye kyŏlsa mun), Straight Talk on the True Mind (Chinsim chiksŏl), The Complete and Sudden At-tainment of Buddhahood (Wŏndon sŏngbullon) and Resolving Doubts About Observing the Hwadu (Kanhwa kyŏrŭi ron). The fact that among all of these, the Founding Master selected Secrets on Cultivating the Mind as the reference text for our mind practice is due to him believing that this scripture would be an important guidebook for the dharma companions of the future who would engage in mind practice.
Secrets on Cultivating the Mind can be simply discussed in terms of three aspects. First is that your mind is the Buddha! What is Bud-dha? Well, your mind is. Who are you who is listening to this right now? It is your mind. You must be aware that your mind that is listen-ing right now is the buddha.
He then goes on to discuss sudden awakening and subsequent gradual cultivation—that is, suddenly awakening to and gradually cul-tivating the mind. Awakening to the mind can be referred to as “seeing the nature”; he explains how one gradually cultivates the mind after seeing the nature. This idea of sudden awakening and gradual cultivation is Master Pojo Chinul’s central concept, one that any practitioner must know without fail.
The next is “maintaining samādhi and prajñā equally.” In the realm of self-nature where the two coexist, he said, samādhi and prajñā must be cultivated equally.
Secrets on Cultivating the Mind is written in question-and-answer form. The sutra is structured in a format in which Master Pojo asks the questions and answers them himself.
Cardinal Master Chŏngsan gave a variety of lectures on Secrets on Cultivating the Mind, but among them, Kyongsan, Prime Dharma Master of Won- Buddhism, will introduce one dharma word that can be the standard of interpretation: “Take the mind as the head; treat awakening to the mind as the dharma; and regard cultiva-tion as the merit.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Venerable Kyongsan (Jang, Eungcheol, b.1940) was the fifth Head Dharma Master of Won Buddhism. He entered the Won Buddhist faith at the age of twenty and graduated from the Department of Won Buddhist Studies at Wonkwang University in 1968. He served as President of the Youngsan College of Zen Studies, Executive Director of Administration for Won Buddhism, and Director of the Jung-ang Retreat Center before being inaugurated as the fifth Head Dharma Master in 2006.
Venerable Kyongsan continued with his efforts to realize the ideals of his predecessor, Venerable Daesan, the Third Head Dharma Master, whose Three Proposals for World Peace are the development of moral discipline for cultivating the mind, the opening up a common market, and the establishment of United Religions.
Venerable Kyongsan’s particular devotion was the realization of world peace through inter-religious cooperation, uniting people of all religious faiths to work toward the establishment of a worldwide organization of United Religions.
In the 12th year of his service as the fifth Head Dharma Master, he retired and became Head Dharma Master Emeritus. Venerable Kyongsan has written many books, including “The World of Lao-tzu,” “Taming the Ox: Our Mind,” “Hill of Freedom: Commentary on The Heart Sutra,” “The Functioning of a Buddha’s Mind: The Diamond Sutra in Everyday Life,” and “The Moon of the Mind Rises in Empty Space.”