hese days, Zen meditation is becoming more popular as modern people feel more mental stress in their lives and society becomes increasingly complex. However, many people seem to wonder how Zen can be good for them and how they can attain happiness by practicing it - although they certainly hear that Zen meditation can make people happy. By practicing Zen, we can open the eye of wisdom with which we can see everything exactly and clearly as it is, without prejudice clouding our discriminating minds. Let me explain just three of the many reasons why we cannot become anything but happy by opening the eye of wisdom.
By opening the eye of wisdom, we can escape the suffering of birth and death.
When we can see everything as it is, we come to realize that everything is constantly changing at every moment, whether we want it to or not. There is nothing but changes in the world. Even at this moment when you¡¯re reading this magazine, both you and this magazine are changing, that is, getting older. Our bodies get sick, get old and die, after all, no matter how hard we may try to keep them alive. Nobody can stop change. However, we also come to realize that there is something that never changes and always exists regardless of whether our bodies are alive or not. It neither dies nor is born. It has been existing since before the beginning of time and will be existing forever. It is eternal. It is the very ¡°True Self¡± or ¡°The Truth¡± that is the essence of our being. Once we learn to realize it¡¯s the essence of our being, we come to know death is only a part of the process of constant change in the universe and not the end of everything, and we are not afraid of it - just as we¡¯re not scared of night coming, because we know we¡¯ll have a new day in a few hours. In other religions, they say God gives us eternal life, but we already have eternal life in Buddhism. What matters is whether we realize it or not. We have only to realize it.
By opening the eye of wisdom, we can make wise decisions and choices that can improve the quality of our lives.
Whatever we may be, whether we are doctors, farmers, businessmen or housewives, our lives are so full of decisions and choices, big and small, that our happiness can be said to depend on our decisions and the choices of every moment. The importance of wise decisions and wise choices cannot be emphasized too much, because a decision or choice of a certain moment can sometimes change our lives entirely. Seeing everything exactly and clearly as it is means seeing everything objectively with the eye of wisdom attained by practicing Zen meditation, which means that we can make objective and exact decisions, or objective and exact choices -that is, wise decisions or wise choices. So, wise decisions and wise choices we can make by practicing Zen meditation will bring us good results which will improve our lives and lead us to happiness.
By opening the eye of wisdom, we can make the most of our life without wasting a moment.
One of the reasons why we fail to be happy is that we¡¯ve not mastered the art of making the most of every moment that we¡¯re facing in our lives. While we¡¯re at home, our heads are still busy solving the challenges we face at the office. And when we¡¯re at the office, we worry about the problems at home. We are so involved in yesterday, which is gone, and the tomorrow which has not come, that we don¡¯t even notice that today is slipping by. But those who have opened the eye of wisdom, realizing
that there is no past, no present and no
future, know better than to sacrifice and waste the moment they¡¯re facing right now by focusing so much on the past or the future that doesn¡¯t exist. They only do their best to make the most of the moment they are facing. In other words, they do their best every moment in their lives.
Written by Master Subul Sunim of Ahnkook Zen Center
Monthly Magazine SEOUL(June 2007)