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Title : Is it really necessary for us to practice Seon?
Why should we practice Seon?
Jinje Seonsa : The first reason we must practice Seon is to escape the endless distressing cycle of birth and death. In the end, what are the most important things that must be done?
Birth and death are the most important things to people. Shakyamuni Buddha left his family and gave up his right to the kingdom in order to solve this fundamental problem. Every living creature undergoes birth and death, but it is difficult to explain through words just how much suffering is involved here. We have lived countless of previous lives, died countless of times. If we don’t finish the work of birth and death in this lifetime we will continue to turn the wheel of samsara and experience this suffering for countless of lifetimes to come. It is to solve this work that we have come into this world, there is really nothing more. If we do not set out to solve it then we have missed a rare opportunity in receiving this human body.
So what must we do to free ourselves from the chains of suffering, from the wheel of life and death? It is necessary to find an enlightened master who has awakened to the essence of Seon, and be prepared to put a lifetime of effort in finishing this task- in finding True Self. In the scriptures it is said that, “receiving a human body is difficult; meeting with Buddhism is even more so.” The likelihood of receiving a human body is similar to the likelihood of dropping a needle from high in the sky and it piercing a mustard seed. So now that you have the rare opportunity to practice you must take full advantage of it, you may not have such good fortune in the future.
The second reason we practice Seon is to allow our perfect wisdom to express itself so that we may find success and happiness for self and others. The ancient sages would say, “Those without fortune are so because they are lacking wisdom.” Without wisdom it is impossible to live well, and things will never go one’s way. Regardless of what one may inherit, be it royal standing or riches, without wisdom one will not be able to keep this. The practice of Seon allows us to use the wisdom that is inherently our own and from this we will naturally find success and good fortune.