From the Long Island Meditation Archives: This was a discussion that took place with several different religious leaders on January 1, 2002
Gwangil Kim, a clergyman
Sangdon Shin, a Buddhist monk
Gisook Kim, a Won Buddhism clergywoman.
Location: Meditation Main Center in Nonsan City, South Korea
Is the conception of ‘good and evil’ something that did not originally exist?
The conception of good and evil is something that exists in man’s mind. The conception of good and evil did not originally exist. Good and evil exists in man’s self-made notion that this is good and that is evil. In God, good and evil does not exist; God is great love. An act that we believe to be ‘good’ is not actually true goodness but a delusion, if the act is done with the mind that good is being done. When a lion catches prey to eat, it is done without the mind that such an act is good or evil. In the same way, man must also become free of the conception of good and evil. Only in one’s notions, in one’s mind, does good and evil exist.
What is original sin?
An original sin began to exist from the moment our ancestors began to distinguish between good and evil. Eating the forbidden fruit – the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil – means one has begun to distinguish or discriminate between good and evil. Since we are born from the bodies of ancestors who ate the forbidden fruit, we have the original sin. We are our ancestors’ forms that were filled with the conception of good and evil. This is the reason we are born into the world with the original sin.
Is sin related to karma?
Karma is the combination of original sin and sins that we ourselves have actually committed, the actual sin. Everyone has karma.
How can we do true repentance?
Repentance means to look back on one’s self and feel sorry for what one has done. People commonly believe that they have not done anything wrong. However, since people live with attachments of greed, they live self-centered lives that are far from God and Buddha. When one looks back on himself, and he discards the life he has lived and kills his self or ego, it is possible to realize that one has truly lived wrongly. The entity that is the self consists of one’s body and mind. When one discards this body and mind and there is no self, it is possible to truly repent. God within emerges as much as one has repented, and gives answers to one’s prayers. One must keep dying until God within acknowledges that one’s self is completely dead and that he has been born in heaven.
Why must we discard all the acts of goodness we have done?
Acts of goodness are not truly good when they remain inside one’s mind. Truth is the Universe, and Truth is things as they are, as they can be seen. The only good there is, is the God of the Universe. In order to find that goodness, we must discard the delusional thought that we have done acts of goodness.
Love, Truth, and God ? do these words all mean the same?
True love is the acts of God who is Truth, whose acts are done without the thought that they are being done. The universe was created by the Universe that existed before the conception of universe ever existed, and in the same way, these words all mean the same.
Where is the Universe?
The Universe is as it is, but it is only when the Universe exists within oneself that people will be reborn as righteous people and it will become a world where everything and everyone are one. The Universe exists in all material things, and the material things and the Universe are one. Those who are separate from the Universe are people filled with delusions, and those who exist with the Universe within are the truly living.
What is Truth?
Truth is the place that existed before the Universe that is true. Truth is the only God that exists amidst absolute emptiness. Such is the Truth’s body and mind, which is Jung and Shin. This place created the universe, and this place is where heaven exists. This existence is never-changing; there is nowhere that it is not present in the Universe; it is the Universe itself; and from the perspective of Truth, everything in existence is born in the complete world.
Is there a way to reach Truth?
The Universe within oneself is Truth. A person who has become free of his sins and karma can reach Truth. One’s self consists of his body and mind. A person who has become free of, or discarded, his body and mind, can reach Truth.
Why have we been able to discard our memories? Why do we store them?
Woo Myung :
People are born with the original sin, and each person’s mind of greed differs. A mind of greed is one’s memories and his attachments. This mind that remains in one’s self is called memories.
What does it mean to discard all of one’s memories?
Memories are a false illusionary world of one’s life that was made from one’s attachments. For that reason, one may discard his remembered thoughts but his actual memories do not ever disappear. What does disappear are one’s images. When one discard his memories, he is no longer bound to the emotions in those memories. From the Universe’s perspective, this means that even when one experiences joy or sorrow, he does not dwell within those emotions.
Can one be cured of illnesses when he cleanses his mind? How does that work?
Illnesses exist because of human minds. The body and mind are one. Our bodies’ forms and our actions reflect the minds we have. When we discard our minds, we return back to completeness where there is no illness. This is the reason people become cured when they cleanse their minds.
What is the difference between this meditation and other forms of meditation?
This is about completely eliminating minds through cleansing the mind. It is also possible to completely discard the habits that our bodies are steeped in. When our minds and bodies have been thus completely discarded, Truth that is within oneself emerges. This is the way to achieve human completion. One must discard himself in order for the original mind to appear. Depending on each person’s determination and patience, it is possible for some people to get a glimpse of this original mind if they allow their minds to settle but this is only momentary and it does not last. However, if you cleanse your mind, minds can be discarded permanently. It is possible to be filled with Truth that is the Universe, when one’s individual body and mind does not exist; this is when the Universe that is the original mind can exist in a person. The Universe that is the origin exists in a mind that has the entire infinite Universe within it.