Zen meditation a path to find True Self
As society becomes more complex and competitive, people tend to feel more mental stress. Korea has become notorious for having the world record in the number of people committing suicide in recent years, apparently overridden by various sufferings.
As a means of attaining true happiness and even enlightenment, Zen (Seon) meditation is drawing growing popularity here via urban centers, though such contemplation had previously been practiced only by monks nestled in deep mountainous areas.
Zen-Master Subul, 59, leader of the Anguk Zen Center, says meditation or Ganhwaseon contemplation is the surest way of directly attaining enlightenment through the investigation of “hwadu,” or the “big question.”
“Everything changes at every moment. Nobody can stop change. Only moments exist. No past, no future and no present,” Master Subul said in an interview with The Korea Times conducted to coincide with Buddha’s Birthday which falls today.
“But there is something that never changes and exists permanently irrespective of the existence of our bodies in this world. As it has existed before the beginning of time, it is neither born nor dies. It exists forever. This eternal one is the “True Self”or “The Truth” and is the very essence of our being,” he said.
He went on to say that Zen meditation is a path to clearly understand the existence of “True Self.” “We can find true happiness by making the most of the moment with the right decisions and recognition.”
“All this is possible by practicing Zen meditation, so I believe it is the most valuable thing to do while we exist in this world,” he added.
The center, with facilities in central Seoul and Busan, has some 3,000 faithful practitioners, many of whom engage in months-long retreats in summer and winter.
Master Subul said the nation’s ‘ganwhaseon’ should spread to the global community to provide more people with chances to acquire wisdom and find their true self and happiness.
“For this, there should be efforts to increase the number of foreign scholars studying Zen meditation. In fact, we have lacked in our efforts for the globalization of the meditation method, though it is the essence of Korean culture,” he said.
“Fortunately enough, foreign institutes, including Harvard University of the United States, began the study of the contemplation last year when Dongguk University took the initiative,” he said.