Master Chung San's Teachings

 1. " My master only used  three words to teach me."  

   

Chung-san: "My master only used three words to teach  me."
Master Chung-san's teacher, Master Chung-woon, used three sentences to  teach him.

"You're going right."
"It will be."
"You're going  wrong."

Master Chung-woon taught Chung-san only the method of practice  and taught nothing about principles, effects, or experiences. He instructed his  pupil to learn the principles through the experiences of the practice. When  Daoist Chung-woon said, "Do this motion (posture) and breathe like this", Master  Chung-san would practice it and then say "It was like this when I did it." If  Chung-woon replied, "You are going right" or "It will be" then Chung-san felt  assured and continued to practice. If Chung-san was practicing incorrectly then  Chung-woon would say, "You're going wrong" and he would say nothing else until  Chung-san figured out what was wrong by himself. Chung-san would think, discover  his faults, and then tell his master about them. Then his master would only say,  "It will be", and no more.

Che-ji-che-neung (learning and mastering by  body) is a Kouksundo principle. Every person has different characteristics of  body, mind, and lifestyle. Therefore the method of teaching must be different  for each person. Moreover, knowing a lot of facts can actually interfere with  one's practice. One can be deceived into thinking that he/she has attainted  something when they've only heard about it.

Understandings and feelings  on a single matter can be different for everyone.
Even though people are  using the same practice method they could feel and experience change in  different ways. This is why Kouksundo instructors shouldn’t emphasize their  experience over the practitioner's experience. They should suggest "Try it like  this", instead of saying "If you do it this way you will become like this".  Instructors should say "Try this food because it is good for the body", instead  of saying "This food is good for your body because it has these ingredients  which perform these  functions".

2. Be accomplished in all  ways.  

 

Chung-san “A Kouksundo instructor must be accomplished in  all ways. He/she should have the ability to talk about anything with  anybody."
A Kouksundo instructor should have an in-depth understanding of  儒佛仙Confucian-Buddhist-Sun philosophy, the psychology and physiology of the human  body, and eastern and western philosophy. Instructors with these qualities  should, eventually, extend the knowledge of Kouksundo. Instructors should work  on their self-development so they can sprout the seed of Kouksundo and guide  modern people toward Kouksundo practice. They must believe in themselves before  they try to persuade others. They can deepen their understanding of Kouksundo by  digging deep into related studies. The more they understand people and the world  the more their confidence in Kouksundo practice will  deepen.      


3. Have  faith 


Chung-san: "Open your eyes so you can choose correctly.  But close your eyes after you've made the choice."

Life is a series of  choices. Life can change depending on which choice you make. On making a choice,  one should compare and examine all the alternatives and consider the loss and  gain. But after choosing, one should focus only on the bright side and try to  bring it to fruition. Everything has its light and dark side. If one becomes  preoccupied with the shadow then he/she might not see the light. People who  choose to practice Kouksundo should have faith in the practice  method.
'Perfection is for god, mistakes are for men'. If a priest makes a  mistake, it is most likely that the church organization will be criticized.  Kouksundo instructors and practitioners represent Kouksundo and must be careful  about how they speak. But when an instructor makes a mistake one should realize  it is not the fault of the practice method itself. The problem is with the  person and not with the practice method.        


4. All things first take form  in the heart. 

"How do you break rocks and not burn in fire?"  
Chung-san: "First, break the rock with the heart and then just place your  hand on it. Fire cannot intrude if one has no thought that he/she is not inside  fire. All things first form in the mind and then form in what we call reality."  

Reality depends on how it is made by the heart. Reality is a display of  the mind/heart. Our reality today is formed from our heart. To change reality  one should change their mind first.
Won-gi danbup's difficult motions  (postures) can be done if you first imagine yourself doing them. It is said that  our heart has the capacity to do anything, but performs only within its  perceived limitations. If you want to be something, then think that you are  already what you want to be. And if you live the life that you want to live, it  will become reality. If one wants to be a Dao man then imagine you already are.  Act and talk like a Dao man and you will naturally become  one.      


5. Adopt naturalness   

   

Chung-san: "When you get questions about whether  something is right or wrong, have an experience about what you are questioning  and then adopt it according to whether it is in agreement or not with natural  law."

The principles of nature should be the benchmark for determining  the rights and wrongs of daily living and dao practice. Nature’s 無心heart is  uninterested. Thus nature does not follow self-interest and self-desire. Nature  follows the principle of common interest and common desire. But on the contrary,  humans have self-interest and selfish desires. Nature does not interweave with  different things, but helps different things. Therefore, people should take  things that are helpful for both themselves and others. People should know that  taking interest in others leads to benefs for themselves too.        


6. Kouksundo is the morality  of happiness. 


Chung-san: "Other Dao practice organizations and  religions have taboos. They inject people with the fear of punishment or hell in  order to make people observe their taboos. But Dao has no rights or wrongs. Do  what you want to do. However, if what you do isn’t natural and is unfit for you,  then throw it away."

When there are taboos, people become very curious  about them. It is not easy for humans to free themselves from taboos. But when  we actually carry out the taboos, we can realize that there is no point to them  and the curiosity will go away. Of course, if one can be indifferent about  taboos then one won't have to experience them. Even when the taboo is attractive  for you, one should not think about it if it is not fit for  onself.      


7. 人體主義Human body-ism   


Chung-san: "The human body is endowed with everything  that is needed. Hence, if one knows one’s human body then one can know all the  principles of the world."

The human body is a microcosm. Humans are part  of nature, so the law of the macrocosm also applies completely to the human  body. In the 周易I-ching’s copula section, it says ‘近取諸身 遠取諸物’, which means,  'Close to you, use the body to find truth. Far from you, examine each thing to  find truth'. If one understands the microcosm then one can also understand the  macrocosm. Human body-ism is a unifying theory which all different types of  people can agree with, even communists and democrats. A single, fundamental  principle penetrates the whole universe. This single, fundamental principle is  present in all things. So, if one can penetrate into the essence of a single  thing then one can understand every single part about the ever-changing  whole.

Kouksundo is a practice of improving the foundation. A Kouksundo  person gains the wisdom of grasping the fundamental principle behind the  appearance or a matter.    

  

8. Principle of danbup.   

   

Chung-san: "How did you memorize all 433 motions  (postures) when you practiced in the mountains? You didn't even have a book to  study."

"There is one principle for all danbups. If you grasp this  single principle then everything else deduces from it. You don't need to  memorize them."

The Song of Guidance to Truth explains the Jung-gahk-doh  haeng-gong practice principle. The first statement says, "Central Energy  operates to maintain all phenomena in the present state of the Universe." If you  can correctly realize this fundamental principle, then every motion (posture) of  the Jung-gahk-doh stage logically follows from it.

Doh-an: I do not know  that principle and it is far more difficult to explain, but to make it easy to  understand, the first step of practice must be Joong-gi danbup.

It goes  to Il-Shin Il-Shim bup, Jung-shim-bup and so on. Il-shin Il-shim bup divides  into separate methods such as Jung, Joa, Lip, Chuk and Dong.

Joong-gi  danbup's first motion (posture)(一身一心Il shin Il shim bup's 正法Jung bup) gathers(法  bup) 2 hands each symbolizing the body, the left hand(一身 Il-shin) and mind, the  right hand(一心 Il-shim) and is a motion (posture)(法 bup) that unites(正 Jung) the  body and mind.

But words are only symbols. Don't be tied to the meaning  of the word. Interpreting a word can mistakenly set limits to its original  meaning. People at different levels of Sundo practice might understand the same  word in different ways. A word is simply a means to express the principle. A  principle is something that is realized in the heart through practicing Dao.  Therefore, a principle is hard to express in words. If one tries to force the  meaning or expression of a word then its original meaning can be easily spoiled.  Therefore, I do not deliberately interpret words because people at different  practice levels have a different understanding of them.  

9. Clothes, food,  house 

     

Chung-san: "Dao doesn't starve people. The descendents of  humans are not infinite. People worry about the population explosion, but the  population will not grow further when it reaches a certain point. If all the  food on earth is evenly divided, then all life can live without hunger from the  food produced."

People worry about tomorrow. When people worry about  tomorrow there comes desire. Desire increases when people don't feel secure  about their future. People feel insecure when they don't save enough food for  tomorrow. Some people say we overeat when there is not enough food to eat  regularly. Some people say the body tries to store extra food when it doesn't  know when it will eat again. This also happens when people fail to moderate  their eating after completing a fast.

There is a saying that the mind is  the master and the body is the servant. Mind comes from heaven. Hence, it tries  to go back to heaven and has an upward tendency. The body comes from the earth  and goes back to the earth. Thus, it has a downward tendency. We live when the  body and heart are in harmony. And we die when that harmony dissolves. When the  master (mind) cannot play his role, then the slave (body) acts as the master.  Greed comes from the body and has no end. We can only perish when we follow the  body.

Many of the problems on earth will vanish when all humans give up  greed and practice sharing.
     

10. Practicing Tao is like  climbing a tree 

 

Chung-san: "Practicing Tao is like climbing a tree. To  climb to the top you have to climb up the main trunk."

To go to the top  of a tree, one must climb up the main trunk. Climbing up the trunk is very hard,  difficult, and dull so we are tempted when we see the pretty flowers and sweet  fruits on the side branches. When our hands reach out for the flowers and fruits  we become blinded by them and no longer think of going to the top. We stay on  that branch and watch the sun go down. Sometimes, we make a wrong step and fall  to the ground. If we break an arm or leg when we fall then we cannot go up  again. On some occasions our neck breaks when we fall and leave this  world.

Therefore, even if it's hard and dull we should climb up the main  trunk. As we get closer to the top, sweeter and more beautiful fruits will tempt  us. We should continue to resist these greater temptations. Then when we reach  the top we can enjoy them.

When practicing Kouksundo, changes may be  different for each person. Roughly speaking, there are over 70 kinds of changes.  Over forty are mental changes and over thirty are physical changes. When changes  happen to us we should only experience them and carry on with the practice. If  we project meaning into changes it makes us judge them as good or bad. We try to  promote changes that we judge as good and suppress changes that we judge as bad.  But we should refrain from judging changes. We should observe these phenomena  just as we watch scenery through the car window when we are travelling. We  cannot reach the destination before sunset if we touch, taste, and check every  single change.

Change is growth. The right kind of change comes to the  person’s need for growth. The wasted actions of past days become purified during  the process of change. Undergoing change makes the body, heart, and abilities  more like a Daoist.

Master Chung-san always said, “I am imparting only no  more or no less than what I've learned from my master.” I (Master Choi) fear  that I may not have understood master's teachings correcty and given them  improperly.
     

11. Conversation with master  Chung-san 1  Jin-mok       


Disciple: Can you express in a single word what Kouksundo  seeks?

Master: Truth. The old word for truth is preparation. It means  to prepare everything of the ten-direction world.

Disciple: Master, what  is the minimum amount of practice needed to accomplish the Tao?
Master: At  least 6 hours per day.

Disciple: You said something about nan-gong  (difficult) practice in your lecture. What is that?
Master: A nan-gong  practice is literally a very difficult practice. You practice according to the 4  seasons. In the spring you practice all day and accumulate inner energy. In the  summer you lay white rocks on the ground, take off all your clothes, get on the  rocks and receive all the light reflected from the rocks, and practice all  summer. During the whole autumn you practice in a waterfall. When you finish  fall practice then you can easily practice anywhere, even in the winter in a  snow storm.

Disciple: Which mental attitude is good for living in the  world?
Master: Being simple. You can learn much.

Disciple: I truly  want to get into the Dao. Can you give me advice?
Master: There are two ways  in get into Tao.

First, you get dragged into it when you're young.  
Second, you come in late because, after experiencing everything in the  world, you realize everything
is useless.
Therefore in 道Dao, there is  어서50시오.

Disciple: Why were you born?
Master: To accomplish my destined  life定命完遂.

Disciple: Why did you descend from the mountains?
Master: I  only come and tell that an 惡氣 evil energy is  coming.

12. Conversations with  master Chung-san 2 Jin-mok      

Disciple: How much do we have to practice to experience  some change?
Master: If you take anyone walking down the street and give  correct instructions then change comes in just 16 minutes.

Disciple: Tell  us about holding the breath in danjun breathing.
Master: Holding is......  
Energy begins to leak out when holding after the inhale. Energy begins to  soak in when holding after the exhale.

The energy still moves through the  nose and skin even if you’re not breathing.

For the latter half of Won-gi  danbup you should stop listening to the tape and gradually increase the length  of your breath hold.

Disciple: What is it like when the danjun is filled  with energy?
Master: It moves only a few millimeters.

Disciple: I've  started Won-gi danbup but I don't think I've accumulated enough energy so I want  to begin again with Joong-gi danbup.
Master: Don't do that. Finish won-gi  danbup first. And then start over.

Disciple: When we circulate the  function and control vessel, why do we pull it back as far as the ears instead  of following its meridian pathway?
Master: When the fist-sized fireball  starts spinning, the face can't endure the dan-fire energy if it goes down the  front of the skull. This is because the facial nerve is delicate.
So we wind  it back as far as the ears. We get frightened out of our wits when it comes down  the neck because it is so hot.

Disciple: What happens when perfect  circulation of the function and control vessel is acheived?
Master: Your  strength triples, your skin changes, five times of your body weight can rest on  any part of you, your eye light changes, your mind opens to a higher dimension  so the brain can penetrate principles, and you can see energy.

Disciple:  How much should I do the outer practice?
Master: If you circulate the  function and control vessel perfectly, the external practice can be completed in  a week.

Disciple: Many people say they have circulated the function and  control vessel.
Master: (smile).....