arrow_back_ios_new Analects of Jikji
Seon (Zen) Buddhist Mediation and Asceticism

How many ways are there to learn Buddhist meditation and the Way? 叅禪學道幾般㨾

The essential point lies in the choice of the individual. 要在當人能擇上

One must simply forget the body and not kill the heart 莫只忘形與死心

And this is the deepest illness that is difficult to cure. 此个難醫病最深

One must simply sit and explore the origin. 直須坐究探淵源

The Way is something that is delivered across time and place, to all beneath the heavens. 此道古今天下傳

- Jikji, Volume 2 -

* Interpretation

This is a Seon (Zen) Buddhist poem about meditation. In it, the great Buddhist monk Jwasunmyeng explains how to practice Zen Buddhist meditation from various perspectives. The passage above states that the practitioner must seek learn about the Way through meditation in their own way and explains what condition their heart and mind must be in before they practice meditation. The body and the heart cannot be forgotten or killed and the source must be explored directly. In this context, “inscription (myeong, 銘)” means first writing down then inscribing onto the heart and mind. This passage shows that Jwaseonmyeong also taught that, writing down knowledge is needed first in meditation then followed by inscribing it onto the heart and mind.

Source: Jeon, Jae-gang (2017)