“Who am I? Remember, you are asking for something incredibly simple, really, something profoundly natural, something as close as your own being, yet something as infinite as the universe. Your Silent Master knows this question, and knows the answer. Now you, through your meditation, can also begin to know, to “make real” your unity with your Silent Master.
This meditation requires much repetition and patient listening. The understanding that results from it often doesn’t happen all at once. The growing awareness can be so subtle that you don’t realize you’re getting it until you have it.”
There is much to be gained in formal meditation, where you adopt a specific posture, a procedure, and sometimes a specific environment to make a purposeful, dedicated, concentrated quest to experience your Silent Master.
There are many kinds of formal meditation. There are many postures and procedures, all having a unique purpose and meaning that enable you to strive for different outcomes in your meditations. Here is one example of a formal meditation you can easily try.
As you go through the steps, keep these two objectives in mind of knowing your unity with your Silent Master and quieting your mind.
1. Sit calmly on the floor or on a flat pillow. If you use a pillow, try to keep one especially for that purpose, one you do not use for anything else. If you need to purchase a pillow, silk or cotton ones are recommended.
2. Bend your right leg and place your foot under your left thigh.
3. Bend your left leg and lift the left foot onto your right thigh. If this hurts, don’t force it; just do the best you can. Your legs should now be crossed with the right on the bottom and left on top.
4. Bend your body forward, arch your back and then straighten up.
5. Place your right hand, palm facing up, gently on your lap.
6. Place your left hand, palm facing up, on your right hand and bring your thumbs together. The thumbs should be just barely touching, as if you were holding a sheet of paper between them.
7. Straighten your neck. Your head should be level, not up or down, and your ear lobes in line with your shoulders.
8. Close your eyes gently.
9. Close your mouth and place your tongue on the roof of your mouth.
10. Breathe in deeply through your nose, hold your breath as long as you can comfortably and then exhale slowly and softly. Your breathing should be gentle and quiet; someone sitting next to you should not be able to hear you breathe. Do this until your breathing is slow and gentle. You will probably notice your heart slows down as well.
11. Let any worries or concerns or clamoring thoughts and feelings flow away. Remember, initially your conscious mind feels uncomfortable when you ask it to suspend its habitual thinking processes (or more often, worrying processes). It wants to keep thinking and will try to do so. Just continue breathing, however, and refuse to pay attention to intrusive thoughts and feelings. Let them go, let them pass. If necessary, “tell them” you’ll pay attention to them later, but not now (usually they go away when they have this “reassurance”). Right now, you want to strive for the most pristine purity and clarity of consciousness you can; and to do that, you must suspend your customary thinking processes. Eventually, you will feel your mind start to clear.
12. Now in this stillness, pose your question, your problem, your visualization, or whatever. Ask. Ask in whatever way feels right. Your Silent Master is listening.
13. Relax your mind, and determine now to let all thoughts flow to you freely. These thoughts will have a different feeling altogether than the clamoring ones you may have had in the beginning. These thoughts are messengers of one sort or another, responses swimming into your awareness as a result of your meditation. Do not become attached to any of them. Let them come and go as they will. Pay attention to them, but do not force yourself to analyze or think about them. You can analyze later, because your conscious mind is well equipped to do so.”
“The second step is to quiet your mind, so that all the clamoring thoughts and feelings are put aside. In this stillness, you can know and hear whatever you need.
Sometimes after meditating, you will get a “knowing” right away; however, you may have to repeat your meditation many times to bring about a desired result. Sometimes when you think you haven’t received your answer, you will discover that your answer comes at the right time but not necessarily right away.
I refer to the physical practice of Jung SuWon as a moving meditation because the training requires you to focus your mind on specific ideas and qualities as you move. No movement in martial arts should be without direction or without thought; all movement should be focused and purposeful. Thus, this moving meditation involves concentration. The Latin roots of “concentrate” are com, meaning “together,” and centrum, meaning “center.” To concentrate means to “draw everything to a center.” Thus, when you concentrate on a Jung SuWon movement, you are drawing your thoughts and actions to a central focus. Body and Mind as One!”
“When you honor a country’s flag, you honor the spirit of the nation. We could say that a flag is the face of the people, a symbol representing each individual who with many others form the spirit of the country. So, in the dojang, when you honor your country’s flag, or another person, you honor yourself and the self in others who create the nation.
And all gestures of courtesy and respect (such as bowing) honor the self in others in a most tangible and peaceful manner.
If you wish, you may regard your physical martial arts training as a comprehensive symbol of your life training. The mental and physical overcoming and strengthening that you demonstrate in the dojang represents the same overcoming in every other aspect of your life as well.
So, in martial arts training, we value symbols because it is a way to observe the real ideas the symbols represent.”
Even if there were no martial arts systems in existence, we could still learn much about the valuable traits developed by these systems, like survival, self defense, courage, discipline, and patience, just by watching nature. It’s not by accident that many martial art forms incorporate the qualities of animals: the tiger, eagle, crane, bear, turtle, monkey. The original martial arts masters observed valuable traits in these animals then imitated them to extend their fighting skills.
You may not be able to go directly to nature to learn basic truths and primal ideals embodied by nature’s creatures; we do not live in nature the way people did thousands of years ago. So you, the modem warrior, may have to imitate others who have learned the way before you. However, you will still need to observe as much as the original warriors did. Your ability to observe is a powerful, essential weapon in self defense.”
You may become keenly aware of your weakness and negative thoughts and emotions as you train in a martial art because you’re making greater demands on your body and asking yourself to perform in ways you previously considered impossible. But keep in mind, as we discussed in the section on Purity in chapter four, that your weaknesses are “shadows” of your real characteristics. The war against a shadow does not have to be waged with force. It’s not sensible to fight against something that’s insubstantial, is it?
Instead, the war can be won by gently embodying the real idea about yourself, whatever it may be at the time.
“Gently” doesn’t mean “weakly,” however. Gentleness is its own kind of force. Remember the fable about the contest between the Sun and the Wind? They each tested their power by attempting to make a man walking along a road take off his cloak. As the wind ripped and tore at the man with tremendous force, the man only drew the cloak tighter and tighter around him, until the Wind finally gave up and challenged the Sun. The Sun, however, showed no “force” at all; gently and persistently, it burned brighter and hotter, until the man released his hold on the cloak and took it off in the warmth of the day. This is the true nature of your conflict with yourself. Like the Sun, gently and persistently you must be who you are in truth.
Also during your warfare, remember what we discussed in the section on Truth in chapter four: To make your work easier, you must remain unimpressed with the evidence of your material senses. The material picture outside you is never the source of truth; it is a picture of what you’ve been believing to be true. Therefore, as a Jung SuWon warrior, you are not limited by any material evidence; you can change the picture when you change your thinking.
Second, the saying means that the spiritual principles of Jung SuWon are practical. When you use the principles, practice them, and apply them to the physical training, you discover that these principles are the foundation for your physical power. So, Jung SuWon is not just theoretical. It is to help you do whatever you need to do. “He can do, she can do, why not me?” And you can apply the principles to any situation in your life, not only in the school where you practice the physical martial art.
So, the foundation for your physical doing in Jung SuWon is the mental and spiritual training. Your physical strength is only as good as your mental strength. Powerful kicks and punches are worthless unless they are properly directed at an appropriate target, with the necessary mental focus. But all the physical strength in the world will not help if your mind is full of fear. Therefore, you must conquer fear and weakness within yourself before you can conquer a foe outside yourself. This is the purpose and essence of the Jung SuWon spiritual principles: to give you practical tools to free yourself from limiting, self defeating states of mind. And it works!
Certainly, increased physical strength and the knowledge of self defense are desirable rewards of Jung SuWon martial art training; they reduce fear and weakness and build true confidence and self esteem. Tae Kwon Do, Shotokan Karate, and Kung Fu are all similar in the origins of their basic forms. But the quality of physical training in Jung SuWon depends directly on the extent to which the spiritual training is applied. Learning the martial art moves and forms, learning how to spar effectively with an opponent, and demonstrating extraordinary physical feats (breaking bricks with your bare hand) require that you use all the principles of awareness, balance, visualization, commitment—all the rules of mental conduct—as well as the seven principles of inner power.
Training in the physical form of Jung SuWon requires that you focus all these ideas within the parameters of this structured art form and that you develop yourself and measure your progress in a disciplined manner. Your training, then, can be a feedback system, letting you know where you stand in taking control of your mind and body.”
“True patience is knowing the truth and expecting the truth to manifest. This knowing and expecting is the process of being your Silent Master Consciousness. Thus, when you express this true patience, you think as your Silent Master thinks. You keep the power turned on as you wait knowingly for the manifestation to appear at its appointed time.
These seven principles of inner power are all intimately related to each other. You cannot fully practice one without including the others. That is, to practice Body and Mind as One, you need to practice Truth, Purity, Love, Loyalty, Sacrifice, and Patience, also. In reality, there’s no such thing as, Today I’m working on purity. Each and every day, you work on all these principles.
As you make these qualities real in your everyday life, remember that what you are really practicing is your beingness, your selfhood, your Silent Master. You’re not asking yourself to be anything that’s not real or not possible. Your Silent Master is your only true self. As you are joyfully and expectantly practicing these seven principles, you are becoming your Silent Master. Unlike the caterpillar, usually we do not make our transformation in the darkness of a private space. Yet, ultimately, each of us is alone; each of us is a private individual. But we are alone together in a world of many people. Thus, our transformation is worked out in the world classroom. Much of our learning will be out in the open, composed of many small actions that will, step by step and moment by moment, create changes just as startling as the caterpillar’s transformation. One painting is composed of thousands and thousands of brush strokes.”