January 24, 2011

Advice for Beginners on the Way

In the latest installment of Buddhism Now, the excellent UK-based Buddhist publication, Martine Batchelor translates Korean Son Master Chinul Sunim's "Advice for Monks who are Beginners on the Way." Some of the advice is quite valuable to students of all tradtions. But some of the advice, such as the days on which it is proper to wash one's underwear, will probably not serve laypeople very well. We'll let you judge for yourself! It begins:

A beginner’s mind should keep its distance from bad company and draw near the virtuous and wise. When you receive the Five or Ten Precepts, you should learn well when to keep and when occasionally overlook them. From now on you should depend solely upon the words of the Buddha and pay no more heed to the senseless comments of ordinary men.

Now you have renounced the world to join a pure community. Therefore, you must continually aspire to gentleness and harmony but without considering yourself superior to others.

Read the rest of the article—and the rest of Buddhism Nowhere.

Image: Jason Gillyon

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