Extracts from Wonhyo’s Writings
"One who realizes that he is in delusion is not greatly deluded, and one who realizes that he is in darkness is not in total darkness."
"When sewing clothes, a short needle is needed and a long spear is useless. To avoid the rain, a small umbrella is needed, and a cover that spans the entire sky is useless. Therefore, small things should not be regarded as trivial. Depending on their true nature, both small and large things are precious."
"The sun has heat as its basic nature, and the moon has cold as its basic nature. If there is only the sun, and no moon, the growing shoots, will dry up and will not live long enough to bear fruit. But if there is only the moon and no sun, the shoots cannot grow and so will rot."
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Who is Wonhyo?Wonhyo (617 – 686), one of Korea’s most beloved and unconventional monks, was a great scholar with more than 80 commentaries and essays to his credit. Born into a simple family in the Silla Kingdom, Wonhyo, a monk for many years, renounced the formal religion life to teach ordinary people. He was known to carry a gourd, dancing and singing around the country, encouraging people to chant and recite the Buddha’s name. He called himself “Muoae Geusa” (unhindered practitioner). For a short time he was married to a princess and had a son, who became a leading Confucian Scholar. Legend has it that while on pilgrimage to China he found enlightenment after drinking rotten water from a skull-cap. This experience became the base of his realization that "there is nothing clean and nothing dirty; all things are made by mind." Wonhyo teaches us to live in Buddha's mind by returning to the origin of One Mind. His One Mind philosophy is of great relevance to the modern world where people live in chaos and delusion as a result of ignorance of their true nature and attachment to name and form.