The Sudden and Gradual Problem in the Ganhwa Meditation


/ Meditation Counselling Research Institute

In the modern korean Buddhist, the most important dispute is the Sudden/Gradual dispute. This dispute was touched by Venerable Bhikkhu Sonchol in 1981. He was criticized Venerable Bhikkhu Bojo was National Teacher in Gorye dynasty, as an adherent of conceptual knowledge. Opening Bojo Thought Research Institute in 1987, This dispute was completely detonated.

Until now discussed issues were like this. First, What is the character of sudden awakening? Second interesting point concerns with sudden/gradual cultivation. Thirdly which system is the Ganwha Meditation. The 4th article of this dispute is a historical view of Zen. In these, first and second problem have enough debated and become clear whether right or wrong. I think third and the 4th article did not debated at all.

This paper is try to prove whether the system of the Ganwha Meditation is sudden awakening/gradual cultivation or sudden awakening/sudden cultivation. The efficiency approach to solve this task is to present the real experience of sudden awakening expressed in the text of Ganwhaseon documents. This paper presented the sayings of Ta-hui Tsung-kao(1089-1163) and Meng-shan Te-i(1231-1308?). They also have a favorable influence upon Korean Seoa tradition of Ganwha Meditation. The conclusion is that the system of the Ganwha Meditation is not sudden awakening/sudden cultivation, but sudden awakening/gradual cultivation. In the Ganwha Meditation, sudden awakening is not understanding awakening, but awakening realization awakening. It is not also ultimate enlightenment.