The real character of practice in the Khanwha-sôn(看話禪)
Kim, Young-Wook / Kasan Institute of Buddhist Culture
The whadu(話頭) suggested by the great Sôn leaders can be a true issue only when it is acceptted correctly by the disciplinant. The typical way to make any subjects into whadu is so called the Baechokkwan(背觸觀). It is a kind of gate without any method to break through, because whatever attempts, both an affirmative approach to it and a negative evasion from it, are not permitted. Khanwha-sôn had settled this method as a framework of practice. As there is no room for any kind of recognition, the essentials of a whadu cannot be understood by the conceptual thought or the cognitive category. According to the realization of one’s concerned whadu, the road to groping for something or other is entirly exhausted. That is the most suitable condition for enlightenment
Chozchu’s mu(無) is the most frequently raised whadu in the Khanwha-sôn, but anywhere it is in the scope of the above mentioned universal way of practice. Every answers to the mu case must not fit in the point of truth, and the approach with several kinds of concept and meaning will result in the failure. All gradual steps and phases do not need in this case. Because from the first whado is given as a gate like a fortress that cannot be penetrated by such a means. Simultaneously this is the most ideal condition to complete the whadu. And when it becomes so, whadu will be a kind of weapon to removes all sorts of discriminations
Searches for the answer from the superficial phrases which the great leaders set intentionally to teach the disciple is in the many cases presented with stratagem. The point to penetrate into the teacher’s intention is to raise the given whadu in one’s mind without leaving even a small gap in the ordinarly life.
Especially to challenge whadu mu has two common mistakes. The one is to think mu as nothingness in the opposition of existence, the other is to conjecture mu as the truth which surpasses all the oppositions. This two inclinations is the general form of illusion in considering on mu. The thought that the truth depends upon surpassing over the given whadu or it depends upon the whadu in itself, they are both misconceptions. We can escape from this mistakes so far as we know throughly that whadu mu has not any conceptual tastes and there is not a kernel in it.
There is not a special method which heals all troubles including the former faults. The only tactics is to run in holding whadu mu constantly. To say in other word, the arising of sickness and the cure both depends upon the correct whadu study. And it is also the reason that the truth must be embodied in the daily life. Because the given whadu must not go away from one’s mind in any moment. If we speculate on a whadu without ommision in every place and at all moments in ordinarly life, we may be able to accomplish the essential meaning of Sôn. That is the monent of breaking through the concerned whad