Most forms of meditation ask us to be still and quiet. We must take time away from our busy lives and forget about our ever-growing to-do lists. However, it’s not always easy to take a step back.
Myung Sung™ Living Meditation is the opposite of this. It is a form of meditation that is active, dynamic and woven into our everyday lives. It is a form of meditation that helps us to see ourselves, and therefore the world, more clearly.
Myung Sung is a daily practice that uses eight “Keys” as tools to examine every situation we find ourselves in, so that we may make the correct choices and gain perspective in every circumstance. In this way we are able to engage with life more deeply and discover our place and purpose in the world.
Myung Sung helps us to remain present, aware, grounded and connected so that we may lead a harmonious and balanced life, no matter what is happening around us.
All of our struggles – in work, marriage, parenting, friendships, health, money and family – become less difficult. We begin to feel a greater sense of balance between our mind, body and spirit, because we are able to see ourselves, as well as the people and circumstances around us, more clearly by purifying our minds and following through with correct choices and actions.
Of course, these changes do not come overnight, but by practising the 8 Keys of Myung Sung Living Meditation, you can begin transforming the way you live your life.
#1 Know Your True Self
Learning to know your true self is the beginning of your journey along the upward-rising mindful path. The journey is not without its obstacles, for life never ceases to challenge us to choose good or bad.
The path never stops – for any of us. I know that I am not there, and I don’t know if I ever will be. There is always more to learn, but the beautiful part is that these thoughts and these practices eventually become habitual, so we don’t have to think about it so much anymore. It becomes part of our daily living. That’s what Myung Sung looks like.
By choosing the mindful way, you will come to know your great mental, physical and spiritual capacity and grow to fulfil this limitless potential. You will build pure relationships that will help you cultivate good seeds to leave for your family and others for generations to come: the good seeds of harmony, balance, peace, joy, loyalty and lasting togetherness.
#2 The True-Right-Correct Method
The true refers to your inner state at any given time – how you truly feel about something. This inner state might be joy, anger, fear, sadness or love. How you feel about something (the true) largely determines what you choose to do about it. In this way, the true leads to one or more possible actions in response to the circumstances at hand.
But which, if any, of these possible actions is the right thing to do under the circumstances? By right I mean what appears to provide the most good for everyone involved. It is often based upon what is generally accepted as a proper action, or the “black and white” of a situation.
The choice of action that will do the most good for everyone involved is called the correct choice. It is taking into account what is true to you and also taking a moment to put yourself in other people’s shoes so that you can gain perspective and see the situation more clearly from all angles. Our goal is to do that which is correct in all aspects of daily living: personal, professional, spiritual; in community, work, marriage, friendship and family relationships.
#3 Stop Being Drunk on Your Own Thoughts
When we rely solely on our current thoughts and beliefs, we see life with tunnel vision. Our perspective becomes limited and self-interest often becomes our one and only motivator. When we are too “zoomed in”, we can only see a narrow space in front of us, never the whole picture. We can’t see people or relationships clearly, and we don’t behave in our own best interests or the best interests of those around us. It’s like a form of drunkenness.
Just as you may not see clearly if you are drunk from alcohol, you can also be so “drunk” on your own thoughts that you can’t see your surroundings clearly anymore. The deeper you go into this state, the more you immerse yourself in this new version of reality.
In order to see life clearly, release stress, have more compassion for others and gain happiness in our day-to-day existence, it is of utmost importance to gain more perspective – to zoom out. Take your sunglasses off and see the world as it truly is.
#4 How Will You Be Remembered?
Humanness loves light. Humanness sees the light in others and feels driven to help them find more of it. But at the end of the day, no one can light you up except yourself. You can have incredible mentors, you can be surrounded by people you love, you can have amazing experiences – these are all good things. Ultimately, though, it is up to you to light the candle of self-knowledge within yourself.
Let’s say you give a child an apple. That is a gift of the heart. The apple gives momentary joy and keeps the child satisfied for an hour. Then the child asks for more, so you give the child a carton of apples. But that is neither an act of the heart, nor an act of principle. It is not even rational.
The act of principle is to teach the child to grow apple trees (or, in our modern world, perhaps to earn money to buy their own apples). The child may resist learning the work of growing apple trees, but principle doesn’t give way to excuses or the easy way out. The parent sees through their invisible eye the child growing up and being able to enjoy apples for a lifetime. The heart delights in this view, and principle is preserved on the child’s behalf.
The heart and principle working together – that is wisdom, and it will lead us to the correct decision.
#5 Seek Connectedness & Honour
The highest good in life is to follow the way of connectedness to others, to your surroundings and to your ultimate being.
Even in our modern times, connectedness is often spoken of as a virtue, a goal to strive for. But we don’t hear so much about honour anymore. It seems an outdated concept, bringing to mind medieval images of knights and duels, jousting and damsels in distress. But in East Asian wisdom and culture, honour is very much alive and present in a way that is not seen so strongly in Western culture. Think of Bushido, the code that all members of Japan’s Samurai class were obliged to follow. A little like the European notion of chivalry, it required warriors to follow principles of loyalty and duty. Bushido later became the basis for the teaching of ethics in Japan, with principles that still remain relevant today.
On first glance, we may not identify with these ancient warriors. But consider what “warrior” represents in yoga. If you practise yoga, you will be familiar with Virabhadrasana or warrior pose. It is a standing pose that helps build focus, power and stability. Now, these are qualities that we can strive for – even if we don’t see ourselves as modern-day warriors!
#6 Change Your Reality for the Better
We all have the ability to change our realities for better or for worse.
When we let outside factors influence our inner selves, our realities are always emotionally turbulent. Negative situations feel imprisoning and we lose sight of ourselves and our goals. When we let our inner world determine our outer reality instead, we can cultivate a sense of deep peace and strength that carries us through every situation. We become empowered. We can take on challenges and handle times of tension and discomfort with a new sense of ease, knowing that they are temporary. We are able to hold a clear vision for greater things on the horizon.
So, how do you make this happen?
The ability to change your reality lies inside of you. What often trips people up is the act of looking outward to find out who we are, only to encounter a maze of tangled paths that lead in so many directions. Magazines, social media, other people’s opinions – we can end up encountering so many detours that take us not very far from where we started and leave us feeling overwhelmed and anxious.
This is why the great sages have always taught that we should look inward for the correct path to be revealed.
#7 It Only Takes One Match to Light a Thousand
Normally when we discuss or think of this principle, it is filled with positivity based on the understanding that it only takes one positive action, one person or one thought to ignite a thousand more. However, there is more to it than that.
Ultimately, just as there is night and day, loud and soft, masculine and feminine, yin and yang, there is always positive and negative. This means that just as this principle applies to the positive, it can also apply to the negative, meaning one negative action, person or thought can ignite a thousand more.
So, if we know the impact that even just one of our thoughts has, then we can be that much more aware of the fact that each one of us holds the power and has the choice in any and every situation to make our lives and the lives of those around us better or not. No moment is unimportant. You have the power to light the next match, there are always options to choose from, and each will have a ripple effect with a different outcome. Which match will you light?
#8 Be Like Bamboo
So often in life it is easy to feel that being strong means being tough and rigid, but we have to remember that just like a stiff board, if we are too hard, too inflexible – when we are hit too many times or at a certain point – we can break.
Bamboo, on the other hand, is rooted deep and it is flexible. Even when a storm hits and strong winds push the bamboo to the ground, once the winds pass the bamboo bounces right back up.
Naturally, there are times to be hard and there are times to be flexible. This is the balance of life.
Therefore, instead of always being like a board that is hard, taut and inflexible, be like bamboo: strong but flexible so as not to break, with knowledge, experience and wisdom that softly moves with the rhythm of the Tao – the way of the universe.
It is so important to be fluid even in tough situations because through this fluidity we are able to move with the flow of nature while still being deeply rooted. This in turn allows us to live with greater awareness, connection and perspective, which will ultimately help us to create good habits and will bring us more happiness and peace in our everyday lives.