The dream of Yoon Jin Young was to live the “free life”. She believed that if she became a career woman, like she saw portrayed in the media, she would become free. So she studied to be a dentist and gained people’s respect for being involved in academic activities and volunteer work. Somewhere along the way her mind, weighed down by the burdens of work and life, became unendurable, like a heavy weight on her shoulders.
As she threw away her mind she came to realize that the real freedom comes when that “self” that was in pursuit of success, happiness and enjoyment is no longer present. Now, after doing Maum Meditation, she greets her patient everyday with happiness and enjoyment, just as she used to do when she opened her office ten years ago. This is her story of throwing away the mind.
I am an orthodontist, and it has been ten years since I opened my clinic. Scattered around the clinic there are paintings and dolls that are presents from my patients. It usually takes two to three years to complete an orthodontic program, so the patients become like family. Over time though, I grew to feel like I was literally suffocating in the office, and I always wanted to escape from there. Now, this place feels so precious to me and I am truly grateful to be here.
Growing up I was the eldest of three daughters. My father ran his own business, but due to the uncertainty in it we were constantly caught up in insecurity. It was worse for me because as the eldest daughter I felt a sense of responsibility towards the family, yet I didn’t like this “self” that had to face reality. I often couldn’t go to school because I was weak, so from a young age I had felt that life was truly futile. Living was not fun for me because I had the thought that I couldn’t accomplish anything at all. All the other people seemed to live happily; why not me? How could I manage to live this life? I was always concerned about this. Actually, I went into dentistry to escape this futility, and I wanted to live more realistically. I thought it would be fun to have the life of a career woman like those I saw on television.
But it turned out that dentistry was not what I was interested in. Most of all, the classes were rather tough due to all the competition between students. Besides that, what the future held for me was far away from what I had dreamed of. What I longed for was to enjoy the whole wide world, which I couldn’t do with this job. I literally felt suffocated because I had to stay inside that tiny little clinic all day long.
In my fourth year, just before graduation, my instructor suggested I study orthodontics at the orthodontic research institute. Somehow I sensed that this was what I was looking for. I had a complex about smiling brightly during my childhood because my teeth were irregular. Since I had once been a patient who benefited from braces, I felt that I could do many things for my patients. Moreover, there were lots of opportunities to go overseas for further study in, for example, academic exchange seminars; and I also had the opportunity to be a volunteer in programs that shared those techniques with dentists in China and Central Asia. Because I was actually thirsty for knowledge I went everywhere there was a chance to learn more.
Finally, at the age of 29, I opened my dental clinic in 2002. During the treatments to straighten their teeth, pessimistic patients would become brighter; and some became happier after getting successful jobs. It really was a worthwhile job for me. Over the next couple of years more and more patients came to my clinic; plus, I continued my overseas activities. Although my reputation grew bigger and bigger, I felt like there was a heavy load bearing down on my shoulders. It just felt as if there were heavy metal chains wrapped around me; and my mind was always burdened, uncomfortable and I always felt as if there was something chasing me.
I didn’t regard it as a big deal at first because there were many responsibilities thrust on me in running the clinic. But about the time I was becoming both mentally and physically exhausted Maum Meditation came into my life. By chance I met a lady at a self development seminar who told me about Maum Meditation. I wanted to take a break from the utter exhaustion I was going through, so I visited the local center in my town.
While meditating I came to see myself. I saw that I had thought that if I were not busy 24 hours a day I would fall behind or have troubling difficulties. Also, I had been obsessed with learning more. In order to involve myself in as many overseas activities as possible I needed to be healthy and good at languages. But because I was congenitally weak to begin with I strained my body and was ruining it. I had been pushing myself too hard, so while meditating my body felt painful all over.
I really wanted to live with freedom. But now, from the viewpoint of the universe, I could see the life I had been living; struggling to live while trapped inside the narrow consciousness that was “myself”. I had thought I must be happy, I must be free, I must earn a lot of money, I must have a great reputation… It was this “self” that had actually fettered my freedom. While throwing away the mind I came to know that I am the world, and the world itself is freedom when the self does not exist. Before I thought that freedom meant to buy what I wanted to buy and go where I wanted to go; but real freedom existed when I did not exist.
From then on freedom and happiness surged up from deep within my mind, even though I had been treating patients all day long at the clinic. This feeling grew even stronger the more I threw away the mind of the “myself” that I had thought was me, minds like pride, fame, greed, and so on. It was just like a true miracle!
In short, if, as suggested in Maum Meditation, you live with the “universe mind” by throwing away the “self” which lived with the human mind, you will naturally, with the world’s mind, accept and embrace others, no matter who you are with or what conditions occur in your life.
Doctors actually have a lot of stress, what with the compulsive idea of always having to be a good doctor and meeting the expectations of the patients, and in addition, an emergency could occur at anytime. There is also great pressure about staying in business due to the fierce competition from so many other clinics. Along with this anxiety there is the sense of superiority because of the mind that “I am a doctor”. Although I seemed to the patients to be friendly, I was actually very uncomfortable.
Now, however, I can listen carefully to the patients talking about their problems and help them, and offer them warmhearted words to comfort them because my discernments and pretensions have disappeared to the extent I have thrown them away. So more and more patients are visiting my clinic because of word of mouth advertising, and even other clinics are recommending patients come to me.
Unlike now, I should have done my best in the past with where I was, and lived interacting and sharing with the world; but I had always looked far away at other places and times. I finally feel I have found my place, myself.
Everyone has inside them the reason they were born into the world as a human being. I don’t think it is alright to die after living meaninglessly, not knowing why you live. It is the duty of a human to know the real meaning of life; where you come from and where you go. Because I had lived unaware of this, living was really tough and distressing. After fulfilling that duty I came to know what it is to live through common sense, and life became natural. It was not happiness to be better off than others. I’m finally getting to know real happiness, such as just sharing a warm meal or a comfortably warm room with my neighbors and my siblings next to me.
I feel like I am a real doctor now. I have finally recovered that first mind set of the excitement and enthusiasm that I had 10 years ago when I originally opened my clinic. Once again I was sincerely happy and full of joy to see a patient again.