Until I Like To Study:
A Story about My School Life
When I was a student I very much wanted to study well, because I believed that then I could win my parent’s love and my friend’s attentions; and I also felt that when my grades went up I would fill my empty feelings of inferiority. I eventually became obsessed with studying and, especially during the exam periods, I would study all day long at the library with a stack of countless study guides.
But the problem was that my grades didn’t go up very much. I would read the same page of a book all day long, then suddenly begin fretting over it and start changing textbooks every ten minutes.
I spent 50 minutes out of an hour worrying about the exams. When I actually took the exam, what I had done at the library didn’t help me at all. High school was a series of exams all year around; midterm exams, final exams, and even practice exams every semester. Because of this, I felt like my veins were about to burst and I had a severe headache. I would lie down in bed holding my head tightly. Also I became paranoid. I thought “I can’t continue my life in school like this.”
About that time my mother recommended that I go to the Maum Meditation Youth Camp. While meditating, one strong image of my mother when I was young came across my mind; she coldheartedly turned her back against me right at the moment I told her about my academic ranking in school.
It was a shock to me. I thought, ”If I don’t study well, all the love and attention from my mother will disappear completely.”
Another memory that was recalled was about my father. Every vacation starting in junior high school I received English tutoring from my father, and he scolded me every day; it was literally a war with my father every day because I was not that talented at learning English. Since then, I accumulated negative images about my father, and I eventually hated him so much that I hated to be in the same place with him at all.
As these kinds of memories were accumulated, I had gradually become a person with a strong attachment to my studies and academic ranking.
I realized that if I didn’t throw away this mind, I would live unhappily for all my life, trapped inside my world forever. Even after my body disappeared, this mind would have stayed the same. I felt terrible. I wanted to get out from my mind world. The inferior mind and the void disappeared as I strongly threw them away.
Gradually I could comfortably tell my parents about how I had felt in the past. I found out that my mother didn’t even remember turning her back on me; and my father, whom I thought was always abrupt and patriarchal, had wished good luck to his child all the time. They were unexpectedly considerate and friendly to me.
When the second semester of school started my study style changed completely. Most of all, I could concentrate for a much longer time. The time I had wasted by worrying and comparing myself with others (like thinking ‘”I must study better than her”) and having attachments to insignificant things; all this disappeared. I could easily get the main points during class as well. Since then, I have always ranked first at school. It gradually became more comfortable and fun to study.
If I had not done Maum Meditation then, I would have ruined my school life, as well as my studies and the relationship with my parents. Having had these experiences, I wholeheartedly want to tell the junior students that the practice of throwing away the mind is the most important thing to do, even before attaining knowledge. I also want to say thank you to my parents, who gave me such an opportunity during my sensitive adolescence.
Yoo Jeong Heo (24) Nurse
My Age Is Almost 70 And
I’m Free from Sickness
After Throwing My Mind Away
I knew about Maum Meditation because my sister started practicing it. She recommended that I should do Maum Meditation more than a decade ago, but I believed that loving others was more important than cleansing the mind. I believed no one could stand up against love, so I was determined to accept and embrace everything and I actively participated in many volunteering activities.
However, my mind had never been happy. I could confidently say that I lived as hard, diligently and righteously as anyone else, but I had a lot of stress. I had been educated under the family tradition of Confucianism so I had never talked back to anyone in my life. I always said ‘yes’ to everything, putting my anger and resentment aside.
I accumulated these mindsets for a number of decades and probably stored them in my physical body as well. As I got into my sixties my body started to become stiff. I could barely move my arms and legs, and it was laborious for me even to sit still. I took many medicines and exercised hard for a couple of years trying to cure this unidentifiable illness. I recovered enough so that at least I could sit. Then, to make things worse, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. While I had been concentrating solely on curing my body from immobility I had been neglecting the regular checkups for thyroid cancer and it had actually developed.
After my body was labeled cancerous, I was in extreme despair. ”Why,” I thought, “is my life going like this?” I began Maum Meditation after the surgery had been scheduled.
It was not easy to throw away the mind. I needed much more effort than others because I had many negative thoughts, such as, ”It is hard for me to sit for long. Will I be able to do this?” But then again, I thought, more than three hundred thousand people have practiced this meditation. I made up my mind not to give up, even though I might be the last one to finish it. After I had been meditating for twice the average time most people required for meditation, I could see myself, the real self, and repent truly from my heart.
My life had been so meticulous and assiduous that I only knew what I was taught, like, ”1 plus 1 equals 2.” I believed that I did not need to cleanse my mind; but actually I felt so sorry for my family, who must have been suffering from my perfectionism and my pride in being like that. I could not understand why my husband usually came home late and frequently drank out. But the cause was me. My mind was full of dissatisfaction, and by kicking my husband out of our home he certainly received that dissatisfaction as well. I felt sorry for him because he didn’t have a place to rest.
After I completed the meditation and returned home I made a deep bow to my husband.
I said to him “If I didn’t practice Maum Meditation, I would have lived all my life resenting you. But I feel so grateful now that I threw away the mind and have come to love you truly.”
My body has become a lot healthier, and I even go hiking regularly. From that I am now fully recovered from my illness. It has been 7 years since I had the surgery and I almost forgot about it; I am that free from the body, I am not shackled to it. Illness of mind brings illness of body, but I am certain that no illness will come along, ever, if I live with this mind that I have now.
These days, I also enjoy life with my husband. As I am facing the age of 70, I am so happy that I came to know the true meaning of life that I’m enjoying it with no worries about the future or the body.
Chung Ja Cho (69)