Subtraction Changes Me
The Answer Was Within Me
From the time I was young I had been very curious about who I was, why I was born and what I would do in life. So I practiced different religions, took part in a program to “find my identity through my dreams” and also read lots of books, including the Bible and the Buddhist Sutras. But I couldn’t find the answers to my questions anywhere. I was 20 years old then, and I was desperate.
My early education was varied. In addition to regular school, I went to all kinds of private academies, like computer classes, piano lessons, painting lessons and so on; but there was nothing I was good at.
My mom was always scolding and nagging me. “Why do you always get behind in class?” she would say. I became extremely afraid of starting anything new. I never had any satisfaction or fun, and of course there was never any improvement.
Since I didn’t know who I was, why I was living, or when I would die, nothing mattered to me at all. Whether I played games or studied, it was all the same to me.
I began playing games 12 hours a day. All I did was play games, eat and exercise a little bit. I was mature enough to know this life style wouldn’t help my life in any way, but I really had nothing that I wanted to do. When I was playing the game I could escape from reality, and those moments were a kind of relief to me.
For a couple of years I lived this way, spending my days like a lump of clay. Then I went to serve my time of compulsory military duty. When I got back home after my discharge I saw that my mom had changed hugely, like changing from a devil to an angel.
My mom had become an easy going person. She said she had been doing Maum Meditation for awhile. Surprised by the big changes in her, I decided to join the Maum Meditation University Students’ Camp that summer.
For a week I threw away the mind, and one by one the life questions that had plagued me all my life were answered. I saw the light of hope. I had found the answers to who am I, where did I come from and where am I going, and why I was born! I was truly happy.
The reason I had suffered so far was that I had only lived for myself. I came from the world, and had escaped near death situations several times with the world’s help, but I never knew to appreciate it. Instead I was filled with negative thoughts like “why did my parents bring me into this world” or “maybe I should run away from home.”
As I meditated more and more, such minds as those disappeared and I came to see the positive aspects of everything. I felt grateful for my parents having given birth to me and raising me to be healthy. For the first time in my life I was grateful that I was alive and whole and healthy. As my chaotic thoughts were cleaned up and thrown away, I came to realize that I should live not only for me, but for everyone in the world. My life’s goal became clear, and I also gained more confidence.
My family is now very peaceful. My parents have nothing to be angry about, and I have no reason for playing games. Before, I tried to forget the harsh reality of my life by playing games, but now I don’t need to escape from that because I can just throw it away. I used to like being alone all the time, but now I love to be with people and I get along with them. Because I am free of everything I feel truly comfortable when dealing with people. No one can teach you how to live and what to do; the answer is within the emptied mind. I feel grateful to everyone who helped me to know the method of throwing away the mind.
Heo HyunSik (25), University Student