Preface to the English ver.
with All of My Being
"Though I have learned techniques,
why can I not use them?"
"Why is it people are not good though they know they should
To practice Taekwondo is not to think only with the mind but to think
with the whole body. That is, your motion will be thought itself. Taekwondo
must become thinking with the body, and cease being thought only with
ideas and their representations, which are merely the operation of concepts
separated from reality. When and how do you think with all of yourself?
Only after you erase yourself, discarding your thoughts, can you finally
think not only with your mind but with everything of yourself. Then you
can integrate idea and reality. The Taekwondo-Een's mind at this moment
will be Mu Nyom Mu Sang (freedom from all ideas and thoughts), which is
conscious both of all and of nothing.
The Mu Nyom Mu Sang of Taekwondo is both the same as and different from
that of Zen17) or other such meditation.
While the Mu Nyom Mu Sang of Zen or meditation may describe a transcendental
consciousness attained through deleting every thought each by each in
an atmosphere of calm and tranquil repose, that of Taekwondo is what can
be obtained through expanding thoughts in intense motion, i.e. in a condensation
of life within a moment. When you feel everything at last so that your
consciousness reaches the non-distinctive whole and the mediating consciousness
of your behavior is no longer confined to the activities of the mind but
fully enlarged onto your whole body and even onto your whole life then
your mind can be settled in firm tranquility, which is the very Mu Nyeom
Mu Sang of Taekwondo. It is to transcend to the inside of life, not out
of life, so it is a positive transcendence. It is, however, the same as
Zen or meditation in its quality, so it is not altogether different.
When you think with all of yourself your mind is emptied in tranquility
with every part of your body awakened to dialogue with the world. Since
Taekwondo is such, by learning Taekwondo you will learn how to think with
all of yourself with the world. That is, you will learn how to become
your thought itself. To begin and end this learning is to delete idle
thought, concentrating your mind into one. Therefore, correct Taekwondo
is nothing more or less than the expression of the changes of the mind
in motion. To have your motion, which is an expression of your mind, harmonized
with Nature is what allows you to perform the best motion possible.
17) Zen refers to the concept of ¼±[àÉ], and
Koreans have a similar concept to this: Seon. But we can distinguish them
as follows: Zen is meditation only in calmness attained in stability, while
Seon includes both a stable and dynamic nature. Thus, Koreans emphasize
meditation in life in the usual motions. Therefore, we can sum up by saying
that whenever Mu Nyeom Mu Sang appears in dynamic motion or in tranquil
meditation (Zen), it denotes Seon. Seon is the name of Zen extended to the
whole life of man. (Japanese Zen Buddhism was originally transmitted from
Korean Buddhism, though the former has become far more familiar in the West.)