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Practice

Cultivation

Build for yourself an unbiased, true and pure mind. This is a matter of acting according to your conscience. Do not act upon other's futile temptations; do not lose your mind to greed but hold on to your conscience. Conduct yourself in accordance with righteousness and propriety, and do not act out of vanity.

In addition, while being mindful of all your actions, always bear in mind with utmost sincerity that Sangje (the Supreme Being) is always with you. And train your mind on Sangje through reciting incantations to achieve the goal of integration with Deities. Spiritual cultivation is divided into four parts: gongbu, daily prayer, weekly prayer and spiritual training. In addition to these forms of spiritual cultivation, devotees also attend Chiseong, an important ritual which is held quite often.

Gongbu

Gongbu is a specifically timed devotional incantation ritual held at the Yeoju Headquarters Temple Complex which hastens the opening up of the coming Earthly Paradise reciting incantations at certain places and times in a specified way. Gongbu is divided into sihak, sibeop, which are different ways to chant incantations in specifically designated places and in accordance with designated methods. Gongbu, the most important form of spiritual cultivation, is performed by a team of 36 participants who devotedly recite certain incantations by turns for 24 hours without a break. It has been carried out since the Summer Solstice of 1991 and continues into the present day.

Gido (Prayer)

Gido (prayer) is the practice of reciting prayerful incantations at designated places or at home every day at designated time. It is divided into daily prayer and weekly prayer. The daily prayer is practiced at 1 am, 7 am, 1 pm, and 7 pm everyday whereas the weekly one is practiced at 5 am, 11 am, 5 pm, and 11 pm on gab and gi days*.

Spiritual Training

Spiritual Training refers to chanting the Tae-eul mantra without a designated place or time.

Chiseong (Devotional Offering)

Chiseong (Devotional Offering) is a ritual ceremony which is carried out in an elaborate and collective manner. It conveys one's gratitude with utmost sincerity for divine grace and for the protective actions of the Great Deities of Heaven and Earth including Sangje who take care of human beings. Chiseong includes bowing, prayer, chanting, etc. The participants show their utmost sincerity and propriety during the ceremony. Chiseong is over after they finish partaking sacrificial food and drink together.
Devotional Offerings are held on the dates of birth and passing of Kang Jeungsan and Jo Jeongsan and of major religious events (for instance, the day when Sangje was enshrined at Yeongdae*) in the history of the movement, as well as on dates related to seasonal divisions, especially the Winter solstice, the Summer solstice, and the beginnings of Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. Most Devotional Offerings are performed at Yeoju Headquarters Temple Complex.

*Gab and gi days: these days alternate with each other every five days according to the traditional East Asian concept of a week. *Yeongdae: the most sacred shrine on the fourth and highest floor of Bonjeon (the main building).

Ox Seeking Pictures

( A metaphoric visual representation of cultivation in Daesoon Jinrihoe )

This is a series of pictures (Simudo) that depict one's journey toward spiritual enlightenment using the metaphor of a boy finding an ox. The boy is a disciple and the ox symbolizes Daesoon Truth which Sangje unfolded into this world. In short, these paintings symbolize the whole process of cultivation undertaken to realize Daesoon Truth.

1. Deep Contemplation Leading to Awakening
The boy is in a deep contemplation under a pine tree where he asks questions such as "What is life?", "Where did I come from?", and "Where am I heading to?" The boy who is accustomed to living a daily routine life has come to the point of seeking the reason for human existence.

2. Devotedly Honoring the Teachings of Divine Beings
The boy points to hoof prints left by an ox which he has found on the mountain trail ahead of him. The ox's hoof prints symbolize the guidance of divine beings. During the process of resolving his questions, the boy does in fact meet with Sangje's Daesoon Truth through the diverse forms of guidance offered by divine beings. However, having not yet seen the ox, the boy has yet to truly grasp Daesoon Truth, and hence he just follows the vague traces of it which are apparent to him. This is the stage where a person is introduced to Daesoon Truth.

3. Striving Diligently onward for One's Cultivation
After following the ox's hoof prints, the boy finally sees the hindquarters of ox. Suddenly, a bolt of lightning and thunder fills the sky as a howling storm arrives. Still, the boy should push himself forward through the rough and narrow mountain trail in search of the ox. Having found the ox's hindquarters, he feels encouraged and will not give up despite the roughness and bumpiness of the path before him. This is the stage where disciples push themselves forward diligently towards spiritual enlightenment and overcome many of the difficulties encountered during their cultivation.

4. Maintaining Your Exertion with Utmost Sincerity
The boy finally encounters the white ox*. The weather has cleared up and the boy has safely crossed over the steep valley. This is the time to build a friendship with the ox, an act which signifies the stage where the disciples discard the thoughts and behaviors acquired from the Former World where mutual conflict prevailed. At this stage, the boy exerts himself in inspired efforts to fully internalize Daesoon Truth in order to advance to the stage of complete unification and identification with Dao.

*white ox: this is an analogy for the realization of Sangje's Daesoon Truth

5. Reaching the Stage of Truth by Perfectly Aligning Oneself with Daesoon Truth
The boy is now playing a flute while riding on the white ox. He looks fully calm and peaceful. This is the stage where the boy is completely united with Daesoon Truth. Here, the boy represents a disciple who has reached the state of being in full accordance with Daesoon Truth of Sangje. This is the stage of complete unification and identification with Dao.

6. The Later World of Earthly Paradise
At this stage, the boy has united with the white ox and transformed into an Earthly-Immortal*. The world has changed into a beautiful and peaceful place where female celestial musicians perform their melodies, the herbs of eternal youth bloom, and cranes stroll around the meadow. This symbolizes the stage where human beings are transformed into earthly immortals while the world has become an Earthly Paradise. This is the Later World where Daesoon Truth of Sangje is spread throughout the whole world.

*Earthly-Immortal: a perfected human being who has attained divinity and immortality through cultivation.

Devotional Offerings
(Chiseong)

Devotional Offering (Chiseong) is a ritual ceremony which conveys one's gratitude with utmost sincerity for divine grace and for the protective actions of the Great Deities of Heaven and Earth who take care of human beings. This is an important religious ceremony which awakens disciples to their initial resolution to become purified and unselfish beings. Accordingly, they dismiss worldly thoughts and show their utmost sincerity and propriety during the ceremony.

Devotional Offerings are held on the days of Sangje and Doju's birth, the days of their passing into heaven, the day when the great deities were enshrined at Yeongdae* and on some other commemorative occasions. Most Devotional Offerings are performed at Yeoju Headquarters Temple.

*Yeongdae: the most sacred shrine on the fourth and highest floor of the main building.

Precepts

1. Do not deceive yourself
Since human beings are governed and controlled by their minds, and all the words spoken and actions taken are expressions of one's mind. There are two dispositions of mind: conscience and selfishness. Conscience is the innate mind originally bestowed upon humankind by Heaven, whereas selfishness is the product of greed arising from one's pursuit of wealth. There is a strong and inappropriate tendency to have one's conduct blinded by greed.

One must therefore make a constant effort to recover one's own innate conscience by discarding selfishness. As all human evils stem from poor conscience, one must maintain one's conscience by acting in accordance with it. In this way, one will become honest and true to oneself.
2. Practice virtuous speech
Words are the sounds of the mind, while actions are traces derived from it. Your way of speaking tends to reveal your affinity for either good or evil. If you speak well of others, the traces of this goodness will keep growing and bring you greater fortune. If you speak ill of others, the traces of this evil will keep growing and bring you greater misfortune. Thus happiness and misery in your life inevitably depend on your way of speaking; therefore, always be mindful when speaking to others.
3. Do not cause grievance in others
Cheok is another's grudge against you. Hating others or betraying their goodwill incites Cheok. Therefore, Cheok can be prevented by loving others and being gracious toward them while demonstrating the virtues of politeness, gentleness, humility and modesty.
4. Do not disregard the beneficence bestowed upon you
Favors are the benefit that others offer to you. To disregard their favors is to forget and betray their beneficence. Thus, once you receive benefit, you must reciprocate it at some later point.

You are indebted to the great divinities in Heaven and Earth for your life, lifespan, happiness and wealth. Thus you should acknowledge the grace you received from them by fulfilling your duty as a human being with sincerity, respectfulness and faithfulness. You are indebted to your nation and society for your security and comfort. Thus you should contribute to social growth and public welfare through your devotional service to your nation. You are indebted to your parents for your life and upbringing. Thus you should practice filial piety with the ethical goal of respecting elders and returning beneficence back to the root. You are indebted to your teachers for their guidance and upbringing. For this, you should reciprocate by practicing their teachings as a disciple. You are indebted to your employers for your livelihood, wages and job title. For this, you should reciprocate by working faithfully and diligently as an employee.
5. Promote the betterment of others
Promoting the betterment of others is the basic principle of mutual beneficence and the fundamental concept through which the salvation of humanity will be achieved. Do not spare any effort while promoting the betterment of others. Combine your efforts with others and cooperate to accomplish your aims.

Ethical Rules

1. You should obey national laws and observe moral standards for the benefit of your country and happiness of the citizenry.
2. The three bonds and five relations are the requisite moral foundations that enable harmonious relationships and sustain order in society. Therefore, you should put the followings into practice
Maintain filial piety toward your parents. Perform devoted service for your nation. Create a peaceful family by achieving harmony in your marriage. Show respect to your superiors and show love and sympathy to your subordinates. Be trustworthy to your friends.

*The Three Bonds and Five Relationships: in Confucianism, these are the five basic human relationships through which a harmonious society and nation are realized.

3. 'Do not deceive yourself' is the golden rule for disciples. Therefore, do not deceive your conscience, mislead the public with inappropriate words and actions, or engage in any unethical actions.

4. Do not cause others to have a grudge against you on account of your words and deeds. Win goodwill through great kindness. Do not be bothered even if others are unaware of your virtues.

5. Improve yourself with constant reflection upon any excess or insufficiency in your words and actions.
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