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Fourfold Grace

There have been two great discoveries that have benefited all humans on earth. One is Buddha’s discovery of our mind-nature, and the other is Sotaesan, the founding master of Won-Buddhism’s discovery of Grace. There is a reason why we have two eyes. One is for looking inward and observing our mind and the other is for looking outward and finding Grace.

Daesan, The Third Head Dharma Master of Won-Buddhism

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ll beings in the universe are interconnected with one another. Nothing in the universe can exist in and by itself. Each being in the universe is related to and indebted to other beings for its existence. The term Grace in Won-Buddhism, signifies this interdependency and interconnection between all things. With regard to human existence, all things in the universe are classified into four groups and are known as the Fourfold Grace: the Grace of Heaven and Earth, the Grace of Parents, the Grace of Fellow Beings, and the Grace of Laws.
The Fourfold Grace is the manifestation of Dharmakaya [Truth] Buddha or Il Won Sang. It could be said that the Fourfold Grace and Dharmakaya Buddha are two sides of the same coin.
The Fourfold Grace is the source of all blessings, and blessings come from repaying the Fourfold Grace through gratitude.
Treating every living thing as Buddha is an act of faith in Won-Buddhism and is expressed in the motto: “Everywhere a Buddha Image, Every Act a Buddha Offering.”

The Scriptures of Won-Buddhism

4. Kwangjon asked again, “How do we practice our faith in the truth of Il Won Sang?” The Founding Master answered, “The way is to believe in the Truth of Il Won Sang as our object of faith and pray for all blessings and happiness from the Truth. Il Won Sang is composed of the Fourfold Grace, which is comprised of all things in the universe. All things that we see in the universe are nothing but buddhas. Therefore, at all times and in all places we must be very respectful and cautious toward all things, keeping a pure and a pious manner as if we were before the real Buddha. We should also make buddha offerings directly to all things in which we are involved, thereby creating blessings and happiness in your everyday life. In a word, this is the way to turn a partial faith into a well-rounded and complete faith, and a superstitious faith into a realistic faith.”

12. One of his disciples asked, “What is the difference between worshiping the Buddha image and worshiping Il Won Sang?” The Founding Master answered, “The purpose of worshipping the Buddha image is only to pay respect and admiration, and to remember the personality of the Buddha. By worshipping Il Won Sang the meaning becomes wider and more profound. As our object of faith, we worship not only the Buddha’s personality but also all things in the universe, regarding them as buddhas, and we seek for the source of all blessings and punishment, happiness and suffering, in all things in the universe. We also worship Il Won Sang as a standard of practice in order to cultivate a character that is as perfect as Il Won Sang.

from The Scripture of The Founding Master, Chapter 2, v. 4, 12