Subtraction Meditation is about finding one’s original true mind, which is infinitely big, wide, and deep, through subtraction. When this happens, other people’s happiness and joy become one’s own happiness, and one naturally begins to live a life of service.
This is apparent in the activities of the Subtraction Meditation students who have completed the program. They also spend their time within the Meditation organization such as: helping instructors to teach, guide and counsel students in lower levels; interpreting and translating for non-Korean speakers; providing free medical aid and care; and organizing and running special events, field trips and seminars. They volunteer their time in the community at large - helping in relief efforts after natural disasters, providing medical aid in hospitals and free clinics, and volunteering in social welfare organizations such as orphanages, schools, and Catholic and Buddhist nursing homes.
Aside from the Meditation Volunteer Team, the Meditation Medical Association, the Teacher’s Association, the Women’s Association and the Youth Association all regularly volunteer their time and skills in areas where they are most needed.
The Ma-Eum-Soo-Ryun Medical Association is comprised of medical professionals who practice the meditation. Since its inception in 2005, there are now over 100 medical professionals ? western and oriental medicine doctors, nurses, medical professors, pharmacists, and dentists who have pooled together their expertise to volunteer their medical services in various communities without access or means to medical attention. From modest beginnings of twice a year, they now run on a monthly basis, providing services that range from basic health check-ups and treating ailments to educating patients about health care. More than 200 people come each month to take advantage of these services and receive both diagnosis and prescriptions for herbal medicine as a part of the overall treatment plan.
The Medical Association also treats those who are disabled, and paralyzed and visits the elderly people living alone. Additionally, it works with local public health clinics to build management systems for immunizations and other medical services to enhance the health of local citizens. These continued efforts by the Medical Association have been well-received and are much appreciated by the communities they serve.
Caring for a Neighbor Is like Caring for Oneself
Volunteer services at Catholic and Buddhist nursing homes, and other social welfare facilities
Since 2001, general members of Ma-Eum-Soo-Ryun have been volunteering at social welfare facilities at all levels from hospitals and orphanages to nursing homes. For example, the Ma-Eum-Soo-Ryun volunteers have assisted over 1,100 physically disabled and elderly people at the Specialty Benevolence Home in Yongin City in Gyeong Gi Province, and also, members of the Ma-Eum-Soo-Ryun Women’s Group volunteer at Sejong Hospital located in Bucheon City, Gyeong Gi Province.
Social welfare facilities are the type of social service which the meditation members have particularly volunteered their time and sincere care. Since 2010, the Ma-Eum-Soo-Ryun Medical Team doctors (Western medicine and oriental medicine doctors) as well as the Ma-Eum-Soo-Ryun members have provided special attention to the poor and the elderly who have trouble getting around or who have no family to care for them.
Saint Paul Home (Sister Jung In-Sook , Director) founded in 1953, this nursing home cares for approximately 60 elderly residents. Starting in 2011, between 5 to 35 members of the Meditation Volunteer Team visit monthly to bathe, entertain, and donate traditional Korean snacks and rice cakes to the residents.
Holy Mother Village founded in 1992, the Holy Mother Village (Sister Jung Soon, Director) is a Catholic social welfare facility run by the Order of the Knights of the Holy Mother. It provides professional disability care and currently cares for 85 severely disabled people. Most of the disabled people residing here have brain lesions (cerebral palsy) and have difficulty functioning in daily life. The Meditation Volunteer Team serves by cleaning the facilities and helping to care for the disabled residents.
Providence Village founded in 2007 on a foundation of Catholic faith, Providence Village cares for the elderly in a self-supporting and communal life manner. It is a small facility with less than 9 residents. The Meditation Volunteer Team consistently serves at Providence Village, providing haircuts and traditional Korean snacks and rice cakes.
Young-Eun Center, a social welfare foundation, is a free nursing home that cares for 50 stroke and dementia patients. This free facility is expected to lessen the financial and care burdens of low-income families. Additionally, the team volunteers at care facilities for the mentally disabled such as Hanool Village and Jooklim Center. Medical care (including dental and oriental medicine care), cleaning, caring for the elderly, cleaning the facilities’ grounds, and hair cuts are the services provided.
The meditation members have actively participated in the relief efforts after natural disasters. The Ma-Eum-Soo-Ryun main center is located in the beautiful countryside of Sangwolmyun, Nonsan City, Chungnam Province. There are many local farms in the surrounding area, and severe rain in the summer or snowfall in the winter can damage the greenhouses. In these cases, the volunteers step up to repair the damage of neighboring greenhouses.
In addition to aiding the local region after natural disasters, the meditation members also contribute to help protect the natural environment. In 2008, a corporate oil tanker leaked oil into western sea area in the Taean region of Korea, causing an environmental catastrophe. Over 200 meditation members helped clean up the oil to decrease the sea pollution and relieve the harm suffered by local citizens.