Posted by Meditation USA on July 23, 2020
Jin-Young Yoon / Dentist
Jin-Young’s dream was to live a “life of freedom.” She thought she could achieve her freedom if she became a career woman. So she became a dentist and was eventually recognized for her outstanding academic achievements and her volunteer work. Though she was seen as a success on the outside, inside her mind, she was still heavy with burden. It wasn’t until she let go of her old mind through meditation that she finally realized that true freedom comes when there is no such thing as “me.” When she let go of her desire and want of success, happiness and honor, she found that every day is now filled with excitement and joy helping her patients.
I Always Lived Life in Vain Because I Was Helpless
I’m a dentist specializing in orthodontics. I’ve had a clinic for a little over 10 years now. In my clinic, we have many paintings and dolls which were given to us from our patients. Because orthodontic treatment usually takes from two to three years, we become family with our patients. I’m really grateful that my office space has become a precious place of family, even though I was always frustrated and wanted to escape.
I am the oldest of three daughters. When my father was still working, he had anxiety about not knowing what would happen to him. I also had to take responsibility because I was the oldest. I didn’t like it. I considered myself weak and sometimes couldn’t bring myself to attend school for a few days at a time. As a result, I have always lived my life in vain since I was a child. I had no fun dreaming up goals of doing anything else. Others were living well all around me but why couldn’t I? How could I continue to live this way? I was constantly worried.
I Felt Happiness When I Opened My Dental Clinic, But My Burden Was Growing
I wanted to get rid of this empty feeling and live my life in the real world. I thought it would be fun to live the life of a ‘career woman’ like I watched on TV. But my dental studies weren’t very easy. The competition in classes was fierce and so I had a lot of stress. The future seemed so far from the world I was living in and my life seemed constrained to my studies and the small hospital I was working in at that time. I wanted to live in the ‘whole world,’ but it didn’t seem possible for me.
I was only in the 4th grade when my school counselor suggested that I learn orthodontics. I was agreeable. When I was young, I was always self-conscious about smiling because my teeth were crooked. I went to an orthodontist and my teeth were corrected. I thought this experience would really help my patients. I also liked the idea that there were many opportunities to study abroad, so I volunteered to use my skills in places like China and Central Asia. I was so excited to learn dentistry, I went to all the places where I would have the best opportunities.
In 2002, I opened my own dental office at the age of 29. It was really rewarding for me to see all of my patients’ bright faces while they were going through the process of correcting their teeth. I was really happy because they all said I was doing such a great job. As time went by, maybe two or three years later, the number of patients coming to my clinic had increased. So too had my travel to China and Central Asia. It was like a chain reaction. I started to constantly feel the pressure and burden of running back and forth as well as the expectations.
The More I Subtracted My Mind, the More My Stress Was Relieved
At first, I had a bit more responsibility while running the hospital, so I worked harder. When my body became exhausted, meditation was the first thing that came to mind. I happened to hear about meditating from someone I met at a self-development seminar. I wanted to give it a chance and let my mind rest. I started meditating at a center in my neighborhood.
When I was able to take a look back at my life while meditating, I realized that I had been keeping busy for 24 hours a day because of my fear. Also I had an obsession with learning more and more. If I was going to continue traveling and learning more about my field of expertise, I was going to need to be in good physical condition and have strong communication skills. But now, my body had become weak and tired. I felt like it was all over for me.
As I continued meditating, my old thoughts and memories went away. I became more comfortable. I began to realize that this meditation is really something I have to do until the end. Otherwise, I had no idea how to solve my life problems. Then, at one point in meditation, I felt peaceful and relaxed. The chains that had bound me were released. I realized that the world itself was free from ‘me.’
I’d always wanted to live with freedom. When I looked back at my life story, from the perspective of the Universe, I realized that I was trapped in a narrow consciousness known as “me” and I was struggling to live there. I kept telling myself that I have to be happy and free. I wanted to make a lot of money. I wanted to be recognized. When I finally threw all of this kind of thinking away, I realized that when I disappear, that is when I become the world and that’s true freedom.
I always thought that freedom was being able to buy what I wanted and travel where I wanted, but true freedom was when the self no longer exists. After I had enlightened to this, true freedom and happiness showed itself deeply in my heart and it remained no matter how many hours I had to work. It was a miracle. I learned to let go of my pride and my honor and greed one by one. I also let go of all of my thinking about who I am.
The job of a dentist is stressful. I had an obsession to do well and I had my patients’ expectations. In addition, there are always emergency situations that can occur at any time. There is a pressure to survive in the competition with all the other clinics doing what I do. I also saw that I had a superior mind about being a dentist, so even when I tried to be kind to my patients, I was still ultimately uncomfortable with myself.
True Happiness Remains When There is No More “Me”
As I threw away this mind, I was able to listen to the patient’s troubles and help them, and even speak more warmly to them. As a result, patients now find out about me through word of mouth or come from other’s recommendations from people in my industry. Now I can do my best where ever I am. I feel like I’ve found my place in the world.
Everyone has a reason to be born in the true world. Man always questions “where did I come from?” and “where do I go when I die?” in his pursuit of the meaning of life. It’s difficult and painful to live without the answers to these questions. But after you find the answers, you will gain wisdom and common sense and know how to live life naturally. Happiness isn’t being better than everybody else. We have to see that accepting others and treating them respectfully, with a warm heart is the answer.
I feel like a real dentist now. Now I’m able to see all of my patients with excitement and sincerity and my heart is rejoicing.