Buddha, Buddhism, Meditation, Truth, Zen

Q98. How far is hell from heaven?

A. It is as far as it is from the right to the left. All the time both are in the same place at the same time. As what is the right to one man can be the left to another, and what is the left today can be the right tomorrow, so what heaven is to one man can be hell to another, and what heaven is to a man today can be hell to him tomorrow. A jail, for example, is hell to the inmates there, but can be heaven to the officials who work there for a living these days when getting a job is so difficult. To a hungry, penniless man who is pursued and threatened by gangsters, prison can be heaven, a safe shelter because it provides him with food and security. In fact, there is neither hell nor heaven, just like there is neither the right nor the left. Whether a place is hell or heaven depends on the eyes of the beholder.

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©Boo Ahm

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

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