A. What do you think the core teaching of the Sutras is? It is enlightenment. What all the Sutras say is nothing but how to attain enlightenment and what enlightenment is like, nothing else. If you are to grasp the core teaching of Buddha, don’t look for it in the Sutras. The Sutras are only like a map or an arrow pointing to your destination. They are not the place itself that you want to reach.
Don’t think of Zen meditation as being apart from the Sutras. Zen meditation is an expedient means to grasp the core teaching of the Sutras. The Sutras are maps and Zen is to move towards the destination indicated by the maps. So, the best way to grasp the core meaning of the Sutras is to experience what the Sutras say through practice.
Student: “How can I grasp the core meaning of the Sutras?”
Master: “Discard all the Sutras.”
All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway