Buddha, Buddhism, emptiness, empty, Enlightenment, final goal, illusion, master, Meditation, One, Photography, student, true self, Truth, Uncategorized, Zen

Q365. If we know that everything is just labels, why can’t we remove them easily?

A. The knowledge that everything is just labels is quite different from the realisation that everything is just labels. In fact, we don’t know exactly what labels are while saying that everything is just labels. That is why we can’t remove them easily. The purpose of our practice is to see clearly what a label is, which is to realise that everything is empty. Once we realise what a label is, we don’t care about labels because we know that they are not real entities but only imaginary lines produced by us like the horn of a rabbit or the hair of a turtle. Taking labels for real entities is being deluded by illusions, and being able to see labels as imaginary lines is enlightenment. Then, we are said to be free from illusions, or not to be deluded by illusions.



Student: “Why can’t I remove illusions easily?”

Master: “Because you don’t know what they are.”

Student: “I know that everything is an illusion.”

Master: “When everything is an illusion, not only your question but also you and I are illusions. Who asks whom what?”


©Boo Ahm


All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

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