Q. How can an impermanent self attain permanent enlightenment?
A. The purpose of Zen meditation is to realise that an impermanent self is an illusion, or a bundle of illusions and that the essence of your being is not the illusions but the true-Self; permanent being. When you are stripped of all these illusions, your true-Self that is permanent being reveals itself just as all things covered with snow show themselves when the snow melts away.
To my best knowledge, the purpose of all religions is to help people who mistake impermanent illusions for the essence of their being, to realise that their essence is permanent being. That is why Christianity insists that we should attain eternal life and why Buddhism says that we should escape the yoke of birth and death through enlightenment.
All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway
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