Q. I read about ‘the divine light that unifies and underlies everything’. Is this an actual light that we can see during meditation, or is it just a metaphor?

A. The divine light means the true-Self, Emptiness in Buddhism. The Heart Sutra says, ‘Emptiness is forms and forms are Emptiness’, which can be rephrased as ‘The divine light is things and things are the divine light.’ In fact, it is what we can see, not only during meditation, but also at any time. We cannot stop seeing and hearing the divine light even for a moment, since seeing and hearing things is seeing and hearing the divine light.

The problem is that we cannot recognise it because we are deluded by illusions, words. This is why ancient masters would say that the divine light is hidden in everything, or that things are the stores of the divine light. What matters more is that we are also the divine light itself, which is why we are said to be looking for an ox while riding on it.

The reason why the term ‘light’ is used is that enlightenment feels as if the light were switched on in a room which has been deserted and dark for a long time, and from that moment we can see what we couldn’t see before. 

©Boo Ahm

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

#zen #meditation #zenmeditation #enlightened #enlightenment #zenfools #photography

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