Q. What does Exodus 20:7 ‘Do not misuse my name. I am the Lord your God, and I will punish anyone who misuses my name’ mean?

A. Buddhism has a similar scripture. The Avatamsaka Sutra says that the Buddha reveals himself through all the different forms of all sentient beings, all the different words of all sentient beings and all the various names of all sentient beings. Ancient masters would also say that all names are the names of the Buddha.

It means that all the things we see and hear in our daily lives are the shapes and the voices of God, and so all the names attached to them are God’s names. Using all names without realising this fact is misusing God’s name. If we don’t recognise God who is with us all the time, we cannot escape from the ocean of suffering, that is, we cannot enter the Kingdom of God. In other words, we should not make the error of forsaking God who is always with us while making futile effort to look somewhere else for Him.

©Boo Ahm

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

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

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