Q. What is the meaning of ‘Clinging to a branch of a tree on a cliff is not exceptional. One who can let go of the branch he is taking hold of is a true hero’?

A. ‘A branch of a tree’ symbolises plausible words spoken by the Buddha and ancient masters. ‘Cliff’ implies our lives that are doomed to end sooner or later. Most people who are anxious to escape from birth and death through Buddhism tend to cling to plausible words thinking of them as lifelines to save them. Being attached to such words is not grasping the meaning of them but being deluded by them.

This is why ancient masters would say that plausible words are rather a stake to tether people who want to reach enlightenment. Only he who is not deceived by such words can attain enlightenment. The Buddha said that everything is empty. When everything is empty, not only the Buddha but His words ‘everything is empty’ are also empty.

©Boo Ahm

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

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

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