Q. Can anything exist in complete isolation or is everything defined by its relation and connection to other things?

A. Nothing can exist in complete isolation. Everything must depend on something for its existence. For example, in order for a chair to exist, firstly, there should be a person who sees and calls it a chair. Secondly, there should be things that are different and separate from the chair, that can be distinguished from the chair. In fact, each of the things that a chair depends on for its existence exists in the same way as a chair does. So, ancient masters would say that if a mote comes into existence, all the universe comes into existence along with it.

The point here is that nothing can come into existence without our acknowledgment. A chair, for instance, can be a chair only when we differentiate it from other things, think of it as a chair and refer to it as such. This is why the Buddha said that everything is from our mind.

©Boo Ahm

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

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

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