Buddha, Buddhism, emptiness, Enlightenment, final goal, illusion, master, Meditation, Mind, root, self, student, suffering, true self, Truth, Uncategorized, Zen

Q226. How can I motivate myself to practise Zen when I feel that there is nothing to attain?

A. When we say that there is nothing to attain, this means that everything is so perfect that there is nothing to be desired. That is, there is nothing to attain because all is already yours. Our problem is that we are not aware of the truth and struggle to make our life perfect in our own way. In other words, we are like a rich beggar who is struggling for a living, not knowing that he has great wealth in his bank account.

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Student: “Sir, why is there nothing to attain?”

Master: “Because everything is already yours.”

Student: “Why do I have to practise Zen when there is nothing to attain?”

Master: “Because there is still something for you to attain.”

Student: “You said that there is nothing to attain because everything is already mine. Why do you say there is still something for me to attain now?”

Master: “Because you don’t know the fact that everything is already yours. The purpose of Zen is to enable you to confirm the fact that all is already yours. It is like no matter how much money you may have in your bank account, you can’t be said to be rich if you, not conscious of the fact that you have the money,  still struggle to make a living.”

 

©Boo Ahm

 

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

 

Buddha, Buddhism, emptiness, empty, Enlightenment, final goal, Happiness, illusion, Meditation, Mind, Practice, root, self, true self, Truth, Uncategorized, Zen

Q221. I have heard that we are already enlightened but we don’t realise the fact. Why do we need to strive to attain enlightenment?

A. The expression ‘We are already enlightened but we don’t realise the fact’ is a very incorrect expression. The right expression is ‘We are already perfect but we don’t realise the fact’. To realise the fact that we are already perfect is enlightenment. Then, you might ask, “Why should we try to attain enlightenment when we are already perfect?” The key problem is that we are not aware of the truth. However perfect we are, we can’t be said to be perfect if we struggle in vain to become perfect while not conscious of the truth that we are already perfect.

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We are like a billionaire who is living as a beggar because he is not aware of the fact that he has a great deal of money in his bank account and a lot of real estate to his name. Even though he is told that he is very rich, he can’t accept the fact easily since he has never seen the huge wealth and never lived a rich life lavishing the money freely. Can we say that he is rich? Whatever we say, he is no more than a poor beggar until he realises the fact that he is wealthy. Likewise, we cannot be said to be perfect until we realise and enjoy the truth that we are perfect. Enlightenment is to confirm the truth that we are perfect just like a rich beggar confirms that he is a billionaire.

 

 

©Boo Ahm

 

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway