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

Q287. Why did ancient masters say that there is no Buddha in the Buddha Land?

A. The Buddha Land, interpreted literally, is a land without any sentient beings where only Buddhas are. When there is only Buddha without any sentient beings, Buddha is not Buddha any more than the right is the right when there is no left.

In fact, the Buddha Land is not a land somewhere else other than the Earth where we live but simply a non-discriminating mind without any illusions. Buddha and sentient beings are, in fact, illusions, all fruits of discrimination. In other words, when we don’t make any discrimination, there is neither Buddha nor sentient beings, which is called Buddha Land. So, one of the famous ancient masters used to say, “Pass by quickly where there is no Buddha, and don’t stay where there is Buddha.”



Student: “Where is the Buddha Land?”

Master: “In your house.”

Student: “There is no Buddha, and there are only my wife and children in my house.

Master: “There is no sun to a blind man even at midday.”


©Boo Ahm


All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

Buddha, Buddhism, illusion, Koan, Meditation, Mind, Practice, true self, Truth, Uncategorized, Zen

Q247. Which do you belong to?

A. One is so blind that he can’t see his mother before him and so deaf that he can’t hear a crack of thunder.

The other is so sharp-sighted that he can see an ant in a forest thousands of miles away and so sharp-eared that he can hear an ant moving in a forest thousands of miles away.

Which is the greater of the two?



Each of us belongs to either of them.

Which do you belong to?


©Boo Ahm


All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

Bible, Buddha, Buddhism, Enlightenment, God, Happiness, love, Meditation, Mind, Practice, Prayer, Religion, true self, Truth, Uncategorized, Zen

Q178. Isn’t Zen meditation against Christianity? Do I have to cease being Christian in order to practice Zen meditation?

A. I never ask people to change their religions or cease keeping their religions, but encourage them to be better adherents of their religions than before. I tell people to realise what the object of their faith is, whether God or Buddha in order that they may be better followers of their religions.



Saying that you believe in Buddha or God without knowing what or who they are, is affronting them, not paying homage to them. Let’s suppose there is a person who always says that he loves you. He doesn’t know you, and never tries to find out where you are and what you are like. However, he always wants you to help him. Does his love for you make sense? That is blind faith and idol worship. There is an old saying, ‘Seeing is believing’. Only when you can see them can you have true faith in God or Buddha and be a genuine believer in your religion.


©Boo Ahm


All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway


Enlightenment, final goal, Meditation, root, Truth, Zen

Q125. If we reach our final goal through what we see and hear, how can the blind and the deaf reach the goal?

A. They can in the same way that you do. Your question shows how you are addicted to illusions. Why do you think they can’t practice because they can’t see and hear? If they had no sight, how could they feel that they can’t see? If they had no hearing, how would they realise that they are deaf? The blind and the deaf see and hear in a different way from ours, and have illusions of their own making in their way. If they think they are blind or deaf, the thoughts are also illusions. If they try to realise where such thoughts come from, that is a good Zen practice. They are as likely to reach the final goal, enlightenment, as you are.