Buddha, Buddhism, emptiness, empty, Enlightenment, master, Meditation, Practice, Religion, root, self, student, true self, Truth, Uncategorized, Zen

Q259. How can I grasp the core meaning of the Sutras?

A. What do you think the core teaching of the Sutras is? It is enlightenment. What all the Sutras say is nothing but how to attain enlightenment and what enlightenment is like, nothing else. If you are to grasp the core teaching of Buddha, don’t look for it in the Sutras. The Sutras are only like a map or an arrow pointing to your destination. They are not the place itself that you want to reach.

 

Don’t think of Zen meditation as being apart from the Sutras. Zen meditation is an expedient means to grasp the core teaching of the Sutras. The Sutras are maps and Zen is to move towards the destination indicated by the maps. So, the best way to grasp the core meaning of the Sutras is to experience what the Sutras say through practice.

srh_2758b_thumb

 

 

Student: “How can I grasp the core meaning of the Sutras?”

Master: “Discard all the Sutras.”

 

 

©Boo Ahm

 

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

Buddha, Buddhism, Enlightenment, final goal, Meditation, Mind, Practice, root, true self, Truth, Uncategorized, Zen

Q187. How can we do our best in our practice without being attached to enlightenment?

A. Let’s suppose you want to go for an excursion by car to New York City, across the Continent of North America from San Fransisco, California. In order to reach your destination, which side do you think you should pay more of your attention to, your goal, New York City or careful and safe driving? Safe arrival at your goal is the result of your careful driving. If you are more preoccupied with your destination rather than with safe driving, you are likely to be impatient and want to reach there as soon as possible. The impatience to reach your goal quickly can tempt you to drive too fast, which can cause your car to have trouble or an accident. That can make your journey take longer than it should, or make it difficult for you to continue your journey.

_SRH5172a_thumb

 

Focus on how to practise well. You should pay all your attention to your practice and not to enlightenment. Attachment to enlightenment can cause you to have yet another strong illusion that brings negative side effects such as being neglectful of your family, your business or your health. This just is making matters worse while trying to improve things.  Just as it is not the attachment to your destination but safe driving that takes you to your destination, so it is not the attachment to enlightenment but diligent practice that leads you to enlightenment.

 

©Boo Ahm

 

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway