Buddha, Buddhism, Enlightenment, master, Meditation, Photography, Truth, Uncategorized, Zen

Q302. Do masters still have the same emotion as we do?

A. They feel things in the same way sentient beings feel: They are hungry when they don’t have food, feel cold in winter and hot in summer. They are angry at the sight of unjust things, feel happy when seeing good things and feel sympathetic with poor people or animals in suffering. Without such feelings, how would they have compassion for sentient beings?




The difference between the enlightened and sentient beings is how to accept or deal with such feelings. Sentient beings are controlled by such feelings because they don’t know the truth that everything is empty, while the enlightened never let such feelings run their life since they are aware of the truth. How the enlightened handle such feelings is compared to a clean mirror. A mirror reflects black colour when a black thing comes and red colour when a red thing comes, but it never becomes black or red. In other words, they can see things as if seeing a movie. While seeing a movie, they feel sad, happy and angry, but they come back to their usual emotion after the movie.




©Boo Ahm


All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

Enlightenment, Meditation, Practice, Truth, Zen

Q49. Do we become emotionless, not feeling sad or happy after reaching the final goal?

A. Many people think we will not have feelings like sad, anger, pride, lust, happiness and so on after reaching the final goal. Some people use being emotionless as a scale to measure how much progress they have made in meditation progress. This is one of the most common wrong ideas about Zen meditation. Why should we continue our life, not to mention practising to reach the final goal, if we become emotionless like a wooden craft? We have the same feelings: feel sad when seeing sad things, angry when encountering unjust situations, and happy when seeing happy things.

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When we’ve reached the final goal, we can see things as they are, which means we can see things as neutral. Then we see things like a movie: we are sad during a sad movie and happy during a comic play. What counts is that we never become frustrated however sad the movie is and never become so attached to the movie as to disturb our life, since we know it is not real. Likewise, when coming upon a sad situation in reality, we feel sad but never feel so frustrated as to damage our life because we know it is neutral in itself. Meeting with a good thing, we feel happy but never become so proud of, or attached to it, as to mess up our life because you know it is also neutral in itself.
In a word, we have the same feelings but in a different dimension.

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway.