Buddha, Buddhism, emptiness, empty, Enlightenment, illusion, master, Meditation, Photography, student, true self, Truth, Uncategorized, Zen

Q316. How can we neither be stained by dirt while in dirt nor be attached to purity when we happen to face it?

A. Interpreted more simply, this question means “How can we live without being deluded by illusions and without being attached to enlightenment when we happen to get it?” It is possible to know, through perfect realisation of the truth, that everything is empty. In other words, when everything is empty, we should realise that not only illusions but also enlightenment is empty.

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If we are attached to enlightenment after getting enlightened, this is making another illusion, just like making a new form of clay after destroying an old form of clay. You should realise that when everything is empty, you are emptiness itself, and then there is nothing to gain or lose. So, an ancient master said, “Don’t be stained by purity.” when his student asked him how he could remain pure. In other words, you should neither be deluded by illusions while living amid them nor be attached to emptiness.

 

 

©Boo Ahm

 

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

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

Q193. Today, I thought that trying to attain enlightenment in any way is not correct. It is dualistic. There is still an ‘I’ that is trying and an illusion of gaining something. Is this correct?

A. You are absolutely right. When we say ‘trying to attain enlightenment’, it can look and sound dual because there is ‘I’ and there is ‘enlightenment’ as you mentioned. However, I can’t help but explain it in this way because there is still enlightenment for you to attain until you realise that everything is empty and that there is nothing to gain or lose. Attaining enlightenment doesn’t mean that there is duality; ‘you’ and ‘enlightenment’ to be gained, but rather that you should realise everything is empty and there is no duality.

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I talk you into attaining enlightenment because you have not realised the truth of non-duality through experience even though you have a lot of knowledge about non-duality and emptiness, and say that everything is empty and there is no enlightenment to attain. Strictly speaking, only when you realise the truth that everything is empty can you say that there is no enlightenment to attain, because there is nothing to realise any more. The reason why I say that you should attain enlightenment is not that there is duality; ‘you’ and ‘enlightenment’, but that you should realise the truth that everything is empty and non-dual and so there is no enlightenment to attain.

 

©Boo Ahm

 

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway