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

Q307. What does the New Testament Matthew 5:29,30 mean?

Matthew 5:29,30:  29) “So if your right eye causes you to sin, take it out and throw it away! It is much better for you to lose a part of your body than to have your whole body thrown into hell. 30) If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away! It is much better for you to lose one of your limbs than to have your whole body go off to hell.”

A. Here your whole body means your true-self or your whole life, and parts of your body such as eyes and hands means illusions. To remove your eyes and hands means to stop following illusions. Having your whole body thrown into hell refers to leaving your true-self lost and living in the world of illusions. So, ‘losing parts of your body is much better than having your whole body thrown into hell’ means that to stop following illusions, although it is not easy, is much better than to live in the world of illusions.

Senegalese lady with traditionally decorated hands.. Image shot 2004. Exact date unknown.

 

Student: “How do you prevent your eyes and hands from sinning?”

Master: “I don’t have eyes and hands to sin.”

 

©Boo Ahm

 

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

Bible, Buddha, Buddhism, emptiness, empty, illusion, master, Meditation, Photography, Practice, Religion, student, suffering, Uncategorized, Zen

Q289. Why should we give without expecting anything in return?

A. When you give help to someone, you should not expect anything in return for it but rather forget it. If you do expect anything, then it is not help but business disguised as help. This may result in your harming yourself later.

 

If you remember the favour you bestowed on someone and expect something in return, you are more likely to feel disappointed, or even betrayed by his refusal when you ask him for help than you would be if you did not give him any help. You are also likely to be less grateful when you are helped because you are apt to take his help for granted, rather than thank him for it, while thinking of it as repayment of the debt he owes you for your help. In the end, your help will cause you anger or unhappiness, or deprive you of happiness. It’s like your hurting yourself.

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So, ancient masters always advised people to do without doing. When you realise that everything is empty and think that your help is also empty, you can be said to help without helping. As an expedient means to teach how to do without doing, they would say, “Don’t even let your right hand know what it did, not to mention your left hand.”

 

 

©Boo Ahm

 

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

Buddha, Buddhism, emptiness, empty, Koan, master, Meditation, Mind, Practice, root, self, student, true self, Truth, Uncategorized, Zen

Q240. Master: “Are you married?”

A. Student: “Yes, Sir.”

Master: “Do you know your wife?”

Student: “Of course, Sir. I share the same bed with her.”

Master: “How many hairs does she have on her head?”

Student: “I don’t know. How could I know that?”

Master: “Don’t say that you know your wife then.”

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Commentary:

Don’t try to extract juice by squeezing dry sticks.

The number of the fingers of a hand is five.

 

©Boo Ahm

 

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway