Buddha, Buddhism, Enlightenment, Koan, Meditation, Practice, Truth, Zen

Q34. Would you recommend any other way to practice Zen, when I feel tired of the question ‘What am I when my body is not me?’

A. If you feel tired of asking yourself the same question, I’d say two things.
One is that you may take another Zen question that is likely to stimulate your curiosity. I plan to provide a new Zen question a week.
The other is that you ask your question of the things around you instead of yourself. Seeing a tree, you can ask the tree your question ‘Hi, tree. What am I when my body is not me?’ or a little different question ‘Hi, tree. What are you when you are not a tree?’ You can ask such a question of anything such as a car, a puppy, a bird, a desk, spoon, a cup and so forth that you can see in your everyday life. My words might sound ridiculous but they, whenever you ask them the question, never fail to tell you the correct answers. The problem is that you can’t grasp their answers because your eyes and ears are veiled by illusions. To try to understand their answers is a good practice, too.


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

Buddhism, Enlightenment, Happiness, Koan, Zen

Q21. To counter act any thoughts that would come into my head I would repeat the question. I had to repeat the question many times in the 30 minutes. I assume that this will be required less with practice?

A. When thoughts come into your head, trace back to the root from which the thoughts come. When you repeat the question in your mind, do doubt what listens to the question. That is a very good practice as well. If you keep practising as directed, you will become one with the question and need not repeat it any more.

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