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

Q364. What if enlightenment brings us unhappiness?

A. Such a thing never happens. Enlightenment means to attain eternal happiness. If someone says that he is still unhappy after enlightenment, he is confessing not only that he is not enlightened but also that he doesn’t know what enlightenment is. Your question is like ‘What if eating too much makes me hungry?’ or ‘What if earning huge wealth makes me poor?’. Enlightenment means to realise that you are eternity itself and happiness itself.



Student: “What if enlightenment brings us unhappiness?”

Master: “Be willing to accept it. That is the happiness that you are looking for.”

Student: “Why should I accept unhappiness while looking for happiness?”

Master: “Your unhappiness results from mistaking happiness for unhappiness. Enlightenment is to realise that unhappiness is not different from happiness.”


©Boo Ahm


All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

desire, Enlightenment, final goal, meditaion, sex, sexual, true self, Truth, Zen

Q106. What shall I do with my sexual desire?

A. Many people think that an ascetic life is indispensable in order to practice Zen meditation, but this is incorrect, unless you are a monk or a nun.

Why don’t you consider the same question regarding your hunger or thirst? Sexual desire is also a natural feeling that normal people have, just like feelings of hunger or thirst. What matters is how to accept it. As mentioned earlier, everything is neutral in itself. Sexual desire may either be holy, or impure lust, just as hunger may be either good or bad, that is to say harmful to us. Hunger is thought to be an essential feeling for our survival, that makes life happy, but it can also lead people to a disastrous situation if not controlled. Sexual desire should be accepted in the same way, I think.


To have sexual desire is the evidence that you are alive, healthy and normal, that is, you are very suitable for Zen meditation. In summary, Zen meditation has nothing to do with sexual desire just as it has nothing to with hunger. What matters here is not whether to have sexual desire or not, but whether or not to realise the root of it. Just try to realise the root, which is the root of compassion.

©Boo Ahm

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway