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

Q286. Masters tell us to discard our ‘I’. How can I do it?

A. They mean that you should eliminate the illusions of you, that is, all the labels attached to you, or all the words used to describe your identity. This is because all suffering is from your mistaking the labels attached to you as you and at the same time being attached to them.

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When you are deluded by labels, like this, they are referred to as illusions. The final goal of Zen is to realise that labels are not real but only imaginary lines and to see what you are like free from labels. That is called seeing your true-self, or attaining enlightenment.

 

Student: “How can I discard my ‘I’?”

Master: “You should know that all you believe to be you is not you but just an illusion.”

 

 

©Boo Ahm

 

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

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

Q265. What am I when my body is not me?

A. Remove all the labels attached to you by others. Remove all words that can describe your identity. Let’s suppose you are a sixty-year-old British man named John who is living in London. When you say that you were born in London sixty years ago, what is left when all the labels are removed? ‘You’ or ‘I’, ‘were born’, ‘in London’, ‘sixty’, ‘years’ and ‘ago’ all are labels. You still have a lot of labels to represent your identity such as your parents, your job, your school records and so on. You think that you are human being, which is also an artificially coined label. Remove all artificial labels and see what is left, whatever it is. That’s it. What is it?

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Master: “What is left now?”

Student: “Nothing is left.”

Master: “If nothing were left, what would be saying, ‘Nothing is left’?”

 

©Boo Ahm

 

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway