Buddha, Buddhism, Enlightenment, final goal, Photography, root, self, suffering, true self, Truth, Uncategorized, Zen

Q329. Why does Zen compare us sentient beings to a patient?

A. As soon as we are born, we are all doomed to an incurable illness, ageing, which leads to death, that no one can avoid. While we have many kinds of painkillers for the illness, there is no medicine to cure it. Whenever we feel the pain of hunger, we take a painkiller, food.



However, over the course of time, the illness worsens to the extent that no painkiller can help us, and leads us to death in the end. Therefore, we sentient beings are compared to a patient. The purpose of Zen is to help people to be cured of the fatal illness, ageing. So, ancient masters would refer to enlightenment as the solution to the matter of birth and death.


©Boo Ahm


All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

Buddha, Buddhism, final goal, Happiness, illusion, master, Meditation, Mind, Photography, self, suffering, true self, Truth, Uncategorized, Zen

Q281. Can Zen help us to deal with our physical problems?

A. The physical problems that we experience due to aging, unexpected injuries from accidents and illnesses are, if not desirable, unavoidable challenges that all of us are subject to. The key point here is how to confront them. Our mind is to our body as a driver is to a car. In the same way that how long and how well a car runs depends upon the driver, our physical health counts on our mind.



Zen helps us to see everything as it is, so that we can avoid worsening situations by overreacting to them when faced with difficulties. For instance, there is a saying that the unreasonable fear of cancer is more dangerous than cancer itself. This is because the fear of cancer, if not surmounted, can harm patients more than cancer itself can. This is true when people can’t see things as they are. Zen meditation, by enabling us to see things as they are, helps us to know how to fear what ought to be feared and how not to fear what ought not to be feared. For that reason, I think Zen can help us to deal with our physical problems.


©Boo Ahm


All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway


Buddha, Buddhism, empty, illusion, Meditation, Mind, Practice, suffering, Truth, Uncategorized, Zen

Q 175. Is it okay to try to heal ourselves through mind-control instead of taking medicine when we are sick because everything is from mind?

A. There are people think they can cure themselves of any illness through mind-control by a kind of meditation practice instead of taking medication because everything is created by mind. They are misunderstanding the words, ‘Everything is created by mind’. They are unaware of the fact that medication is also created by mind, while saying that everything is created by mind. When you are well, there is no medicine. But everything that you take can be medicine when you are ill. If you think of daily food as important medicine and take it as sincerely as if you take medicine, then your everyday food can play more than the role of daily food that only meets your hunger, in your recovering from illness. Besides, if you regard your medicine as being rather good food that can make up for your nutritional deficiency instead of being just a medicinal substance, you can escape from or at least alleviate the stress, or the obsession that you have to take medicine.



©Boo Ahm

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway