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

Q316. How can we neither be stained by dirt while in dirt nor be attached to purity when we happen to face it?

A. Interpreted more simply, this question means “How can we live without being deluded by illusions and without being attached to enlightenment when we happen to get it?” It is possible to know, through perfect realisation of the truth, that everything is empty. In other words, when everything is empty, we should realise that not only illusions but also enlightenment is empty.



If we are attached to enlightenment after getting enlightened, this is making another illusion, just like making a new form of clay after destroying an old form of clay. You should realise that when everything is empty, you are emptiness itself, and then there is nothing to gain or lose. So, an ancient master said, “Don’t be stained by purity.” when his student asked him how he could remain pure. In other words, you should neither be deluded by illusions while living amid them nor be attached to emptiness.



©Boo Ahm


All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

Buddha, Buddhism, compassion, desire, emptiness, empty, Enlightenment, final goal, illusion, love, Meditation, Mind, root, self, true self, Truth, Uncategorized, Zen

Q239. If love and hate are neutral and both are illusions, then, what difference does it make whether I am loving or cruel?

A. It’s true that love and hate are neutral and both are illusions. In fact, it doesn’t make any difference whether you are loving or cruel. To realise the truth means to realise that everything is empty and feel oneness with the whole universe. Then, your feeling of love and hatred cannot help but be different from the feeling that you have had before realising the truth.

Above all, when you feel your hate as empty, your hate seldom develops into being cruel. Your cruel feeling, if or when it occurs, is not as strong or acute as before and doesn’t last long even though you don’t struggle to control your emotion. Rather, your cruel feeling turns into sympathy as you feel oneness. That is called compassion.



In fact, as many people become unhappy because of love as do those who become unhappy because of hatred. As often as not cruel feelings result from love. If you realise the truth mentioned above, you will not be obsessed with, or attached to love, to the extent that your love makes people feel burdened or even tortured rather than happy. And you will not become so frustrated by the loss of love, if it happens, that you stray from your normal life. That is called wisdom.



©Boo Ahm


All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway