Bible, illusion, love, meditaion, Photography, Religion, root, true self, Truth, Uncategorized, Zen

Q340. In the Bible, Proverbs 13:20 it says “You are the company that you keep.” What is this warning about?

A. If you are the company you keep, the company you keep is you. In other words, you are one with the company you keep. Whoever you keep as company, your company is you. Whoever you meet, a wise man, foolish man, a thief, a robber or an imposter, he is you. If he is a thief, he is a thief because you think he is a thief. If he is a wise man, he is a wise man because you think so. In other words, seeing a person as a thief means having an illusion of a thief in your mind.



This scripture means, therefore, that you should not discriminate when you meet people but see them as you or one with you. When you become one with others and other things, you can love your neighbours as yourself.


©Boo Ahm


All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

Bible, Buddha, Buddhism, compassion, Enlightenment, final goal, love, master, Meditation, Photography, Practice, Religion, root, self, student, true self, Truth, Uncategorized, Zen

Q280. Why is Zen meditation selfish?

A. What makes you think Zen meditation is selfish? Do you happen to think so because Zen doesn’t emphasise compassion during the teaching, that is to say, that we should help the poor or those in trouble? Zen expresses the same message in a different way.


Zen teaches people that we are one with the poor and the weak, that is, they are part of us and we are part of them by getting people to realise the truth that we are oneness with all the universe, rather than say that we should help them.




Which is the more appealing and more persuasive of the following two scenarios, “This boy lost his parents and has no food to eat and no shelter to live in. We should help him because he is likely to become a criminal and harm our society in the future if he is left uncared for now” or “Take a close look at this boy. This is part of you.”? This is what the Biblical scripture, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’ means.



©Boo Ahm


All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

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

Q219. Student: “What is the true-self?”

A. Master: “It feels full after eating hearty food.

Student: “I feel that, too.”

Master: “That’s it.”

Student: “I still don’t know.”

Master: “Not knowing is not wrong.”




Don’t go to beg your neighbours for embers for cooking with a lamp in your hand.


©Boo Ahm


All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

Buddhism, Meditation, One, Practice, Religion, Truth, Zen

Q30. When we help others we get such a great feeling….is this just us patting oneself on the back, or is it because that we are all one and by helping others we truly are helping our self?

A. If you get a great feeling, as most people do, it is likely to be a kind of sense of accomplishment. We have been taught and told to help others in need since our kindergarten days. However, we usually feel that we have not helped others as much as we think we should, and we always feel guilty or burdened unconsciously, for it as though we didn’t do our homework. When we help others, we get a kind of accomplishment we would feel when no one but I in the class did the homework in our school days and, enjoying secret pride, we pat ourselves on the back just like our teachers did to us.

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Let me ask you a question. Do you happen to get such a great feeling when you feed yourself? In fact, if you had helped others because you felt oneness with them, you would have felt it natural rather than great. The Bible says, “When you help others, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand does.” However, Zen books say, “When you help others, don’t let even your right hand know what your right hand does.” This is a saying that shows the essence of Zen. You should not have even the idea that you helped someone. You should feel as natural as if you buy yourself lunch, when you serve a nice lunch to a hungry man. That is, to love your neighbours as yourself – just like the Bible says.

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