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

Q226. How can I motivate myself to practise Zen when I feel that there is nothing to attain?

A. When we say that there is nothing to attain, this means that everything is so perfect that there is nothing to be desired. That is, there is nothing to attain because all is already yours. Our problem is that we are not aware of the truth and struggle to make our life perfect in our own way. In other words, we are like a rich beggar who is struggling for a living, not knowing that he has great wealth in his bank account.

File0687a_thumb

 

Student: “Sir, why is there nothing to attain?”

Master: “Because everything is already yours.”

Student: “Why do I have to practise Zen when there is nothing to attain?”

Master: “Because there is still something for you to attain.”

Student: “You said that there is nothing to attain because everything is already mine. Why do you say there is still something for me to attain now?”

Master: “Because you don’t know the fact that everything is already yours. The purpose of Zen is to enable you to confirm the fact that all is already yours. It is like no matter how much money you may have in your bank account, you can’t be said to be rich if you, not conscious of the fact that you have the money,  still struggle to make a living.”

 

©Boo Ahm

 

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

 

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

Q212. Did ancient masters obtain enlightenment?

A. No master says that he has attained enlightenment because it is also an illusion. Masters are those who have realised the truth that everything is empty as an illusion and there is nothing to gain or lose. When everything including the master himself is empty, who would attain what? It is, for example, like, after struggling a lot to reach the Earth, finding the truth that they are originally part of the Earth and there is no other place to reach than where they are. So after enlightenment, they would say that all the efforts they had made were of no use at all. In order to describe such people, we use the phrase ‘attained enlightenment’ for the sake of convenience. If a master happens to think that he has obtained anything, he is not enlightened.

SRH_9150a_thumb

 

Master: “Why did you come here?”

Student: “I came here to attain enlightenment.”

Master: “I don’t have such a thing here.”

Student: “Why do many people try to attain enlightenment?”

Master: “Because they have not confirmed the truth that there is nothing to gain or lose.”

 

 

©Boo Ahm

 

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

Enlightenment, final goal, Koan, Truth, Zen

Q78. Master: ‘What are you doing here?’

A. Student: ‘I am doing nothing.’
Master: ‘Then you are sitting at leisure.’
Student: ‘Sitting at leisure is also doing.’
Master: ‘You say you are doing nothing. What are you not doing?’
Student: ‘Even saints don’t know it.’

_SRH9236a_thumb

Commentary:
He can be said to know how to do nothing.
If you knew who does what, you would know how to do nothing.

©Boo Ahm

Happiness, mindfulness, Zen

Q54. What do masters mean when they insist that we possess nothing?

A. It means we should escape perfectly from the trap of illusion without having a single illusion left. Ancient masters said that if we have a single illusion, it will fill the whole universe with illusions in no time. The Bible says that the poor are blessed. The poor here are those who have no illusion. People who have escaped from the trap of illusion are aware that everything in the universe is an illusion. Such people can be said to have nothing however much they have because they know all they have is nothing but an illusion.

File0438a_thumb - Copy

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