Buddha, Buddhism, Enlightenment, final goal, God, Happiness, Meditation, Mind, One, Practice, Prayer, Religion, root, true self, Truth, Uncategorized, Zen

Q203. If I find myself affixed to a single path to truth: the path of prayer and praise, or the path of kindness and love, or the path of wisdom and meditation, or any other path of a singular mode, am I going in the wrong way?

A. No, you are not wrong at all. Feel free to choose any path that appeals to you and concentrate on seeking the root from which the path comes. Whichever path you may take, you will come to take the same way after all because they are from the same root, the truth that is not dual.



We should realise the fact that all other things, as well as all paths, are from the same root even though they may look different from each other. The root is the very truth. To realise what the root is should be the final goal of all religions.



©Boo Ahm


All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

Bible, Buddha, Buddhism, God, Meditation, Practice, Prayer, Religion, Zen

Q136. What do you think of praying to God or Buddha?

A. We can see a lot of people not only pray to them but also offer plenty of money to temples or churches as a token of their faith in Buddha or God, while ignoring many suffering people who are in need. People want to make a deal with God or Buddha, just like they may bribe public officials to do something they want to be done. In brief, they take advantage of their prayer to Buddha or God as a means to satisfy and justify their greed and hypocrisy.

It is said that God or Buddha is love itself, compassion itself and justice itself and that he is so almighty that he can fulfill our prayers. Why are so many starving in the world and why do endless wars break out and disasters befall people at this time while so many clergymen, priests and monks are praying all around the world? Why does a charitable God who says, “Love your neighbour as yourself” always seem to side with rich, strong countries or people? Why have so many countries been engaged in wars throughout history in the name of religion?


I don’t think that prayer itself is bad. However, why do these things happen in spite of so much prayer by so many people around the world? It is because they don’t know whom they pray to or worship because they don’t know themselves and therefore they do not know who is praying. They also don’t know how to worship or pray because they don’t know whom they worship or pray to. Therefore, they commit brutal carnage while speaking of Jesus’s love with their mouths, and spend an untold sum of money on producing weapons while saying their prayers.

I never discourage you from praying, but encourage you to pray in the right way. In order to pray in the right way, you should know at least who prays to whom. When you don’t know this, trying to find out who prays to whom it is a true prayer.

©Boo Ahm

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

Buddhism, Enlightenment, illusion, Meditation, moment, now, present, root, Zen

Q128. How can I live now?

A. In brief you can live now if you do away with ‘now’. ‘Living now’ mentioned here means living out of the trap of illusions. You should realise the word ‘now’ is an illusion. Only when the illusions of present, past and future disappear can you live now. As long as you keep the illusion of now, you can never experience ‘living now’.


When the thought of ‘present’ or ‘now’ occurs to you, trace your thinking back to its root where it comes from. As mentioned earlier, everything is from the same root. Once reaching there, you will realise not just that you are the root itself but also that everything including present, past and future is nothing but an illusion created in and by you, the root. Then you will perceive that you are eternity itself. That is to live now all the time.

How can I live now?
Get out of now.
How can I get out of it?
Take a close look at its root.

©Boo Ahm

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

Meditation, mindfulness, Zen

Q58. Now I try to live at the present moment, trying not to think of the past or the future. Am I right?

A. Don’t try to live at the present moment. You can’t but live at the present moment. There is no one who doesn’t live at the present moment. Whether you think of the past or the future, your doing is happening at the present moment. If not thinking of the past or the future increases our happiness, why do schools teach history to students, and why do many people try to make correct forecasts about the future?

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If you do want to live at the present moment, break away the present moment. As long as you are attached to the present moment, you can’t escape from the past and the future since the present moment exists based on the past and the future. How could the present moment exist without the past and the future? The moment you break the present moment, the past and the future will disappear as well. Only then can you be said to live at the present moment. ‘Live at the present moment’, referred to as ‘Live here now’ in Zen, is to live out of the illusions of time and place and not to be attached to the present moment.

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

Buddhism, Enlightenment, Meditation, One, Practice, Zen

Q16. How does Zen help us connect with the present moment and with people around us?

A. Why can’t we connect ourselves with the present moment and people around us now? The key problem is that we can’t see ourselves as we are, that is, we don’t know what we are. Therefore we can’t see things as they are, and we don’t know what the present moment is and what people around us are. How can you connect yourself with them when you don’t know not only yourself but also them? What you need now is to try to see yourself as you are. When you can see yourself as you are, you can see things as they are. Then you are free to connect yourself with the present moment and with people around you, or separate yourself from them.


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