Buddha, Buddhism, Enlightenment, Koan, master, Meditation, Mind, mindful, mindfulness, Practice, true self, Truth, Uncategorized, Zen

Q169. I was told to put my mind down and not to think of anything by my ex-master. How can I put down my mind?

A. That is like telling a baby who can’t even stand on his own feet to run as fast as a sprinter. The first thing you should do in order to put your mind down is to know what your mind is. How would it be possible for you to put your mind down when you don’t know what it is? The key point in Zen meditation is whether or not you realise what your mind is, and not whether to put it down or not. Once you realise what your mind is, holding it or putting it down is up to you.

File14492a_thumb

 

One of the most common mistakes we make is to think that we know what we don’t know. You seem to be making the same mistake of trying to put your mind down, thinking that you know your mind while in fact you don’t know it. If you are anxious to put your mind down, do try to realise what it is before trying to put it down in vain. In fact, once you realise what your mind is, you can be said to have completed your practice, or to have attained enlightenment. Should you see your master again, first of all ask him what your mind is.
©Boo Ahm

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

Buddhism, Enlightenment, Happiness, Koan, Meditation, Practice, Zen

Q17. We were asked, “You are bound at the wrist and feet and holding on to a branch by your teeth above a canyon….a guy comes along and shouts ….’Give me your name, or I will shoot you!’ What would you do?” I meditated on this for some time, then asked “is the answer to let go?”……as in to achieve enlightenment, do we have to learn to let go of everything we have been programmed to believe and look beyond the here and now?

A. ‘Let go of’ or ‘put down’ are very popular words among people who are interested in meditation, or how to keep their mind calm. They are very nice phrases and I never discourage you from letting go of or putting down. I do hope you can let go of or put down all things. In order to let go of things, we should be able to see everything as it is, by seeing ourselves as we are. If we can’t see things as they are, we can’t let go of things. As far as I know, some people are so anxious that they sometimes tend to fool themselves into believing that they let go of everything, pretending to let go of everything.

Esthwaite_Panorama-Summer_thumb
How can we let go of things when we don’t know what we are? When we can see everything as it is, by seeing ourselves as we are, we come to let go of things without any effort. So, I encourage you to try to see things as they are, rather than try to let go of things. When you focus all your attention to seeing yourself as you are, all your troubles will steal away and you will find that your problems are not a problem at all. The key point of letting go of things is not to let go of things, but to realise there is nothing to let go of.

Don’t try to let go of things.
That will only impose one more work on you.
How could you let go of things while not knowing what you are?
When you can see everything as it is, all your troubles will disappear before you let go of them.

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