Happiness, Meditation, Practice, Truth, Zen

Q3. Why can’t we see happiness?

A. Let me ask you a question. Why can’t we see happiness? Why do you think we can’t see happiness? Does it hide itself when we try to see it? No, I don’t think so. Then why can’t we see it?
It is not because happiness hides itself but because we can not see things as they are. Since we can’t see things as they are, we misunderstand things, that is, we have illusions about things. We mistake what we don’t know for what we know. Although we don’t know what happiness is, we believe we know it. And our misunderstanding, or illusion, is the main source or the main root of our unhappiness.
Let me give an example of the misunderstanding that comes from not seeing things as they are. One day I had an opportunity to talk with some Christians. One of them said that he was anxious to feel the answer from God when he prayed God. He was very sorry that he couldn’t receive the answer from God. I said to him, “How long have you been a Christian?” He said, “More than 20 years.” I asked him, “Have you ever seen God?” He looked somewhat embarrassed to hear my question, and replied, “What? How is it possible? God is God and we are human beings. How can we human beings see God? What a nonsense!” My response was, “How is it possible? We say Seeing is believing. How could you believe in God for 20 years without seeing him? It means you have believed what you don’t know, or can’t prove. You have not known what you believe. How can you expect to receive the answer from God, while you don’t know what God is or who God is? Then how can you say that you have believed in God? What a nonsense! As far as I know, the Bible says that God is everywhere and anywhere at any time, and there is no place where he is not. Then why can’t we see him? We should be able to see him anywhere and at any time, unless what the Bible says is false. I believe what the Bible says is true. Then why can’t we see him? It’s not because the Bible is telling a lie, but because we can’t see things as they are. You have no one but yourself to blame. You have had an illusion of God without knowing what he is. You have had a misunderstanding of God.”
This is the way we live our life when we don’t see things as they are.
Then, do you think you are different from the person I have just mentioned above? I am afraid I don’t think so. You are the same in the sense that you are seeking something you don’t know.

_SRH4107a - Copy

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

Buddhism, Enlightenment, Happiness, Meditation, Practice, Truth, Zen

Q1. Introduction To Zen – Why are we here?

A. Here we are going to discuss what Zen is, and why we should practice Zen. Now, I’m going to ask you this question. Why are you here? That is to say, why do you, we, all of us, want to learn and practice Korean Zen meditation? I think this is a reasonable question for us to ask ourselves at this moment. I think each of us can have a lot of different answers to this question. However, at least one of the most common answers, one of the most popular answers, is, I think, in order to be happy because, whatever we do, whether moral, immoral or unmoral, we do what we do in order to be happy.


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