Buddha, Buddhism, Enlightenment, final goal, illusion, master, meditaion, Mind, mindful, Photography, Practice, Religion, root, student, sutras, true self, Truth, Uncategorized, Zen

Q342. “Why can’t I feel the same way as they did?”

A. The wind was blowing a temple flag, and two monks were arguing about the flag. One said, “The flag is moving.” The other said, “The wind is moving.” They could not agree, no matter how hard they debated. Then, the sixth patriarch, Huineng, happening to come by and overhearing this, said, “Not the wind, not the flag. It is the mind that is moving!” The two monks were struck with awe.

 

Student: “The two monks were struck with awe by the saying ‘The wind is moving’. Why can’t I feel the same way as they did?”

Master: “Because you think that he said ‘The mind is moving'”

Student: “What did he say?”

Master: “The mind is moving.”

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Commentary:

Don’t regard an order to get out of a house as an invitation to go into another house.

The wise never enter any other house after getting out of a house.

You should stand alone in a barren field without any shelter to enter.

©Boo Ahm

 

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

Buddha, Buddhism, emptiness, empty, illusion, Meditation, Photography, root, self, true self, Truth, Uncategorized, Zen

Q317. What does ‘an illusion is the true-self’ mean?

A. An illusion is to the true-self as wind is to air. We divide air into many kinds of winds such as breeze, gale, waft, gust and so on. No matter how many kinds of winds there may be, the essence of them is the same, air. In the same way, we divide the true-self, emptiness into many forms by drawing imaginary lines or through labelling, and the forms are referred to as illusions. However many forms there may be, the essence of them is the true-self, emptiness. Therefore, it means that all illusions are true-self, just as all winds are air.

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Student: “What is the true-self?”

Master: “An illusion is.”

Student: “What is an illusion?”

Master: “The true-self is.”

Student: “What is the difference between them?”

Master: “The difference is not between them at all but only in your view because they are one.”

 

 

©Boo Ahm

 

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

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

Q238. What is the difference between ‘form’ and ‘illusion’?

A. Form can be likened to wind, and emptiness to air. All winds, whether breezes or storms, are the actions of air. There can’t be any wind which is not air. Wind is air, and air is not separate from wind. Form is to emptiness as wind is to air. All forms, whether bad or good, or moral or immoral, are action of emptiness, the true-self.

When we know the truth that form is the action of emptiness, the true-self, just as wind is the action of air, form is called form. When we are ignorant of this truth and believe that form is self-existing apart from emptiness, then form is referred to as illusion. This is like believing that wind is one thing and air is another. What is form to the enlightened is an illusion to the unenlightened.

The purpose of Zen meditation is to see everything as it is, which means to see everything in both ways, as form and emptiness at the same time, just like we know that wind and air are the same when wind brushes against our skin.

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Student: “How can I avoid illusions and see my true-self, Sir?”

Master: “Why do you hope to see your true-self while trying to avoid It?”

 

 

©Boo Ahm

 

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

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

Q237. Student: “All forms return to emptiness. Where does emptiness return to?”

A. Master: “Waves never leave the sea.”

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Commentary:

Winds never return to air because they never leave air.

 

 

©Boo Ahm

 

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

Buddha, Buddhism, Enlightenment, master, Meditation, Mind, root, self, student, true self, Truth, Uncategorized, Zen

Q224. Does a plant have the true-self?

A. When you are not enlightened, you are not even sure whether or not you have the true-self, because you have not realised it through experience. When you are enlightened, there is nothing that doesn’t have the true-self since you realise that everything is from the true-self and non-dual. Everything, whether living or non-living, is to the true-self as all winds, whether a breeze or a storm, are to air.

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Student: “What is the true-self like?”

Master: “All you see and hear is nothing but the true-self. It is the way it is.”

Student: “Why can’t I see the true-self instead of things?”

Master: “It’s because your eyes and ears are covered with the names of things.”

 

 

©Boo Ahm

 

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

Buddha, Buddhism, emptiness, empty, illusion, Meditation, Mind, root, self, student, true self, Truth, Uncategorized, Zen

Q216. Student: “What is the true-self?”

A. Master: “Behold the puppets prancing on the stage, and see the man behind who pulls the strings.”

Student: “Who is the man?”

Master: “He is pulling the strings now.”

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Commentary:

Seeing leaves fluttering, we can be aware of the existence of wind.

Seeing a feather flying in the air, we can be conscious of the existence of a bird.

 

©Boo Ahm

 

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

Buddha, Buddhism, Enlightenment, final goal, Koan, master, Meditation, Mind, mindful, Practice, root, self, true self, Truth, Uncategorized, Zen

Q172. Is mind different from thoughts?

A. Thoughts are to mind what winds are to the air and waves are to the sea. In other words, thoughts are the actions of mind, and thoughts are temporary but mind is permanent. In brief, mind is the root of all thoughts, and is called true-self as well in Buddhism.

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When we can see mind, the root of thoughts clearly, we can control thoughts, but most people are controlled by them because they cannot see mind for thoughts. After all, we become enslaved by the thoughts produced by us. Zen meditation is a practice to see mind.
©Boo Ahm

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

Buddha, Buddhism, emptiness, final goal, Happiness, illusion, Koan, master, Meditation, Mind, mindful, mindfulness, Practice, true self, Truth, Uncategorized, Zen

Q168. Student: “What are you when your body is not you?”

A. Master: “True-self.”
Student: “Could you open your mind and show it to me?”
Master: “Of course. Flower. Sky. Tree. Stone.”

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Commentary:
A breeze stirs revealing the air.
The inside of the air is showing clearly.
Is it air or wind?
©Boo Ahm

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

Enlightenment, Meditation, Mind, mindful, mindfulness, Zen

Q119. Does my mind use me or do I use my mind?

A. Does the air move the wind or does the wind move the air? The air is to the wind what your mind is to you. You and your mind are not two but one just like the air and the wind are. As the action of the air is the wind, so the action of your mind is you.

What matters here is that you think that you are separate from your mind and that you should cultivate your mind, just like taming a wild animal. Trying to cultivate your mind can make matters worse because it implies that you and your mind are separate from each other and the former tries to tame the latter. This is a very common mistake that people make because they don’t know what their mind is.

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You should try to know what your mind is before trying to control it. How can you do that while not knowing what it is? The moment you realise your mind, you will feel oneness with your mind just as the wind is with the air.

©Boo Ahm

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway