Buddha, Buddhism, illusion, love, master, Meditation, One, Photography, student, true self, Truth, Uncategorized, Zen

Q358. Is love just a label and not actually the true Self?

A. The truth is that there is nothing that is not the true Self. At the same time, it is also true that everything is an illusion. Whether everything is an illusion, or the true-self, depends on whether or not you can see it as it is. When you can see everything as it is, everything is the true-self, but when you can’t see things as they are, everything is an illusion.


When you can see things as they are, your love is the action of the true-self. Then your love is referred to as compassion, true love or wise love.

A couple enjoy the sunset off the Keralan coast, India.. Image shot 01/2007. Exact date unknown.


However, when you can’t see things as they are, both you and the object of your love are illusions. In other words, when you don’t know what you are and what the object of your love is, how can you say that you love someone or something without knowing who loves whom or what?


Then you are said to be attached to and deluded by an illusion, love, which can often lead you to frustration and unhappiness.


Student: “May I, as a practitioner, love?”

Master: “I don’t tell you to not love but advise you to know who loves whom.”


©Boo Ahm


All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

Bible, illusion, love, meditaion, Photography, Religion, root, true self, Truth, Uncategorized, Zen

Q340. In the Bible, Proverbs 13:20 it says “You are the company that you keep.” What is this warning about?

A. If you are the company you keep, the company you keep is you. In other words, you are one with the company you keep. Whoever you keep as company, your company is you. Whoever you meet, a wise man, foolish man, a thief, a robber or an imposter, he is you. If he is a thief, he is a thief because you think he is a thief. If he is a wise man, he is a wise man because you think so. In other words, seeing a person as a thief means having an illusion of a thief in your mind.



This scripture means, therefore, that you should not discriminate when you meet people but see them as you or one with you. When you become one with others and other things, you can love your neighbours as yourself.


©Boo Ahm


All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

Buddha, Buddhism, desire, master, Meditation, Mind, Photography, Practice, Religion, self, student, true self, Truth, Uncategorized, Zen

Q308. Desire comes from the thoughts we cling to. What is the difference between desire and a goal? Humanity will never progress without having a goal to grow in life, which is the law of nature.

A. A goal comes from desire. It is a concrete expression of your desire. I never tell you not to have desire or a goal in your life. As you said, your desire is the motive to develop the world into a better place to live in. You love your family, and your goal in life is to make enough money to help them to enjoy an easy and comfortable life. Love is also another expression of desire.


The key problem is that we don’t control desire but are controlled by it. And we have seen what miserable and even disastrous things it can lead us to do when our life is run by our desire.



What I mean is not that desire is bad and that you should not have it, but that we should be able to drive our desire instead of being driven by it through realising the root of your desire. When, aware of the root of your desire, you can run your desire instead of being run by it, your desire is called compassion. What Zen says is not that we should not have desire but that you should turn it into compassion, wise desire.

©Boo Ahm


All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

Buddhism, compassion, Enlightenment, final goal, Meditation, true self, Truth, Uncategorized, Zen

Q143. Is enlightenment the final end or a process?

A. To those who are not enlightened, it can seem to be the final end of Zen meditation as well as a process for wisdom and compassion for others. However, to the enlightened, it can be said to be the final end because they feel oneness or non-duality.



After enlightenment, whatever they may do, whether wise or compassionate, it is the action of the truth. They do all things without doing since they are free from all illusions. Wisdom is not wisdom any more, and compassion is not compassion any more but an illusion to them. There is nothing else other than the truth after enlightenment. So enlightenment is the final end.

©Boo Ahm

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway