Buddha, Buddhism, emptiness, empty, Enlightenment, final goal, illusion, Meditation, moment, now, Practice, root, self, Truth, Uncategorized, Zen

Q326. Should we see worldly life as an illusion and abandon, or be indifferent to it in order to attain enlightenment?

A. The purpose of Zen meditation is not to make people belittle, become indifferent to, or abandon worldly life but to help them to realise the truth that the realities of the life they are facing every day is no other than the heaven or the paradise they dream of. If you happen to have the slightest thought that, after enlightenment, you may be someone else, or somewhere else, other than exactly where you are now, you are far from the right way of practice.



Zen is telling us why we can’t see and how we can see the paradise that is spread out before us.  We can’t see it since our views are clouded by labels, which are called illusions. Zen doesn’t tell people to make light of or abandon worldly life, but advises them to try to see beyond the labels of worldly life and teaches how to do it. Zen encourages people to enjoy the eternal happiness that they have not recognised so far. To try to see beyond the labels when seeing things is Zen practice.


©Boo Ahm


All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

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

Q202. Is it okay to go on with my worldly job in order to make money, while seeking to attain enlightenment?

A. Enlightenment is to realise that everything is empty and so there is nothing to gain or lose. That means that there is nothing that you should or shouldn’t do in the world. Zen meditation is to try realise the truth.

The key point is not what you are doing for a living, but whether or not you try to realise the truth in the right way, that is, try to realise what you are when your body is not you. If you try to realise what makes your body do your work while doing it, that is good practice. In terms of that, your job can be a good gate to enlightenment. Work and practice are one to a good Zen man.




Student: “What is the true-self?”

Master: “It is what is asking me the question now.”


©Boo Ahm


All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway