Q113. What is the middle path?

A. This is one of the most common misconceptions in Zen meditation or Buddhism. Most people interpret it as standing in the middle of both sides. They think, for instance, they should stand just in the middle of the right and the left without inclining toward either of them in order to keep the middle path. However, they are not in the middle path but are deceived by the illusions, the left and the right.

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The truth is that the middle path means standing where there is neither side. In brief, you can be said to be in the middle path when all illusions have disappeared because the right side and the left side, as well as the centre and the edge are all illusions. Therefore, once all illusions have disappeared, you don’t have to try to keep the middle path because you can’t leave the middle path even for a moment.

©Boo Ahm

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

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