Q226. How can I motivate myself to practise Zen when I feel that there is nothing to attain?

A. When we say that there is nothing to attain, this means that everything is so perfect that there is nothing to be desired. That is, there is nothing to attain because all is already yours. Our problem is that we are not aware of the truth and struggle to make our life perfect in our own way. In other words, we are like a rich beggar who is struggling for a living, not knowing that he has great wealth in his bank account.

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Student: “Sir, why is there nothing to attain?”

Master: “Because everything is already yours.”

Student: “Why do I have to practise Zen when there is nothing to attain?”

Master: “Because there is still something for you to attain.”

Student: “You said that there is nothing to attain because everything is already mine. Why do you say there is still something for me to attain now?”

Master: “Because you don’t know the fact that everything is already yours. The purpose of Zen is to enable you to confirm the fact that all is already yours. It is like no matter how much money you may have in your bank account, you can’t be said to be rich if you, not conscious of the fact that you have the money,  still struggle to make a living.”

 

©Boo Ahm

 

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

 

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