Q286. Masters tell us to discard our ‘I’. How can I do it?

A. They mean that you should eliminate the illusions of you, that is, all the labels attached to you, or all the words used to describe your identity. This is because all suffering is from your mistaking the labels attached to you as you and at the same time being attached to them.

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When you are deluded by labels, like this, they are referred to as illusions. The final goal of Zen is to realise that labels are not real but only imaginary lines and to see what you are like free from labels. That is called seeing your true-self, or attaining enlightenment.

 

Student: “How can I discard my ‘I’?”

Master: “You should know that all you believe to be you is not you but just an illusion.”

 

 

©Boo Ahm

 

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

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