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.

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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

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