Buddhism, Mind, mindful, mindfulness, Practice, Truth, Zen

Q57. Do we have to do away with all illusions in order to see the truth?

A. Absolutely not. You should know that escaping from illusions means not removing or destroying them but realising that all illusions are also the truth. We are apt to judge what seems, or sounds nice or holy, to be the truth and what seems bad or ugly to be an illusion. In fact everything we can see, hear, feel and imagine, whether good or bad and right or wrong, is the truth. There is nothing but the truth, which we can’t escape from even a moment. Not seeing it is much more difficult than seeing it.

Why can’t we see it? It is because our eyes are covered with the truth and not because it is too far away. In other words it is so near us that we don’t recognise it.

Don’t look away from illusions for the truth. That is to go after illusions turning your back on the truth. The truth is not separate from illusions. What you regard as illusions is the truth and what you look upon as the truth is illusions. Don’t try to do away with illusions. You can’t make it because they are not illusions but the truth. People who strive to eliminate illusions are those who don’t know what they are. How can you remove them when you don’t know what they are? Faced with what you think is an illusion, trace back to the root which the idea of the illusion stems from instead of making efforts to get rid of it. That is the very Zen practice.

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Never avoid illusions.
Never go after the truth.
If you stop avoiding and going after,
You will be motionless.
That is the way the truth is.

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway.

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