Buddha, Buddhism, Enlightenment, final goal, illusion, Meditation, Mind, Practice, root, self, student, true self, Truth, Uncategorized, Zen

Q241. Is it necessary to practice Zen meditation for many years in order to attain enlightenment? How can I, a Westerner, expect to achieve enlightenment?

A. Nobody knows how long it will take for you to attain enlightenment. It may take some time, or you may get enlightened at the sound of birds tomorrow morning or at a word of my talk during the next retreat. However, don’t be impatient but pay attention only to your question. Impatience won’t help with but will disturb your practice by causing you to make more illusions. However, you should not be too relaxed. Practice just like a hen incubates eggs.

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You must remember that everything is not dual but one. We are divided into a Westerner and an Easterner by our discrimination. They are only imaginary lines or labels produced by us. They are referred to as illusions because they are empty. The purpose of Zen meditation is to remove such illusions. Why do you keep the illusion, Westerner? That is going against your practice. Enlightenment is just to remove all the labels attached to you. Thinking that you can’t attain enlightenment because you are a Westerner is like thinking that Koreans can’t attain enlightenment because they are not Indian like the Buddha.

 

©Boo Ahm

 

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

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