June 04, 2010
Few days back I came to read a little about Zen philosophy.
Here I'd like to share some basic thoughts about Zen-ism.
What is Zen?
Zen is short for Zen Buddhism.
It is sometimes called a religion and sometimes
called a philosophy. Choose whichever term you prefer;
it simply doesn't matter.
Historically, Zen Buddhism originates in the teachings of
Siddhartha Gautama. Around 500 B.C. he was a prince in India.
At the age of 29, deeply troubled by the suffering he saw
around him, he renounced his privileged life to seek
understanding. After 6 years of struggling as an ascetic he
finally achieved Enlightenment at age 35.
After this he was known as the
Buddha (meaning roughly "one who is awake"). In a nutshell,
he realized that everything is subject to change and that
suffering and discontentment are the result of attachment
to circumstances and things which, by their nature,
are impermanent. By ridding oneself of these attachments,
including attachment to the false notion of self or "I",
one can be free of suffering.
Here are some Zen thoughts which inspired me:
Be master of mind rather than mastered by mind.
Move and the way will open.
Throwing away Zen mind is correct Zen mind.
Before enlightenment; chop wood, carry water.
After enlightenment; chop wood, carry water.
Only keep the question,
"What is the best way of helping other people?"
A quote from one of Shunryu Suzuki’s book:
The purpose of studying Buddhism is not to study Buddhism
but to study ourselves. It is impossible to study ourselves
without some teaching… We need some teaching, but just by
studying the teaching alone, it is impossible to know what ‘I’
in myself am. Through the teaching we may understand our
human nature. But the teaching is not we ourselves; it is some
explanation of ourselves. So if you are attached to the teaching,
or to the teacher, you should leave the teacher, and you should
be independent. You need a teacher so that you can become
independent. If you are not attached to him[her],
the teacher will show you the way to yourself.