Way Psychotherapy Enneagram
thefocusingspace Christopher McLean Poems
Traditionally Zen is a form of Buddhism that strictly emphasises
'sitting meditation' for the realisation of Buddhist truths, particularly for realising
the truth of no-self, emptiness, and the uncreated Mind. Zen
is also a form of Buddism that emphasises the originally pure nature of the mind, much as
other Mahayana schools of Buddhism. As Bodhidharma, who is thought of as the first
Chinese teacher of Ch'an (Jap: Zen), said:
Zen Buddhism has gained a lot of popularity in the West partly because of this emphasis on the here and now. It is very simple and straightforward.
Zen teachings are said to be 'non-dual', emphasising that our usual way of being is like living in a trance of dualism. The philosophy of emptiness - no subject, no object - has become the hallmark of Zen teachings. (It should be said, however, that in calling into question the traditional, egological subject-object split, Zen is no different to other forms of Buddhism).
In Zen there is an emphasis on the interdependence of body and mind. 13th cent. Japanese Zen master, Dogen Kigen:
Zen Buddhism affirms the body as the means of our self-realisation. It is, perhaps, for this reason that so many westerners have found Zen attractive as a philosophy and spiritual practice. From the Zen point of view, to live the body's life fully is to be self-realised:
In Zen practice freedom comes when identification with the body and body-image is ended; this is to transcend the 'fabricated body' and realise the 'true body' of grass, trees, and wall rubble; wind, rain, water and fire. "The Buddha-body", says Dogen, "is the manifesting body, and there is always a body manifesting Buddha-nature."
In the teachings of the Zen masters the Buddhist teaching of 'dependent-origination' takes on a decided ecological flavour:
To be fully present in "the immediate presencing here and now of being-time," Dogen said, is to realise the presence-time of all life, "As self and other are both times, practice and realization are times; entering the mud, entering the water, is equally time." (Dogen, Being Time)
We cannot know the Buddha-nature through the sense-seeking ways of our ordinary individual mind:
When most people hear
So the task, as Zen conceives it, is to simply be attentive to our ordinary lives, becoming more and more aware of the delusions that we live by, and hence, while not suppressing the flow of an imaginary film that we mistake for 'self and world' , not depending on it either. As someone said, "Enlightenment is an accident, and practice makes us accident-prone". So, practice won't free us - only realisation can do that - but without practice one is likely to remain stuck in the cyclic existence of delusory consciousness.
Way Psychotherapy Enneagram
Christopher McLean Poems thefocusingspace