An Account On Zen Buddhism And Contemporary Western Society

2364 words - 9 pages

In order to explain emptiness one must understand the principle of living in the moment, “rather than postponing life to some moment in the future”, Zen is practiced through the present moment, and what one derives from those experiences (Koller, 282). Dogen states that an individual must “Put [ones] whole mind into the practice of the Way. [Remembering] that [one] [is] only alive today in [the] moment”, which emphasizes the concept of oneness between experience and intellect (Koller, 282). One should not hinge on the past, or blindly dwell in the future; this will ultimately cause suffering to arise. These are merely, “delusions” until one garners the understanding and, “realization”, or form to construct the proper platform for life according to Zen (Genjo-Koan, 41[83]). The only way to break free of a dualistic mind and understand the quintessential concept of Zen, emptiness, is by breaking free of attachment. Through the embodiment of emptiness, one can finally see into true reality and understand the oneness of the universe. Through realization of this wholeness, one can expel the profound level of suffering experienced in life, by ordinary people. According to Zen, these sufferings are terribly misconceived, only when one lets go completely will the, “the fullness of life” be seen, and the individual be brought out of this fake sense of reality.
In Dogen’s Genjo-Koan he states, “When the myriad dharma’s are each not of the self, there is no delusion and no realization, no Buddha’s and no ordinary being, no life and no death” (Genjo-koan, 83). Here one can see that the myriad dharma’s can be attributed to the vast number of delusions or attachments that one develops in life. These same dharmas produce some form of suffering often times because a person tends to strive for certain things, whether it is a past experience or something that is wanted. The ordinary individual allows their, “discursive mind [to] divide reality into segments, which it then arranges into objects, connected to each other and to the subject through a series of relationships created by the mind” meaning that these different layers are mentally crafted, constituting a false reality (Koller 284). Emptiness is wholeness, this oneness is inaccessible when these delusions create a series of mental divisions, blocking out true reality. Continuing on, emptiness is the realization of reality in its entirety, without misconception, it is the state in which one realizes there are, ‘no Buddha’s and no ordinary beings, no life and no death” but merely a universal wholeness (Genjo-Koan, 41[83]. Once this state is realized, one must integrate this so called enlightenment into every hour, even minute of daily proceeds. This leads to the true state of Zen enlightenment, because one has let the world fall away, allowing the wholeness of the universe to be realized. Koller states, “to be human is to be an undivided whole in which the spiritual, mental, and physical totally...

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