Zen is an alternative way of seeing things, a different perspective.

For example, there is the usual way of seeing a tree and then there is another way, the Zen way of seeing a tree.  Zen is a state of consciousness.  It seems to me that most people are far from it.  However a lack of insight into it is no proof that it does not exist.  It is only because of not being aware and not trying to find Zen that it does not reveal itself.  Alcohol and drugs can alter the way the mind sees things and so can Zen.

To see an example of different perceptions of the same thing, get a pen and some paper and draw a cube.  Look at it.  There is the three dimensional cube.  Keep on looking at it.  What you are seeing changes.  It  no longer appears to be a cube, but seems to be flat, yet it is the same thing but seen in a different way.

Zen Buddhism is not an escape from things that are a part of existence such as growing old and dying.  Even enlightened zen masters eat, sleep, grow old and die.  Zen is an escape from suffering caused by things that are a part of existence.  The reason is that it is a certain kind of perception of things that causes suffering.  This kind of perception needs to be replaced by Zen for suffering to cease.

Zen  is an escape from all kinds of suffering.  Some of the ways the seeker can find it are by meditating, thinking and reading.  Words can be used to guide the seeker to Zen.  I would describe the usual way of seeing things as conceptional and the Zen way as non-conceptional.  Being in Zen is like no longer being locked up in a cage.

One way the seeker can find Zen is by questioning and observing how things are.  What follows are examples of this and how words can be used to guide the seeker to it.  What follows might seem "ridiculous", but it is this " ridiculous" that challenges the usual way of perception and creates a revolution in the mind of the seeker.

The seeker walks over fields of green grass.  The colour of grass is green or is it?  Is it the grass that is green or the green that is green?

The seeker  stands on top of a mountain and sees a vast view.  The seeker notices a hill, a house, a road, a tree.  All seem to be different in appearance. But in Zen Buddhism they are all the same.

The seeker  looks in the mirror once to see the seeker.  To see the seeker the Zen Buddhism way is not to see the seeker.  The seeker and not the seeker are the same.  Again the seeker looks in the mirror, only to find the image itself is pure Zen.

It is raining.  What does the seeker do to stop the rain?  The seeker does nothing outwardly, but sees the rain the Zen way.  No need for an umbrella for in enligtenment  there is no difference between rain and not rain.

The seeker bumps into a solid wall.  The wall crumbles into Zen, and the seeker goes forward.  In Zen Buddhism there is no physical boundary between the truth and not the truth.

The seeker tries to open the door using many keys, but it is only the Zen key that opens the door to enlightenment for in Zen Buddhism there is no physical boundary between the truth and not the truth.

The seeker stands by a tree.  The wind seems to move the leaves and branches of the tree, but in it is only the seeker who moves the leaves and branches of the tree.


The seeker walks along the path to get to the truth, but the path takes the seeker nowhere, for in Zen Buddhism there is no destiny.  The beginning, middle, and end are all the same, just Zen.

Many stars shine high above.  How many stars are there? A number is not the answer.  Zen is the answer.  Suddenly the stars move at a great pace together,  merging as one big mass of light.  This is like enlightenment as it merges all the concepts of the mind together to make Zen.

There is the painting with houses, roads, sky and figures.  The paint is completely wiped away to reveal Zen.

Going  forward is going backward and going backward is going forward.  Today is Monday, tomorrow is Monday, the day after is Monday too.  Tomorrow is yesterday and yesterday is today. 

The reader asks what is Zen Buddhism?  The writer says what Zen Buddhism is, is just as much not Zen as what Zen Buddhism is not, for what is Zen Buddhism is and what it is not  are concepts of the not Zen.


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