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Zen Buddhism

Essay by   •  December 19, 2010  •  Essay  •  302 Words (2 Pages)  •  939 Views

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THE essence of Zen Buddhism consists in acquiring a new

viewpoint of looking at life and things generally. By this I

mean that if we want to get into the inmost life of Zen, we

must forgo all our ordinary habits of thinking which control

our everyday life, we must try to see if there is any other

way of judging things, or rather if our ordinary way is

always sufficient to give us the ultimate satisfaction of our

spiritual needs. If we feel dissatisfied somehow with this

life, if there is something in our ordinary way of living that

deprives us of freedom in its most sanctified sense, we must

endeavour to find a way somewhere which gives us a sense

of finality and contentment. Zen proposes to do this for us

and assures us of the acquirement of a new point of view in

which life assumes a fresher, deeper, and more satisfying

aspect. This acquirement, however, is really and naturally

the greatest mental cataclysm one can go through with in

life. It is no easy task, it is a kind of fiery baptism, and one

has to go through the storm, the earthquake, the over-

throwing of the mountains, and the breaking in pieces of the

rocks.

This acquiring of a new point of view in our dealings with

life and the world is popularly called by Japanese Zen

students 'satori' (wu in Chinese). It is really another name

for Enlightenment (annuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi), which is the

word used by the Buddha and his Indian followers ever

since his realization under the Bodhi-tree by the River

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