Why Zen?

I’m not interested in worshipping the Buddha or Bodhisattvas. I’m not even really all that interested in revering them.

When the Buddha attained awakening under the Bodhi tree he said, “I and all beings have attained Enlightenment.”
I want to actualize that statement. Zen isn’t about bowing to statues, it’s about bowing to our true nature.

I don’t want to follow the Buddha or anyone else. I seek what the Enlightened ones sought. Zen is about dwelling in this moment, rising above or stepping away from the delusions that are a constant part of our lives.

Bodhidharma, the man who brought Zen to China, said it was:
A special transmission outside the scriptures;

No dependence on words and letters;

Direct pointing to the mind;

Seeing into one’s nature and attaining Buddhahood.

Zen is not an intellectual study. It’s not something we learn about. It’s something we do, a direct pointing to our true nature. It’s just the practice of stopping our minds and seeing reality as it is.

Zen is an exploration into our true nature. For those of us that practice it involves stepping out of our thoughts and the labels we try to put on reality. It involves introspection and contemplation, going to the place where we are able to slow down our chaotic minds enough to explore the inner self.
In time, seeing our true nature can come naturally.

I can’t really tell you. I can only show you.

Come sit with me and see what it’s all about.

https://danielscharpenburg.com/zen-group/

 

Advertisements

About Daniel Scharpenburg

Daniel Scharpenburg is an independent dharma teacher living in Kansas City. He gives online teachings through the Open Heart Project, the largest virtual mindfulness community in the world. His writing has appeared in Lion's Roar, Patheos, Tattooed Buddha, and Elephant Journal.

4 Responses

  1. You know Daniel in Vajrayana Buddhism we do not bow to statues in the way you allude to. Statues, thangkas, and pictures are seen as a archetype symbol that awakens our Buddha nature deep from within they symbols are nothing more than our own Buddha nature. We are not bowing to anything external or separate we are in essence bowing to our selves. We also do not follow the Buddha, as he did not want followers he wanted contemporaries. We simply have the confidence that if he, a man, can do it so can we.
    But yes there are many that do as you say, but they do not take responsibility for themselves and like the Christians and Muslims they look outwards instead of inwards. This farsightedness is shortsighted, :), it will not lead to full development but it’s better than nothing.

    Yes Tibeten Buddhism is complicated, some minds or egos need a complex trick to fool them into understanding the co-emergent nature of everything or mahamudra. We also have many texts that point directly at the nature of mind written by such masters as Lama Shang, Tilopa, and the third Karmapa. If you have never read them I can only recommend it.

    As for praying, we leave that to the christians, we make wishes impersonal wishes for the benefit of all.

    I love you writing keep it up.

    QP

      1. Daniel, all the tools of Tibetan Buddha Dharma are metaphorical in nature. It is a path, albeit a complicated path, that one follows and at certain points, one must even let go of an old understanding in order to realise the next one. Perhaps metaphorical is not the best word as we are not just suggesting a resemblance of two concepts but actually seeing the inseparability or co-emergent nature of ourselves and said, statue, picture, or Lama. This is not an easy subject to explain in a few words, but if I can see something outside it must originate from within, might do.
        Of course, we are projecting on to everything we perceive. So did the Tibetans on the teachings of the Indian Mahasiddhas, and they on the teachings of the Buddha. Our projections are the result of countless aeons of impressions in mind that arise at any given point in time.
        As far as assuming that these things are not literal, I would argue that we try to see them as literal as possible. This is the horseshoe in the boxing glove so to speak. The core of most Tibetan Guru Yoga practices is to keep putting on the buddha mask every day until one day it is just part of us. If the Buddha could do it so can I.

        I am not entirely sure what you meant with “can the same be said for Tulkus as I have no direct experience as to how a Tulku might perceive something. Is that what you are getting at?

        Do you see similarities between Zen and Vajrayana Buddhism?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s