Tuesday, September 6, 2016

“What is zen?”

What is zen?

Zen is the way to find a way.
It is the journey and the destination.
It is the empty cup’s emptiness.
It is the form of formlessness.
It is me.
And it is you.

But if you ask me again,
And I had to attempt an answer
That we could understand,

Then I would say
The essence of zen,
As I comprehend it, 

Is to firstly understand that
You and I are as perfect 
As the gods could make us,
But in spite of that perfection 
There will always be pain
And suffering in this world.

That is the way things are.

Thankfully, there is a way 
To reduce our worldly suffering,
And it is called zen.

With zen, we recognize
The interconnectedness of everything,
Past present future,
And realize that our actions 
Have karmic consequences.

What goes around comes around,
As they say,
So it pays therefore 
Not to be an asshole.

Then we remember
That everything 
Is changing all the time,
And nothing, good or bad, lasts forever.

Because if we accept the impermanence of everything, 
We can learn to unattach ourselves 
From the (merely temporary) things and ideas 
In the world around us,
Making them far less important, 
And with this un-attachment to unimportant things
Live a freer, happier life.

After all, 
Whoever said we didn’t
Deserve to be happy?
Not me.

Nor my zen.
For we must create our happiness,
Bringing it out from within.
It doesn’t just fall from the sky.

Loving people live in a loving world.
Hostile people live in a hostile world. 
Same world.

There’s other stuff too,
In this essence of zen.
The cultivation of a loving heart.
Compassion for all creatures.
Respect for the planet.
Respect for yourself.
Devotion to others.
Oh, and maybe vegetarianism too.
(Although this last is not strictly obligatory
In my personal essence of zen.)

But there’s no point
In listing anything else.
That’s probably enough for now.
Let me know when you’ve mastered these.

And I’ll think of some more.

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