Buddhism Basics page 18



The Dharma and Koans of Buddhism


ZEN MIND PUZZLES are a unique aspect of aspect of Chinese and Japanese Buddhism.

There are several paths or approaches to attaining enlightenment. During each of these paths, the Chan (Zen) Buddhists believe that an instantaneous enlightenment can turbo boost the Novice to the spiritual finish line.

These instantaneous enlightenments can happen when alone, when performing normal functions, or by the influence of a clever Zen Master.

There are historical accounts of many monks over the centuries. Some were enlightened by a shout, others by a smack on the head with a stick, while others broke through to enlightenment by abandoning their logical mind to a greater comprehension. This CHAN MIND is undisturbed by emotions and not distracted by details.

LSD was utilized by many of the 60s generation to accomplish this destruction of reality. This was when Zen Buddhism was first sought by the public.

The famous enlightenment question, “If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound if no one hears it?” Or “The sound of one hand clapping…”

However, no matter how clever these KUNG AN’s are, they were intended for one particular soul and designed to work in that particular moment of that particular person’s life. A year earlier it may not have inspired at all.

So, the Dharma of Buddhism has been declared by Buddha himself to be open for translation and interpretation…as long as it still works to inspire enlightenment.

Chan (Zen) Buddhism took this to the next level by prescribing enlightenment. Sadly though, every moment of every day of our lives contains the potential for enlightenment. To think that one day or inspiration will improve our enlightenment is like believing in drugs. True enlightenment is spontaneous in a True Mind of True Buddha Nature each moment of working, waiting, watching, walking, washing…

Zen must be natural. Zen must be inspired by current natural events and created from a natural mind. This is why Zen Masters are like the spirit of the forest. People bloom and life is invigorated where a Zen Master travels.

  Chinese chop of Shifu Zhen Shen-Lang
Buddha Zhen Shen-Lang
Patriarch, Shaolin Zen