Learning About Zen Spirituality

Translator: Aseel Obeidi Auditor: Nada Qanbar How do we explain what can not be explained? This question inspired many legends, Religious practices, And scientific investigations. But adherents of Buddhism (Zen) who practiced their rites across China from the ninth to thirteenth centuries They asked another question .. Why do we need an explanation? For these monks, the blind pursuit of the answers was a sin to be eliminated, And learn to accept the secrets of existence It was the right way to enlighten. However, resisting a desire to explain what cannot be explained can be difficult. So to help live with these secrets, Meditating monks used a collection of about 1,700 thought experiments Philosophical mysterious and confusing called (Cowan). The name, originally (Kun-an) in Chinese, translates to “public record or case.” But unlike real-world court cases, the Al-Quan group was intentionally vague. They were strange, fictional, and constantly contradicting each other. On the surface, it contained wisdom about the monastic law of Buddhism (Zen). Like living without a physical or mental attachment to anything, Avoiding binary thinking, And realizing the true “nature of the Buddha” of the individual.

But by putting those lessons in the context of illogical stories, Tests have come to help practicing monks learn to live with mystery and contradiction. By trying to solve these confusing issues, Meditating monks were able to absorb and practice Buddhist teachings. Hoping that they will give up looking for one correct answer And make a spiritual achievement. Since these things are not intentionally explainable, It would be misleading to try to decode these stories ourselves. But like the monks before us We can try to solve it together, And consider how resistant it is to simple explanations. Here is this (koan) that explains the principle of non-attachment. There are two monks, Tansan and Aikido, traveling together on a muddy road They see in front of them an attractive passenger who is unable to cross the muddy road.

(Tansan) politely offers her help, Carrying a traveler traveling on his back crosses the street Then he put it on the floor without any word. (Aikido) was shocked. According to monastic law, monks are not supposed to approach women, Not to mention touching a beautiful stranger. After miles of walking, Aikido can no longer restrain his anger. “How do you get pregnant with that woman?” (Tansan) smiled, saying, “You left the traveler there. Do you still carry it?” Like all types of koan, this story has many interpretations. But one famous explanation suggests That even though he is not physically induced to travel, Aikido violated monastic law by “attaching” to women mentally.

This kind of paradox Which is located within the gray area between the text and the spirit of the law It was common in (Quan) groups. In addition to exploring mystery, Quan often ridiculed the characters That claims to fully understand the world around it. Examples include three monks They are discussing a temple flag fluttering in the air. The first monk refers to science as a moving banner, While the second monk insists that they do not see the movement of science, But the wind blows. They continue arguing until a third monk finally intervenes “It is neither the movement of science nor the wind blowing, Rather, it is the movement of your minds! ” One explanation for this Quan is researching the alleged wisdom of the two opposing monks – The first stresses the importance of the visible world, The second prefers a deeper knowledge that we can infer from that world. But each monk clung to his own “answer.” Blind him from the other side’s point of view. They disagree with a basic principle of Buddhism: moving away from binary thinking. The third monk describes their conflict as cognitive conflict Both controversial monks are unable to see the big picture.

Of course, all of these explanations just indicate how to try to solve this (koan). Not the wisdom of the practicing monks who were before us, Nor are the characters supposed to be wise in these stories It can solve it for you. This is because the purpose of this koan is not to find a simple solution. Rather, he did the struggle himself to try to solve these contradictory puzzles That challenges our desire to reach an answer, Our understanding of the same understanding.

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