Zen – The word evokes much meaning. This essay is written not as a fixed explanation of the word; it is written as a Zen meditation. As you read the words, try not to focus on the meaning or attempt to reason with the sentiments.
If you were to be a healer: the thought is to heal other people: or should you be a gardener healing the soil and plants? Or could you be an ecologist improving the environment and ecology?
How many different aspects of enlightenment does one ‘being’ know? The intellect overrides one’s original mind. As you think and consider any aspect of life: The perception is your own picture: clear: distorted: real or not. One could consider Zen is discovering enlightenment without the intervention of known thought.
You see a room: its simplicity is called Zen-like. There is no reality in Zen: The simplistic place without any pictures or reference points help the meditational aspect of Zen. One could meditate on the essence of the word being understanding life without the conceived ideas of others and entering your inner-self and thoughts without the external influences of experience. This could begin with a simple room: without ornament: Although an open space would represent Zen mediation or living in a better way.
The room which someone says is Zen-like is a material representation of the simplicity of the idea of Zen. And it falls short of the concept, not because of its simplicity: but because of its complexity. And yet the simple Zen room may provide a comparison to your own cluttered home or mind.
No mind is within Zen if there are comparisons or searching for clear answers. Within ‘or without?’ a Zen meditation there is a continuous stream of mediation without words. Words are seeds of the reason we look for answers. Logical thinking is for the daily exercises of material life. Zen is entering deep within: there is no answer: because there is no question.
This writer’s Zen is to be without opinion: where once there were too many. He could not see view-points would give him an identity as sure as his name. A thought which whispers through the corridors of the mind-scape does not need anything other than to explore. No name: no opinion: nothing:
There will be readers who disagree with these thoughts. And they are right to do so; they have their opinions. Opinions give an identity: With opinions people become ‘left’ ‘right’ ‘caring’ ‘selfish’ – to many the identity is more important than name: But to disagree means, there is comparison and belief: and this is a spider’s web of realisation! It is easy to become trapped with the words disagree – opinion or ‘the way’. For there are no words within a Zen meditation because words arise from questions: and Zen is to be without words.
It does not matter if Zen is considered: religion, philosophy or belief, use the word which feels right for your identity. One should explore the idea it does not matter. If I call the woman across the street beautiful, she may look in the mirror and believe she is ugly. She may have an ugly husband and know him to be the most handsome man on Earth. Her thoughts only matter to her. If a man is rich; how does his wealth affect you? An easy question to answer: If a man is poor; how does his poverty affect you? Not so easy to face the real truth: the reality is rich or poor: you would like to be without debt: you would not wish to be in debt.
People search for answers to simple words: the why who and purpose of life: I have no interest in the three words or questions. This lack of interest is not to say there is no responsibility or need to live by endeavour.
Some forty years ago a man came into the bar around eight most evenings. He ordered a beer and read his book. His name was Gil (short for Gilbert) he once told me being a train driver train was his ambition. “I love driving the train: only thing I ever wanted to do: right from the moment my father gave me the Hornby train set”. His wife worked at the station cafe. Lesley (their son) became a lawyer: when Gil died, he left hundreds of thousands of pounds, over fifty people attended his funeral.
No doubt in my mind, Gil understood Zen