A samurai once asked Zen Master Hakuin where he would go after he died. Hakuin answered 'How am I supposed to know?' 'How do you not know? You're a Zen master!' exclaimed the samurai. 'Yes, but not a dead one,' Hakuin answered.
James: What Master Hakuin understood was that so long as this samurai was obsessed with what happens after death, (if anything) he might as well already be dead. In clinging to worries about death, he is dead to the present moment. Therefore, the samurai is not able to experience and enjoy the vibrant life that is already unfolding around him!! Why concern yourself with an existence after this one if you're not even experiencing the current one?!! This is why Zen doesn't focus too intently on afterlife.
It advises people to live each moment as though it were their last, which leads us to live a life of greater awareness of our actions; and that causes less suffering for us and those around us. In this way, we will live a healthier spiritual life to where any concerns or fears about a possible afterlife will naturally fade away.
PHOTO: The altar where I meditate at home.
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
~may all beings know peace~