Lessons from Zen

Zen has the advantage of teaching us that reality is not found in concepts but in experience. 

Many of the sayings of Zen sound wrong or nonsensical. They contradict the ordinary way of seeing things in order to free us from bondage to concepts.

We spend most of our lives living in our heads rather than living our life. 

There are many lessons we can learn from Zen.

First, we can learn that knowing the scriptures is not enough. Knowing the truth is not the same as practicing the truth. And the point is to practice the truth.

Second, the most important lessons are not taught by words, but by experience. There is simply no substitute for seeing for yourself. A person with an experience is never at the mercy of a person with a concept.

Third, Zen teaches us that the point of Buddhism is practice. Sit down and shut up. Don't talk it. Do it. Get the experience and you no longer need the concept.

Fourth, knowing a concept is not the same as knowing the reality. Concepts can be both bridges and walls depending on our attachment to them. Their walls when we attached to them and they are bridges when we don't.

Jay Forrest Blog