Essence as Light

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Question #8
Does the AIA website have any connection to Zen Buddhism?

Formally, no. At the level of experience, yes.

The Zen tradition refers to the experience of "kensho" as "insight into the essence of one's being." From my point of view, this experience of Insight transcends the boundaries of religious and cultural traditions in showing up as the innate expression of Reality within the human experience.

At the same time, though, the Zen tradition is one of the very best in evoking and conveying many of the essential qualities of the "awakening" experience, including:    

  • its ineffability,    
  • its paradoxical nature,    
  • its intimate connection with the commonplace
        and the ordinary, and in many cases    
  • the absolute suddenness with which it strikes....

    For this reason, I do not hesitate to borrow heavily from the literature of the tradition, but I am not an advocate of the practice of zazen (seated meditation), and I do not routinely use traditional Zen koans (profound "riddles" designed to confound the mind and trigger the awakening of Insight)....

    1999, Metta Zetty
    All Rights Reserved.

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