Awakening is Surrender


The Buddha

Buddhism is full of paradoxes, but so is human life. Balancing the paradoxes is the key to the best possible outcome.

On the one hand, we talk a lot about the path. The Buddha himself described the Noble Eightfold Path.

On the other hand, the key to success, if we can call it that, is just to give up. The right answer is always right in front of us. Our mistake lies in constantly trying to find it anywhere and everywhere else.

Korean Zen master Seung Sahn has a book under the title, Wanting Enlightenment is a Big Mistake. When the editor took the first copy of the book to the master himself, he fanned through it and told the editor to throw it into the garbage. He said people would read the words, the “demon” words, and the words would distract them. I shudder to think what he would say about this blog.

I keep posting because I feel certain that, while “Zen Master ‘Seung Sahn is right, he is making claims that would likely never occur to most people in the United States without a relatively simple introduction to Buddhist, um, thought from a recognizably American voice.

Such is the particularity of human ignorance here. We are not unique. We are in the same situation as the humans the Buddha strove to teach in India in the fifth century BCE.

So stop. Stop reading, stop thinking, stop searching, and find it right in front of you.

But keep meditating.

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William B. Turner

Uppity gay, Buddhist, author, historian.