Do you believe in Zen?

Example

Real Prosperity

A rich man asked Sengai to write something for the continued prosperity of his family so that it might be treasured from generation to generation.

Sengai obtained a large sheet of paper and wrote: "Father dies, son dies, grandson dies."

The rich man became angry. "I asked you to write something for the happiness of my family! Why do you make such a joke of this?"

"No joke is intended," explained Sengai. "If before you yourself die your son should die, this would grieve you greatly. If your grandson should pass away before your son, both of you would be broken-hearted. If your family, generation after generation, passes away in the order I have named, it will be the natural course of life. I call this real prosperity."

15 Answers

Relevance
  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I can't really catch the exact meaning of the story,but to me Zen or other religious beliefs are interesting and useful as long as one does not become too obsessed by it.

    • Log in to reply to the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    Yep, but you're preaching to the converted here. There is a similar teaching in Taoism.

    There's a great one about a well that stood between two towns. It was known as "the fresh well" because it always had fresh water. Then the water turned bad, so they called it "The Smelly Well". So they went down the well and found a dead body at the bottom, so they called it "The Murderous Well". When the body was returned to a distant town, they found out that the man was a thief and murderer. And from that day on it was known as "The Well of Justice".

    • Log in to reply to the answers
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Zen is just plain fun. And neat, too. Every time I clean out out cat litter boxes, I think of the monks raking the sand in the Rinzai gardens. I try not to leave any noticeable patterns, but you will remember the rakes they use leave these most perfect parallel ripples around the rocks in the large rectangular gardens. Zen is so much process... if you get into having an attitude about it all, but to apprehend Zen on the level of its initial inception is just sheer joy and a quick way to let yourself off the hook if your disposition is upsetting to you. It is the great "off switch: to uninformed or upsetting thought. Zen. The master takes the limb and gives it a snap and the leaves drift down on the perfectly swept walkway... there: perfect. Love Zen. Have, for years. Don't have any thoughts about it, though. It's right there and I am right here talking to you and that's it about that, huh. - C.

    Source(s): When I was in prep school I got deeply into reading at Zen. But it was far more fun later to abandon all that I could recall about it and just hop on my bicycle and go riding. What is more Zen than that? As Paul Reps said: "Waterfall. No problem at all!" - C.
    • Log in to reply to the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    Zen is not really something you can 'believe in'.

    The Zen stories (like the one you quote) are one way to move towards enlightenment (satori). The example you give is a very straightforward one (I think!). Others can seem very obscure! 'Does a dog have Buddha-nature?' If you think there is a 'correct' answer, you are mistaken. Nevertheless, there IS a correct individual answer (for you) but finding it is very hard. You somehow need to transcend the chains of rational thought AND free your mind from mysticism. Zen is immediate: it is about the real here and now ('If you have eaten your rice, wash your bowl!'). It is a slap in the face. The shock of seeing reality clearly for the first time.

    Show me your original face.

    • Log in to reply to the answers
  • What do you think of the answers? You can sign in to give your opinion on the answer.
  • 1 decade ago

    Your example I read many years ago - and I still like it.

    However, your question is in error.

    You cannot NOT believe in Zen, just as you cannot NOT believe in Monday or Christmas. Zen is an abstract thought, concepts such as days of the week or periods are abstract which we give names to for convenience.

    One cannot believe in NOT believing, only in not agreeing to what others practise.

    Example:

    A man declares, 'I do not believe in violence.'

    A 2nd man steps up to him and strikes him hard, in the face, then he kicks him hard when he is down.

    The 2nd man bends down to the first and asks him,

    'There Sir, does that help convince you?''

    Regards

    Sash.

    • Log in to reply to the answers
  • I am doing the work on this subject since 25 yrs perfactly and then working is going on then why i will not believe . and if u tell any critical and too riski work u see how easily i can do than no question to unbeleave to zen

    Source(s): chand_tly2001@yahoo.com
    • Log in to reply to the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    That's a nice quote. But if you know anything about Zen you should know there is nothing in it for you to believe in. It has no scripture to be believed in or followed. It is about awareness or attention to what is and how one may open up in doing so.

    • Log in to reply to the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    No need to believe, I see the wisdom in the story.

    • Log in to reply to the answers
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    yeah!! kinda like when the World Series is over it's football season again... life is cos it is and like a cycle 'n' such.. GIANTS' FOOTBALL RULES!!

    • Log in to reply to the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    who is that

    • Log in to reply to the answers
Still have questions? Get answers by asking now.