Zen Essay On Zen

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Zen Essay The essence of Zen is to see into the nature of one’s being. Due to the egotistical nature of humans, achieving this is not as simple as it seems. Humans also constantly go into new situations or events with predispositions and concepts that cloud the mind and prevent it from being open. The mind is also generally imbued with thoughts of the self. All day, humans are constantly talking to themselves, thinking about how a certain situation will affect them or what they need to do next in order to benefit themselves. Instead, Zen teaches to strip away this egotistical bondage with the self in order to see the raw nature of one’s being‒it is in this that one consummates a true open mind. This then relates to many Christian traditions, including Jesus’ core teaching of giving up everything and following him. Humans must give up their egos in order to follow the teachings of Christ and find their true natures. The problem with finding one’s true nature is that it “lies hidden behind a tangle of thoughts and feelings, and behind the personality, or ego, that we mistakenly think we are” (Text 156). Many times, humans are so caught up in themselves, thinking “what do I want” or “how can I approach this situation so that it benefits me”. In doing this, humans begin to put on different ‘masks’ for different situations. The core of Zen teaching is to take off these masks and to dig down into discovering one’s raw human nature. At the heart of Zen experience is that of a ‘beginner’s mind’. This seems to be difficult to achieve because “most people have their ‘cups’ (minds) filled with opinions and speculations, views born of logical thinking and of affirmations and denials regarding the nature of things” (Text 157). For exampl... ... middle of paper ... ...In fact, being a Zen Christian would only enhance the ideals of both religions. Perhaps if Christians practiced the Zen tradition of ‘zazen’ (meditation), they would be able to become less self-centered and thus would be more willing to be ardent followers of Christ. When done correctly, meditation strips away the “me” and focuses on the “we”. Because the principle of Christianity is being united in Christ, finding the “we”is imperative. Furthermore, Zen focuses on the here and now. Mixing this Zen ideal with Christ’s teachings leads to the very duty of Christians‒to love your neighbor as yourself. Because of this, it is very possible to exercise Christian ideals in the here and now. It simply requires taking the time to clear one’s mind and deplete one’s ego so as to find one’s true nature and learn to live for others. In doing this, one can become a Zen Christian.
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