Square Zen

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(published March 1962, Wind Bell #4)

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Checked by Gordon Geist 1999


File name: 62-03-00: Square Zen see 61-12-00. This is an abbreviated version.; #no-audio, #approximate-date


The idea of emptiness does not mean annihilation. It means selfless original enlightenment, which gives rise to every existence. Once selfless enlightenment takes place, every subjective and objective existence resumes its own nature (Buddha-nature) and becomes valuable jewels to the person who has attained it and to us all.

In Mahayana Buddhism every teaching is supposedly based on the idea of emptiness. The Tendai Sect emphasizes the Lotus Sutra, the highest of all the sutras. The Kegon Sect bases their teaching on the Kegon Sutra, the first sutra told by Buddha about his original enlightenment. However, each sutra has its own incomparable absolute value when it is accepted under special circumstances.

Original enlightenment makes this acceptance possible. How we accept is the practice of zazen. This practice is called "the wondrous practice." Oneness of enlightenment and wondrous practice is the ultimate purport of Zen Buddhism as well as Buddhism in general.