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What is the meaning of the Zen quote: "Before Enlightenment chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment chop wood, carry water"?

Before Enlightenment, you hate your life. You chop wood and carry water, but secretly wish to get out of it all. You bear with these activities through habit and out of hopelessness, but you really ...
Andriy Volkov's user avatar
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13 votes
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What's the meaning of the Buddhist boy's message to Neo in the movie The Matrix?

It means that so-called reality is actually our interpretation. When our perspective changes our experienced reality changes. This is why the boy says, don't try to change reality (bend the spoon). ...
Andriy Volkov's user avatar
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10 votes

What is the meaning of the Zen quote: "Before Enlightenment chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment chop wood, carry water"?

I am not sure about the origin of this quote but possibly as it used as a Zen message it may have come from Bodhidharma. I am sure about its meaning however. It relates both to Enlightenment and ...
Thay Tam Thien's user avatar
8 votes

What is the meaning of the Zen quote: "Before Enlightenment chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment chop wood, carry water"?

"Chop wood and carry water" This was first told to me as a story. Here is an abbreviated version. A young boy became a monk. He dreamed of enlightenment and of learning great things. When ...
Cheiron's user avatar
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8 votes

What is the meaning of the Zen quote: "Before Enlightenment chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment chop wood, carry water"?

It means your liabilities are before and after the enlightenment the same ones. You have to live a life, to meet responsibility and to master challenges. You still have to follow the Path. Edit I ...
Louis's user avatar
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8 votes

What is the Buddhist view in Socratic questioning?

This meta-topic mentioned the Pañha Sutta, which includes, There are these four ways of answering questions. Which four? There are questions that should be answered categorically [straightforwardly ...
ChrisW's user avatar
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8 votes

Does Shikantaza lead towards attaining Jhana, if not, is there any progression?

Of course you can. Think of the etymology - zen -> chan -> dhyana -> jhana. It's the same word bastardized and modified over the course of four languages. Zen is absorption practice. It's ...
user21578's user avatar
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7 votes

Good is not different from Bad?

From a Theravada perspective, there is absolute good and absolute bad. The 2 can exist mutually exclusively. Suffering is absolutely bad and the mind states that lead to suffering are absolutely bad. ...
Sankha Kulathantille's user avatar
6 votes

Zen & Dukkha -- Is Everything Suffering?

Thich Nhat Hanh made an error because he was attempting to rationalize another error. If Thich Nhat Hanh actually understood the teachings, he would not state the teaching of 'samskara dukkhata' is ...
Dhamma Dhatu's user avatar
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6 votes

Are the movie Fight Club, and Project Mayhem in it, buddhist?

I don't think so. it predicates detachment from material possessions That's not enough to call it Buddhist. Buddhism might be known for what it is, rather than for what it isn't. Maybe Buddhism isn'...
ChrisW's user avatar
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6 votes
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Why don't teachers just tell us the answers?

Because the question is supposed to "point directly at your mind" like the finger pointing at the moon. The answer could not do better. In fact, you learn more from trying to solve an apparent ...
Tenzin Dorje's user avatar
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6 votes

What is the difference between right thinking and right view?

Samma Sankappa (right thinking) is the result of right view (Samma Ditthi). If you have the wrong view your thinking will be wrong thinking. (Mittcha Sankappa) Generally, right view is the forerunner ...
SarathW's user avatar
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6 votes
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How does *Buddhist* meditation differ from others and lead to awakening?

Very good question. Buddhist meditation is based on the understanding of the mechanism of arising and cessation of suffering. Suffering arises whenever there is a conflict between "is" and "should". ...
Andriy Volkov's user avatar
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6 votes

Why does the mind always want to 'do something' and how to cultivate 'non-doing'?

Imagine for a moment that you picked up a hammer from your toolbox, and then forgot that you were holding it. You'd walk around all day with the hammer in your hand: You'd open doors with it, use it ...
Ted Wrigley's user avatar
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6 votes

Is there anything akin to 'Jhana' in Zen Buddhism?

Zen and Jhana are the same word. Jhana is a word in the original spoken language. In Sanskrit it is written as Dhyana. Channa or Chan is how it came to Chinese language, and Zen is how it subsequently ...
Andriy Volkov's user avatar
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5 votes

What is the meaning of the Zen quote: "Before Enlightenment chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment chop wood, carry water"?

I understand the quote differently: The young monk was pursuing something, which is an attachment, seeking great knowledge, and perhaps in that, fame as well. I think his dissatisfaction indicates ...
elizabeth's user avatar
5 votes

Zen & Dukkha -- Is Everything Suffering?

My interpretation would be that all things are not suffering, for several reasons. First of all, the first Noble Truth needs to be seen in context with the other Noble Truths - it says in life there ...
Kerome's user avatar
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5 votes

Does Zen Buddhism have canonical texts?

I am from a Chinese Buddhist organization with Chan lineage but is non denominational. They use the entire Chinese Mahayana canon as their basis, but in practice only popular passages like the Heart ...
Yinxu's user avatar
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5 votes

Is Satori the same as Enlightenment?

Mahayana Teachers speak of awakening or enlightenment in two meanings: Awakening as liberation from delusions. Complete awakening. The first one is the experience of "seeing the true nature". I ...
chang zhao's user avatar
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5 votes

What is Zen, what are Zen beliefs, and why is it called Buddhism?

'Zen' is the Japanese name of the school of Buddhism that originated in China around the 5th century AC, called (in Chinese) Chan Buddhism, and whose founder is thought to be Master Bodhidharma, an ...
Javier García-Salcedo's user avatar
5 votes

How do zen practitioners balance the mix between Buddhism detachment and Taoism attachment?

To say that Zen = Buddhism + Taoism is an utter simplification. To say that Buddhism seeks "detachment from all existence" is not at all accurate and to say that Taoism seeks "attachment to all ...
Andriy Volkov's user avatar
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5 votes
Accepted

What is the Buddhist view in Socratic questioning?

Yes, this is pretty much the way Buddha has led all his conversations with individual students when he was not preaching to groups. In Pali Canon there are many examples of dialogs following same ...
Andriy Volkov's user avatar
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5 votes

Law of attraction to reach enlightenment?

"Law of attraction" is, by its meaning, total Dhamma and all works on that. It's the "law of attraction" that keeps one in the wheel, and that of escape, with faith into liberation as alternative ...
Samana Johann's user avatar
5 votes
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How reputable is D.T. Suzuki among modern Zen Buddhists?

He’s pretty phenomenal if you ask me. I’d highly recommend most of his earlier writings. People forget that he had some training as a monk under a fairly renowned master. Just remember, however. ...
user17214's user avatar
  • 351
5 votes

What are the differences between Zen Buddhism and Tibetan Buddhism?

From my experience, the biggest diff is in the amount of rational explanation. Tibetan teachers and texts are much more inclined to giving a step by step logical rational reasonable conceptual ...
Andriy Volkov's user avatar
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5 votes

Is there anything akin to 'Jhana' in Zen Buddhism?

When a person doesn't eat, he gets hungry. When you drop a ball from the top of a parking deck, it falls. Likewise, when you watch your breath, a sign, or sit facing emptiness, the mind will ...
user19437's user avatar

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