Z E N K O A N
Who is asking?
A student once asked, Where is the Buddha?” The master replied, “Not far from the source of your question.” The deepest answer that Zen gives to any question is, “Who wants to know?” How can we find a solution to our questions if we don’t know who we are? Most people identify themselves with their body and personality, but Zen says, “look again.” Your body has changed beyond all recognition - from a small baby to a grown adult. Your personality is adapting all the time to new situations. Are these really you? The only consistent thing in your life has been your experience of being a witness of all the changes. For Zen, our sense of personal identity is a self-created illusion. Any idea we have of who we are is just that - an idea. We are not the idea, but the consciousness that is experiencing the idea. We can, therefore, never know ourselves through thought. We can only be where we are - indescribable Buddha-Nature.
Thoughts to contemplate:
Do you assume that you know who you are? Before solving the problems in your life, spend some time with the fundamental question, “Who am I?”
Are you trapped in ideas about who you are? One by one, consider all your ideas about yourself and then discard them. Sense your subjective experience of simply being. Allow your choices to arise from the depths of your true nature, not your ideas about yourself.
Discover Who You Are