THE ZEN EXPERIENCE
How Do You Become Enlightened?
to Zen tradition there are two methods of becoming enlightened.
In the first method you will study with a Zen master. He
will guide you through all of the necessary steps. This
is the traditional pathway to enlightenment.
The second method, which was followed by Buddha himself,
is spontaneous enlightenment. In this method an individual
will practice alone for many years. Occasionally he may
visit or study with Zen masters or teachers from other pathways
that lead to enlightenment.This is a less frequently followed
way. It is the particular pathway that I followed to enlightenment.
Normally the first way is recommended. It is very easy to
make time-consuming errors on the pathway to enlightenment.
If you study with a Zen master he will point them out to
you. He will also show you methods and techniques that will
speed your progress and make your way more enjoyable.
In the second method you have to be your own guide. It is
a very solitary journey and requires constant awareness
of the slightest variations in your level of attention.
Persons who follow this pathway have usually been enlightened
in previous lives. To attain enlightenment through this
method without having been enlightened in a previous lifetime
is almost impossible.
Following either pathway you must take all of the steps
and go through all of the stages and realizations that others
who have been enlightened have experienced. By perfecting
the practices of zazen and mindfulness, by learning patience
and love and by realizing the essential emptiness of all
phenomena, you will discover nirvana.
Reprinted from "The Zen Experience"
© 1987 Rama Seminars Inc.