Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Kensho and Kenbutsu, Seeing True Nature, Seeing Buddha

Seeing True Nature, Seeing Buddha


You cannot realize the Buddha’s Way if you do not aim to practice the Way, and It will be ever more distant from you if you do not aim to study It.

Shobogenzo, Shinjin Gakudo, Hubert Nearman


According to the classic records of Zen, the aim of Zen practice-enlightenment is ‘realizing the Buddha’s Way’ which is described as realizing ‘perfect universal liberation and fulfillment’ (annuttara-samyak-sambodhi). This aim is said to be realized by ‘seeing’ (‘ken’) one’s ‘true nature’ (‘sho’), sometimes called ‘kensho’ (particularly in reference to an initial realization). Because one’s true nature (‘sho’) is the true nature of the whole universe, sometimes called ‘Buddha,’ realizing Zen practice-enlightenment is also sometimes called ‘kenbutsu’ – ‘seeing’ (‘ken’) ‘Buddha’ (‘butsu’).

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