Reading Study Questions #4

Reading Study Questions 4: Zen Mind, Beginners Mind, Part 3: Right Understanding

1.     A running theme on the section of Right Understanding is that everything comes out of nothingness/emptiness. Consider these quotes:

Everything comes out from nothingness moment after moment (pg. 98).
We say true existence comes from emptiness and goes back again into emptiness. What appears from emptiness is true existence. We have to go through the gate of emptiness (pg. 100).
I discovered that it is necessary, absolutely necessary, to believe in nothing. That is, we have to believe in something which has no form and no colorsomething which exists before all forms and color appear (pg. 106).

I have two questions for you:
(a) What do you think this means? In other words, in what sense does everything come from nothing/emptiness and return to nothing/emptiness?
(b) How could accepting such a metaphysical view help one suffer less, or do you think it would be ineffective in causing one to suffer less? Why?

2.     On the subject of no-self, or selflessness, Suzuki writes, Today I am sitting in Los Altos. Tomorrow morning I shall be in San Francisco. There is no connection between the I in Los Altos and the I in San Francisco. They are quite different beings (pg. 94-95). How does he support such a conclusion?

Reading Study Questions #4

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3.     Suzuki asks, Which is more important: to attain enlightenment, or to attain enlightenment before you attain enlightenment; to make a million dollars, or to enjoy your life in your effort, little by little, even though it is impossible to make that million; to be successful, or to find some meaning in your effort to be successful? (pg. 114). How would you answer these questions? What do your answers tell you about what it means to live well?

4.     The book ends with a quote from the Buddha: See Buddha nature in various beings, and in every one of us (pg. 126). After having studied Buddhism for a few weeks, how would you interpret this quote?  

Book attached as a pdf.

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