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Resensie: The Way of Zen

The Way of Zen

Outeur: Alan W. Watts.
Uitgewer: Vintage (1999).

In Alan Watts se klassieke boek, The Way of Zen, lei hy sy westerse lesers effektief in die wêreld en wysheid van Zen Boeddhisme in. Hy begin by die ontstaansgeskiedenis, in Indië deur China tot in Japan. Hy wys ook hoe 'Confucian and Taoist' denke die pad van Zen beïnvloed en gerig het.

Hierdie boek is 'n wonderlike inleiding tot Zen denke en praktyk. Dit kry dit reg om die leser binne Zen se ratwerk in te neem en jou bloot te stel aan 'n hele nuwe manier van kyk, dink en beleef.

Ek kon nie die boek neersit nie. Veral nie waar Watts begin om te verduidelik hoe gedagtes en emosies die mens se psige gevange neem nie.

Hy verduidelik in detail hoe 'n Zen meester 'n mens sal begelei om eerder op die ewige Nou te fokus, as om 'n geveg te gaan met jou binne wêreld en begeertes.

Hoor net hoe 'n Soto Zen Leermeester uit Japan reageer teenoor Watts se boek: "Rich in scholarly detail, yet accessible to the lay person, The Way of Zen is remarkable in its lucidity. Watts uses analogies from daily life to illustrate Zen principles and does much to clear up western misconceptions about Zen thought. This is a authentic understanding of the Zen way."

Miskien is die beste manier om hierdie boek te beskrywe, om 'n stuk aan te haal. Lees self en as jy dit insiggewend vind, gaan koop die boek.

"It's like you took a bottle of ink and you threw it at a wall. Smash! And all that ink spread. And in the middle, it's dense, isn't it? And as it gets out on the edge, the little droplets get finer and finer and make more complicated patterns, see? So in the same way, there was a big bang at the beginning of things and it spread. And you and I, sitting here in this room, as complicated human beings, are way, way out on the fringe of that bang. We are the complicated little patterns on the end of it. Very interesting. But so we define ourselves as being only that. If you think that you are only inside your skin, you define yourself as one very complicated little curlique, way out on the edge of that explosion. Way out in space, and way out in time. Billions of years ago, you were a big bang, but now you're a complicated human being. And then we cut ourselves off, and don't feel that we're still the big bang. But you are. Depends how you define yourself. You are actually – if this is the way things started, if there was a big bang in the beginning – you're not something that's a result of the big bang. You're not something that is a sort of puppet on the end of the process. You are still the process. You are the big bang, the original force of the universe, coming on as whoever you are. When I meet you, I see not just what you define yourself as – Mr so-and-so, Ms so-and-so, Mrs so-and-so – I see every one of you as the primordial energy of the universe coming on at me in this particular way. I know I'm that, too. But we've learned to define ourselves as separate from it."

En nog 'n ander gedeelte wat handel oor meditasie:

"We could say that meditation doesn't have a reason or doesn't have a purpose. In this respect it's unlike almost all other things we do except perhaps making music and dancing. When we make music we don't do it in order to reach a certain point, such as the end of the composition. If that were the purpose of music then obviously the fastest players would be the best. Also, when we are dancing we are not aiming to arrive at a particular place on the floor as in a journey. When we dance, the journey itself is the point, as when we play music the playing itself is the point. And exactly the same thing is true in meditation. Meditation is the discovery that the point of life is always arrived at in the immediate moment."

Hierdie boek moet op jou rak wees!

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