Nor is it a way to keep you away from unhappiness.
Zen is not a theory that leads to your well-being.
Now let's compare Zen versus all the other traditional religions. These religions guarantee the presense of the heavens, assure the happiness of life, and promise the peacefulness of your heart.
To put it briefly, religions promise you abstract happiness, the GOD (or gods) and the heavens: provided that you follow the disciplines and the teachings that tells you will become happy if you do this and that.
These are the main services brought to you from the religion sector of the industry.
There are also negative services which give you unnecessary fears and imprint your mind with images of hell.
However, Zen is nothing like all of that.
What Zen assures you, there is only one thing.
That is not happiness, the health of your body, nor is it the heaven after death.
What Zen only assures you is "the freedom of the mind", now, at this moment.
Unfortunately though, you have never known that freedom. You have never tasted that real freedom of the mind, not even once beginning from the birth of your life.
What many people speak of as they have sensed spiritual freedom, is a passing feeling. Those senses of freedom will be hampered even by the slightest incident.
However, when enlightment is provoked through Zen, the freedom is permanent.
Considering going back to the word "freedom", the definition for this word is very vague as the words like "god" and "love".
Oddly enough, look at the words that have vague definitions: the more indefinite the words are, the more stimulating to the ego of human soul.
So words like "happiness", "love", "God or gods" and "heaven", otherwise "evolution" and "universe", have been used to bewitch/fool people, although the words were without clear definitions.
Zen, however, assures you the freedom now, to "you at this moment".
Be very cautious. Zen assures you freedom now, only to you at this moment.
In another words, Zen could not assure freedom to those who are not now, not in this present momement.
The freedom that Zen assures, is not the freedom said by the Americans.
THAT, the freedom that Zen assures is not what people usually speak of.
To explain THAT, what the freedom is, is almost impossible.
Although impossible to explain THAT, those who reached THAT, mostly uses the word freedom when speaking the experience of THAT.
There are however, others who uses different words and expressions. Such are like "enlightment", like "absolute emptiness", like "absolute quietness", like "joyous explosion".
There are several classes and levels in those experiences, so there are differences in their expressions.
However, if there is to grasp the one and only common characteristic in those experiences, "after that certain moment", the freedom (or in another expression, the loosening of the mind) becomes permanent and achieves allness.
However, this freedom could not be imagined through your thought.
Nor could you reach THAT through your yearning.
Nor could you grasp THAT, even through methods such as Zen-sitting, and/or meditation.
By the way, do you know what happens to those who grasped that freedom of the mind?
It's not that they will be happy. Nor is it that they will go to the heavens. Nor is it that they will be praised by the people.
They will laugh freely, become angry freely, love freely, hate freely, create freely, destroy freely, live freely, and die freely.
This is the being of the free mind.
Neither the GOD, nor the gods, could interfere with them.
This is because the freedom is THAT, "that has been in presence before (the creation/birth of) the gods".
Therefore those who gained the freedom, threw away every holy scriptures available, denied any gods in presence. There are no problem for those people, even if the whole universe is sent to annihilation at this very moment.
This is because their freedom, the consiousness of those people "has been in presence before the creation of the universe".
If you compare yourself with these freedom of the mind, you are certainly not free.
Therefore, you are unable to know, and you should refrain from pretending to know, what the freedom is.
I will repeat again.
Zen is not for capturing happiness.
Nor is it for gaining access to the heavens.
Nor is it a charm to ward off misfortunes.
Nor is it a practice to avoid going to hell.
The experience that could be gained through Zen is what you have never ever experienced before, a taste that is wholly new and free.
However, going through that experience does not mean that you will become a good person.
Never misunderstand these points: you will not (automatically) become a good person,
you will not become a happy person, you will not become a saint or a guru,
you will not gain wisdom, you will not become a compassionate person,
you will not cure yourself from sickness, you will not gain the ability to heal other's pain,
and you will not receive any special psychic powers.
What you only get is the freedom, that you feel all the previously said things "unnessary".
All those cheap relions in this world have said,
"You will some day go to heaven. You could accomplish that if you meditate. You will be happy if you follow what is written on the holy text. You will be a man who will not make mistakes, if you belive in the guru. And above all, every single one of you have that possibility."
This is the tactic seen in religion business/hoax.
The religious sales person say to you, "Yes you can!"
Zen however is different. Zen says, "No,you can't but it can without you"
In fact, "you" can't reach THAT, through "you."
Reaching THAT is neary impossible. It is said that the gate of Zen is very narrow. Masters of Zen never lie. They are not merchants. They are not missionaries. They are not interested in love, nor peace, nor goodness, nor gods.
Their mind knows the freedom as if in the isolated peaks of the Himalayas.
At the same time, they can reach the deep ocean floor in a flick of a second.
Therefore, what manifestation they reflect in front of you "depends on you."
I will repeat once more.
Zen masters are not like innocent relious people nor hypocritical priests. They honestly say the truth that the path is infinitely difficult.
Think about if there is any alpinist who says it is easy to climb Mount Everest, and everyone could reach the top.
The reality is that mountain climbers see many dead bodies along the path to the peak.
Similarly, while walking the path of Zen, you will see many dead people who have failed along the way.
No indulgence, nor romanticism, nor lies could prevail along the path of Zen.
So see that walking the path of Zen will be very difficult.
______What is Zen "Chapter 2"
Now, I would like to explain what kind of people have the possibility to walk the path of Zen.
But be aware. I have said "the people possible" to walk the path of Zen.
I haven't said "the people who could reach" the goal.
I am only speaking of the people qualified to enter the temple of Zen. I am not speaking of the people capable of freeing themselves from the temple, and getting out from the temple.
Of course, the temple I am mentioning is not the Zen temples, those buildings built on the real world.
Those rubbish buildings are totally of no use.
You can sit down solely in the desert.
You can sit down solely in an abandoned building.
However, you must not mistaken this. It is not a matter of acting yourself like a hippie or a beggar, sitting down in lonely places, nor meditating in the vast wilderness.
The place that harmonize with you varies with every single person.
The place may be a room in an apartment house. The place may be a seat in a subway train.
Where THAT could happen is totally unpredictable.
Now then, the people qualified to walk the path of Zen are:
* Ones who can proudly say they have experienced every delight in life, covering all the area of their interst.
* Ones who can proudly say they have done everything they could do to satisfy themselves, that have interested them.
* Note that they are satisfied not only with secular material desires, but also with incorporeal desires such as interests in the field of religion, metaphysics, and spiritualism.
* So these people are the ones who could say to themselves that they really don't have anything that could interest them anymore.
* But there are people who pretend themselves that they have nothing of interest although actually they have something of concern. There are liars asserting they are desire-free, although the fact is that they still have many hidden desires to fulfill. These dishonest people are unqualified for the path of Zen. Qualified people are those who are able to say they have lived fully and are completely satisfied with their life as a human being.
* To those qualified people, no set of values could satisfy them. No religion could suit their needs. No philosophy could be of use to them. No psychic powers could entertain them.
Those people who have lost their motivations to live, and their motivations to die, those are the qualified to walk the path of Zen.
Simply put, first level in the path of Zen, is not to deny any single thing that comes to your experience, is not to be held in religions and good-evil/right-wrong thoughts, and is to live fully through your life experience.
This is the first level in the path of Zen.
The second level in the path of Zen is, as the consequence of living fully through your life, all is "going to die" completely.
Everything you have acquired through your life will be completely lost.
This is the second level in the path of Zen.
The breadth and depth of your life and death, determines which of "the three dimensions" your enlightment reaches.
The purer the enlightment you want to reach, the broader and deeper the life and death you need to experience.
Behold, there are people who must never speak of the freedom grasped by the path of Zen.
Those are the ones that have not yet reached THAT.
Now having read this, there is no doubt that some would go asking someone for sacred criteria, to check if they have reached THAT or not.
Sadly, a person could only attract people and things limited to his/her own knowledge.
There are no method to judge someone by gazing at their appearance and behavior, whether they have grasped the freedom of the mind or not.
Even if you could see people's auras, or sit quietly and look through your mind-eye, you are uncapable of discovering THAT in a person.
Especially in Eastern traditions, you have been told these words:
THAT is inside you. Having heard this, you begin something very foolish.
Where are the chakras?, where is the atman?, you instantly begin looking "inside" your body for something.
It is nothing like that, the truth is that "the goal is you, that you before beginning the search," but you have been doing foolish things for thousands and millions of years.
Anyway, until all of your secular material values, religious metaphysical values, and cosmic values are eliminated, there is no possibility for THAT to occur on you.
This is because the moment you have any values, the world you are perceiving are split into good and evil, right and wrong.
Acquiring those values, you will be dominated by obsessive ideas.
Also, with those values, thoughts rise which state what you should do and what you shoudn't do.
Those set of values, are what is taking away your freedom of the mind.
Then, you will think, that it is impossible to survive in the social world without any values.
When you are saying that, the moment you have said that, will mean you are already bound to values that "it is evil/wrong to not live socially."
Having said that doesn't mean it is a free life to live the antisocial way.
It is actually possible to live and die, without having any set of values.
Be careful, thinking that having no value is good/right, will fall into a certain value.
The most wholesome "path" to walk is,
to walk through your own values that you belive in, and completely use them up.
If you have fully used them up, as the trees wither from the root, they will wear out naturally.
In the end, to reach somewhere where there is nothing, you have to live and use up all that is there.
Giving much more explanation, you could only misunderstand.