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The Zen Doctrine and Suffering

Decent Essays
Everything but the true Dharma nature is suffering. It is when one stops being preoccupied with suffering (everything), that one becomes purposeless and aimless, and in so doing becomes emancipated. However, it is erroneous to think that no suffering means avoiding suffering. Instead, the nature of Zen doctrines implicate that to be free from suffering, one should be so aware of the suffering, that it fades into the background and one becomes unaware of it. Suffering is the condition one is already in, it is not unique, and you are not unique. Suffering is not unique failures, disappointments, or being beat by a stick (Kraft 26). Of course, this is the temptation that many fall into. In order to rise above this, the zen pupil must experience for himself this suffering, so he can see the difference of no suffering. When this is grasped, the illusion of “self” is destroyed, there is no more ego. “It destroyed the last traces of any preoccupation with myself and the fluctuations of my mood… Do ‘I’ hit the goal, or does the goal hit me?... Everything becomes so clear and straightforward and so ridiculously simple…” (Herrigel 69-70) The pupil has been “failing” at archery for years, and to him, his objective is achieve Buddha-ness through overcoming it. And so he suffers. His objectives, goals, and thoughts that his situation is unique blocks him from seeing his true nature. Eventually, his suffering reaches repletion that he becomes numb to it, destroying the
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