Sifu, you said that Bodhidharma used the concept that the only reality is the mind practically in his teaching at the Shaolin Monastery. How can people use this concept now practically in their everyday?

-- Sifu Tim Franklin, Shaolin Wahnam UK


The concept of non-duality, where the only reality is the mind and all other things are empty and illusory, was excellent in the Shaolin Monastery where Zen originated and was practiced. In Zen terms, it is “Seeing the Original Face”.

“Seeing the Original Face” or “United with God the Holy Spirit” is for the greatest masters. Almost all of us are not ready for this most noble endeavour. But we can benefit from the concept at lower levels.

Many people are dualistic. If something is wrong, it cannot be right. This is dualistic thinking. If we are non-dualistic, when something is wrong, it can still be right! When something is wrong to some people, it can be right to other people. Sometimes, when something is wrong, it can still be right to the same people!

This dualistic thinking is in fact the cause of many troubles in the world, from personal misunderstanding to international wars.

For example, we know from direct experience that practicing chi kung is right as it gives us many benefits. But to many other people, practicing chi kung is wrong; not only it is a waste of time, it may bring harm.

To most people, stealing is wrong. But to thieves, it is right.

Nations go to war because they feel that their rights have been encroached upon, and their opposing nations are wrong. But all nations feel the same way, irrespective of which sides they belong to.

But how is it that if something is wrong, it can still be right to the same people. Here are some examples.

It is wrong to take some food as it will make a person sick. But after practicing chi kung, he can take whatever food he likes, including the types of food he avoided before.

Some religious people find that their ways of worship are right, and all other ways are wrong. But if they become liberal minded, they will find that other ways are also right.

Reproduced from Question 7 December 2019 Part 3 in Selection of Question-Answer Series


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