Buzz Lightyear, the zen master?
Who here knows what Zen is? Another question: What are you doing now? Well,
hopefully listening to me, but whether or not you know it, at this very moment, you’re
I’ve learned about Zen since I was little-my aunt is a member of a Zen center.
My uncle visited my aunt’s Zen center, and refused to go try meditation because there
was a statue of the Buddha in it.
Some people think that Zen is a religion-like Buddhism. Some people think it’s a cult,
where people sit for hours on end without stop. Some think you simply hold their hands
out, close their eyes, and say “Ommm.”
So, today, I will try to give you a better understanding of this practice by explaining what
Zen is, what the purpose of meditation is, and what the practice of formal Zen is.
Zen is an awakening to the reality of this very moment. So, the practice of Zen is life
itself. No matter what activity you’re doing, you are practicing zen. Sleeping, reading,
talking-it’s all Zen.
So, if everything is Zen, they why do people take time out of their lives to meditate?
People become interested in Zen, when they begin to ask themselves questions such as,
“What is the meaning of my life?” “What happens after you die?” “Who am I really?”
Zen meditation, in the form of sitting, is called zazen.
People practice zazen to fully realize their true selves. In other words, they are like a
black lump of rock, which will eventually be turned into a diamond. Every diamond starts
out as a black rock. The rock just needs to be cut and polished to be magnificent. So, in
practicing Zen, people aren’t changing themselves. They don’t make themselves “better”
people. They don’t donate more money, do more charity work. No. They simply let go of
everything that stops them from realizing that they are perfect the way they are. The
black rock doesn’t change. It just lets go of everything that prevents it from being a gem.
This realization is called Enlightenment.
During Enlightenment, the practitioner becomes at peace with the world and his role in
the universe. They call this, “finding your true self.”
Some people may look at Zen as if it is a religion, but Zen doesn’t require you to believe
in anything. There’s no creed or professions of faith. But rather, Zen is. That’s it. Zen is.
An accurate comparison would be to God saying, “I AM.” The practice of Zen is life
Especially in this time of age, the 21 st century, people are so busy. The world is
constantly changing. People’s minds are preoccupied with the rush of everyday life, that
they can’t realize their true nature. They are never satisfied. People always look for
mistakes in themselves, and try to make themselves better. They spend all this time trying
to be smarter, faster, more beautiful, that they cannot see that they are already perfect.
Zen meditation-a time of silence and living in the moment-can help get rid of all these
distractions, things that do not satisfy the mind or body.
And in coming to the point of realizing enlightenment, the practitioner becomes at peace
with the world and his role in the universe.
When people do zazen, one could simply say, that they are just sitting and breathing.
Like I said before, zen meditation is driving, reading, surfing the ‘net, but this, this kind
of meditation, where one actually sits down without disturbance.
“To infinity…and beyond!” Buzz Lightyear may not be a Zen master, but his famous
quote describes the state of being that Zen practitioners strive to achieve.
Written by a 14 year old in 2005.