Wisdom Seen Elsewhere: Suffering / “Losing Your Life”

Our suffering only exists in the present moment. We worry that in the future we’ll be old, we’ll be sick, and we’ll die. But those things aren’t real. We have to cut off the heads of those things because they are demons that cause us to lose the present moment and lose our life.

— Thich Nhat Hanh, commenting on Master Linji’s discourse. Nothing to Do, Nowhere to Go.

The expression “losing your life” means something different to zen masters than it does to most. People stuck in day-to-day life, living as if sleepwalking, might be referred to as corpses walking slowly toward their graves.

If “losing your life” has absolutely nothing to do with physically dying, then what must it mean to be alive?

By Joe

Puzzle Wrestler & Mountain Herder. Math & Computer Nerd since the 80s. Longtime linux (current debian, ubuntu, raspian, centos, gentoo), currently fighting feebsd. Over-complicates networks for fun, occasionally secures them for profit. Develops own tools & services (cli, web services, and lately some android). Degrees in Math, Belts in Aikido. Zen, Motorcycle, Ham Radio, Homebrew (Ale, not Radio), Coffee & Tea, some Mandolin & Fiddle, MDA Advocacy (son with Duchenne), …

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