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Example research essay topic: Zen Master Present Moment Taoism - 588 words

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Taoist attitudes toward death The way of the Tao is the way of Nature and of ultimate reality. So the philosophy of Taoism understands Tao as the One Thing which exists and connects the Many things. Tao, Nature, Reality are One. Taoism is basically indefinable. It has to be experienced. It refers to a power which envelops surrounds and flows through all things, living and non-living.

It embodies the harmony of opposites. Taoists follow the art of "wu wei, " which is to let nature take its course. For example, one should allow a river to flow towards the sea unimpeded; do not erect a dam which would interfere with its natural flow. So with death, it is natural and will come when it is meant to. But many Chinese used to believe the spirit lives on. And Taoism which can be terribly irreverent made fun of the belief of people in ghosts and spirits.

Why did they appear clothed if they were spirits? If everyone did and became a spirit the world would only be full of them, the dead outnumbering the living. Zen emphasis on the present Zen emphasizes on the present moment with many beautiful stories. A Zen master lay dying in bed. His disciples were gathered around him. They wanted him to anoint a successor.

Somebody brought him some food. The Zen master ate it fully and relished it well. The disciples waited for him to finish it and then announce his successor. He waxed eloquently on the taste of the food. Then, he died. Even in his last moments, he was totally in the present.

Such is the emphasis Zen lays on the present moment. Do not live in the past or future which pulls you down. Give your total attention to the present and all will be well with you. An anticipated future trouble cannot affect you at this moment.

The past is gone and cant pull you down. So enjoy this moment. The contempt for status and reverence evident in both Taoism and Zen We can see from the irreverent uttering's of the great Zen and Tao masters they had little importance for dignity. Many Zen master are reputed to become novices again with other masters when a student brought up something they could not answer. Hui New horrifies his students by tearing up a scroll before their eyes.

Hsuan-chien, mocks the Buddha, Bodhidharma and even nirvana. And yet he remains a key figure. He is not excommunicated as many other religions would have done. I-Hsuan tells us: "If you seek after the Buddha, you will be taken over by the devil of the Buddha. " They dared to mock their most sacred symbols. Each master reveled in the unpredictable. They have a wholesome and irreverent attitude to religion which his refreshing.

Kill the Buddha. Would any Christian ever say kill Jesus and get away with it. Theres a sense of humor which has preserved their traditions. In the unclear, symbolic way they express answers to the most metaphysical questions. So may unexplainable stories.

You dont know what they mean. Novice: Why did the teacher come from the west? Monk: Ask the lamppost. Novice: Why should I?

It doesnt know Monk: Neither do I. You should grow beyond the teacher. You dont need it. The secret of the parables and stories is: you can draw whatever you want from it according to what is within you. It allows you to grow the way you want and at the pace you are.


Free research essays on topics related to: taoism, buddha, tao, present moment, zen

Research essay sample on Zen Master Present Moment Taoism

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