Teisho: The Word “Good”

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“… beauty, in the zen tradition, is regarded as a hallmark of reality … Beauty is ephemeral; it is inextricably linked to loss and impermanence …”

zen beauty reality

Description: In this talk, Henry explores the meaning of the word “good,” beginning with the opening of the Book of Genesis, and moving into the first way that “good” appears in the Buddhist tradition—the word “sukha,” translated to mean “ease” or “happiness,” in contrast to “dukkha,” translated as “suffering” or “unsatisfactoriness.” Henry discusses the qualities of sukha, expressing how beauty, in the zen tradition, is regarded as a hallmark of reality. Beauty is ephemeral; it is inextricably linked to loss and impermanence. The pragmatic approaches to “good” offered by the Buddha are also investigated, as well as intrinsic or non-conditional sukha. Henry points to a few famous koans to further open up this exploration. We find that we can go beyond good and bad and into reality. We can suspend judgment and see through the self. “To find the good, you have to go beyond good and bad.” Then, we can experience shin-ku, true emptiness. Then everything can be reborn in myo-u, wondrous being.

Post & Featured Image (edited): Beauty by Pexels, CCO Public Domain.

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