« Yonder shore and the moon | Main | Zen's non-Buddhist connotations »

August 06, 2014


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

This writer is writing like a fool. It's like giving directions to a mountain by pointing at the mountain but refusing to tell you where to road is.

Zen meditation leads one away from materialism. Depression can be treated in part with meditation, it is far more than a placebo. Depression has many varied roots. And they are not all intellectual or circumstantial and especially not always rooted in materialism.
It is damaging to perpetuate that it could be. Chemistry and biology has a large part to play. Meditation can allieviate the pains of depression, encourage compassion and help the mind glow and set an inner balance. If practiced long enough it will lead to places you speak of. If you remove the clutter of your mind, the clutter of the external world will have as much consequence to you as the rain or the sun has to a wall.

The commentator named Susan, you are right, and it is well observed, to see that living on the edge makes you more materialistic. Possibly because you don't know what you will need to get by in the weeks or months to come.

Materialism is only a problem if you believe a crown makes you a king. The problem in that scenario is wanting to be a king, not with the crown. Or if you cherish a photo of a child as much as you cherish a child.

National Teacher Qing Liang (737-838), is also known by his other Dharma-name of 'Cheng Guan' - he was the 4th Patriarch of the Hua Yan School. This short text describes the nature of the enlightened mind and has not appeared in anyother language outside of China until now. Now available in English here:


My Master told me;

"Where the light of the true dharma is pushed out, Mara moves in."

Yes, I understand and agree with what you're saying here. However, I am just trying to survive. I am a servant and in 30 years I have never asked for or been offered a sick day. I have only one housekeeping account who treats me like a human being. (Their bank sends a weekly check, year in & year out.) All the rest just cancel when 1) they are sick 2) on vacation 3) for any other reason.

Living on the edge, and not knowing what my income will be forces me to eat the cheapest food and never buy anything unnecessary, and month after month I'm forced into drawing on my savings to pay for food and mortgage. (And yes, I am "to blame" as everyone I am sure wants to remind me.) This situation actually makes me more rather than less materialistic. This year I'll get elective surgery. Next year I'll pay off the house. I just don't give a crap any more. So why not just jump off the financial cliff?

[Incidentally, I too practice with the Mahayana...and no one has adequately explained to me the relationship between enlightenment and food deprivation. I am not a nun. So I am NOT either vegetarian or vegan.]

I once bought a polyester shirt while wandering the third world, for what I recall was two dollars. It was pretty outlandish too, with a sailboat logo and buttons. Though I realize the peril to my eventual enlightenment, I am pleased that this sartorial splurge (i was penniless) lasted me twenty years, far more than the fashionable clothing worn by my contemporaries. Unfortunately it grew rather threadbare after nearly two decades and my wife made me throw it out.

The comments to this entry are closed.