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Waking up to Wisdom
In Stillness and Community

No Questions, No Conflict

--by Zen Parable (Jun 21, 1999)


Upon meeting a Zen master at a social event, a psychiatrist decided to ask him a question that had been on his mind. "Exactly how do you help people?" he inquired.

"I get them where they can't ask any more questions," the Master answered.

It is not hard to find moments in our lives when we are hunting for answers. Questions seem to be everywhere, whether it is about our careers, our past experiences, our future, or even about understanding our own self. In our pursuit of an answer, though, we often lose sight of the reason why we asked the question.

Questions are inherently rooted in confusion and conflict; if we were fully comfortable with everything, we wouldn't have a need to question anything. However, to get to that point of equanimity, we have to investigate and ask questions ... not simply for getting answers but also for understanding why we question. When we do this, we develop a unique understanding of the question itself. For example, instead of "How I can make more money?" one would ask "Why do I want to make money?" Bit by bit, we start to eliminate the confusions and conflicts that were rooted in the initial question. After many such iterations, we are no longer concerned with questions and answers. We just start being, living fully in each moment.


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