Oakville Zen Meditation

#42.Awakening ( Enlightenment) is to "wake up"

Around 2500 BCE and after intensive 6 years of meditation a young prince named Siddharta Gautama became awakened or enlightened. He discovered that the origin of human suffering, dissatisfaction and unhappiness comes from our ego mind and he proposed the solutions to reduce if not to eliminate suffering.

His followers gave him a nick name “Buddha” meaning the “awakened one”.

The awakening process includes the following:

  • Discovering that our ego mind is the main source of our dissatisfactions and unhappiness.
  • Identifying the cause such as negative emotions and illusions. (See the 7 pillars of Zen Mind)
  • Searching and finding the solutions to eliminate or at least to reduce suffering.
  • The Noble Eightfold Path (See history of Buddhism in “ZEN”).
  • Controlling our ego mind & thoughts by practicing daily meditation.
  • Being mindful to our surrounding realities (their opposite are called illusions).
    • Nothing lasts: everything is transient in order for the evolution to move on.
    • Nothing can be controlled 100%.
    • Nothing has a permanent, unique, independent and separate self-entity.
    • Now that is the present is the only reality of time since past and future are illusions.
    • Life, people, events and surrounding are what they are and not what we want them to be.
    • Our mind is a wonderful instrument but also our worst deceptive friend.
    • Achieving a state of serenity in discovering our True Nature inside self where causes of suffering are reduced if not gone (Nirvana). Our True Nature also called Buddha Nature is common to everyone and different form our ego nature.
    • Helping others in achieving the same journey.

Does waking up every morning can be used as an analogy to awakening?

Quite the opposite since immediately after waking up we are facing:

  • Our ego mind and its negative emotions and illusions.
  • Our stressors and responsibilities.
  • Our non-stop thoughts.

In summary to be awake is simply to be mindful moment to moment to:

  • Our surrounding realities, reflecting things as they are like a mirror and not as we want them to be.
  • What we are doing in the present moment bringing our wandering mind where our body is that is now.
  • What our mind is doing.
  • Using our thoughts & discriminative mind such as judgment only when we need them and not being their victim.
  • Controlling our negative emotions.


Ven. Ji Gong Sunim.