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Self- Exploration, Realising the Self within

Vintage Japanese Artwork with Zen Buddhist Quote

In the profound wisdom of Zen master Kodo Sawaki, the notion of self-exploration is beautifully distilled into the essence of existence, encapsulating a timeless truth about the human experience and our journey of self-discovery.

Sawaki's quote invites us to delve into the depths of our being, exploring the nature of our self without the expectation of gaining something external, like satori, which represents sudden enlightenment in Zen Buddhism. It encourages us to contemplate the idea that the mountain, the sea, and ourselves exist not for the purpose of recognition but for the simple realisation of our own existence.

Self-exploration is not about seeking external validation or chasing enlightenment as an external goal. Instead, it's about turning inward and recognising the profound truth that the very act of self-discovery is an end in itself. Just as a mountain doesn't strive to be tall or a sea doesn't seek to be wide and deep, we, as individuals, need not strive to be something other than what we inherently are.

Through the practice of zazen, a form of seated meditation in Zen Buddhism, we engage in the process of stilling the mind, quieting the incessant chatter of thoughts, and shedding the layers of ego and identity that we accumulate over our lives. In this practice, we sit with ourselves, for ourselves, and through ourselves. The act of sitting in zazen is not a means to an end but an end in itself, a way to experience the fullness of the present moment and, ultimately, the essence of our true self.

Self-exploration, therefore, becomes a journey of inner revelation, a path that leads us to the realisation of our inherent wisdom, compassion, and interconnectedness with all things. It is not a destination to be reached; rather, it's an ongoing process of peeling away the layers of conditioning and delusion to uncover the authentic self that has always been there.

In a world that often measures success by external achievements and validations, Kodo Sawaki's insight offers a powerful reminder that the most profound discoveries are those that occur within. Self-exploration is not a quest for recognition, but a journey to embrace the self, as it is, and to realise the limitless potential for growth, wisdom, and compassion that resides within each one of us. It is a journey in which we sit in zazen, not to reach a specific goal, but to encounter the boundless depth of our own being and to find profound meaning in the simple act of self-realisation.

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