Chan ist das chinesische Wort für das bekanntere japanische Wort Zen. Um die Chan-Tradition, die keine der vielen Richtungen im Buddhismus ist, zu erklären, kann man sich beim Tee folgende Frage stellen: “Wer trinkt diesen Tee?” Die Antwort lautet vermeintlich: “Ich natürlich!” Damit ist die Frage aber nicht beantwortet. Sich selbst als Tee trinkenden zu erkennen, heißt noch lange nicht, sein wahres Ich zu erkennen. Im Chan-Buddhismus geht es immer um die Suche nach dem wahren Selbst. …

‘Chan’ is the Chinese word for the better known Japanese word ‘Zen’. To explain the Chan tradition, we can consider the following question: “Who is drinking the tea?” The answer is usually: “Me, of course!” But that does not answer the question. To identify oneself as someone who is drinking tea does not mean to recognize one’s true self. Chan Buddhism is always about finding the true self. All existing concepts of yourself and the world are only a hindrance. It is necessary to let go of every single thought, to leave all rational theories and confused emotions behind, to bring oneself into a state in which not a single thought, not a single obstructive feeling arises. Descartes’s famous sentence: “I think, therefore I am” does not fit here. From a Chan perspective you could almost say, “I think, therefore I am not yet.” Of course that does not mean sinking into nothingness! It’s about a state of liberation, of awareness. This can be achieved through meditation. Meditation is therefore an aid, a practice. It is neither the goal nor the only possible way to the true self. Chan should be practiced every moment of life. With practice it is possible to experience every moment of the here and now as the here and now, in full awareness. Even in the smallest situations of everyday life there is the possibility of a higher experience of being. Even drinking tea trains awareness and can be considered as an absolute dedication to the moment.

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