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"Do" Zen

Zen is a spiritual practice, not a theoretical, intellectual hobby.  You need to do it. 

Planting & Growing Karma Mental imprints created by the volitional thoughts and acts of a deluded mind
To achieve enlightenment, you will need to develop your mind in conditions suitable for practice.  So you need the ability to study (i.e. safety, enough food, a suitable place), and the tools to learn (intelligence, a good teacher, emotional maturity).  These things happen because of your karma created the possibility (seeds) for this to happen, and because the conditions were right for the karmic seeds to ripen.  For example, teaching children to read may give you some great seeds for learning, but the seeds will never ripen if you don't study.  There is a great explanation in an old Buddhist story about two monks:

One monk just meditates and studies the sutras all the time, the other, older monk only helps people, including the sutra-studying monk.  The older monk passes away and the other monk's luck runs out.  He's destitute, but his studies are paying off.  His deep perception lets him see into the deeper, karmic nature of people and animals.  He is walking late one day, tired and hungry when he sees a precession of the prince's animals as they are moved to his summer palace.  The animals are well fed and cared for and can hear music in the day and are kept warm at night.  The monk looks into the eyes of the elephant and realizes.  It's his old friend, the helpful monk.

So the monk that was compassionate but never studied, was reborn into wealth without intelligence.  The monk that studied without practicing good works, had insight, but no means of survival.  It is through meditation and compassionate works that we can achieve enlightenment.

           

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