Overcoming Boundaries Through Inquiry: Journeying Taizō-in Temple Through Zenmondō

First, look down.
Do you see your nose?

We have noses; but despite being right below our eyes, they don’t obstruct our vision. It is said the brain gets rid of it on its own. The brain does the same with sound; when we talk with friends at a cafe, we cancel out the conversations around us, which is probably because the brain is selective with sounds. In other words, our bodies are automatically entrapped by boundaries.

But it is not just our bodies. Our minds are similarly bound by assumptions and traditions. And how does one break free from such boundaries? We think the answer lies in inquiry.

That is, asking ourselves if what lies before us is good enough. As many wise people have said, it is not the answer but the question that must be correct. Inquiry is, in itself, a means of self-awareness and perceiving our boundaries.

Inquiry is the most important aspect in Zen Buddhist training, according to Matsuyama, the vice monk of Taizō-in Temple. How often is it that you engage in questions that cannot be answered by a simple Google search? At Taizō-in, a sub-temple of Myōshin-ji Temple, let’s walk around, experience, and learn from vice monk Matsuyama about how to overcome our boundaries through inquiry.

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