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When Mahayana Buddhism traveled east out of India and into China, it mingled with Taoism. The offspring: Zen.

Like all Buddhism, its ontology (i.e., its theory of what constitutes fundamental reality) is steeped in pantheistic monism. This means that the Buddhist believes all things are one. The same spirit (“Brahman”) occupies everything; there are no separate spirits or souls. You are Brahman, I am Brahman, that tree is Brahman, the screen is Brahman. If anything is viewed as distinct from another thing, the viewer is caught in an illusion (maya).

Zen enlightenment consists of seeing through and eliminating the distinction among things, including the distinction between oneself and the universe.

Zen seeks to attain to an awareness of pure being beyond subject and object, and relentlessly seeks to destroy all figments of the mind or imagination that pretend to convey meaning. This is the rationale behind a famous Zen exhortation: “If you meet the Buddha, kill him! In other words, if you see a separate thing, especially a separate thing that pretends to convey meaning like the image of the Buddha, you're experiencing a mistake, so get rid of it.

In short, Zen just wants you to look: look out and experience, to see, to enjoy, without thinking about yourself (including your reputation, your knowledge, your wisdom, or the progress you're making on the Zen path to enlightenment).

Zen wants you to just exist.