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Harada Roshi

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What is the role and function of will in Zen?

What do you mean by "will" ? Maybe you mean human´s wish, thoughts, conclusions. There is also the aspect when talking about "will" which means the will of the universe. There is the small, personal will, which has already been formed by the age of three. Because based on the development of human nature, the ego is formed at that time and wishes, thoughts and conclusions are being expressed. Since "will" has as a base one´s own personal view and ego, however highly developed that person may be. It is based on dualistic wisdom. Buddha Nature is what is called the original wisdom, the will of the universe. This does not change in any era, it can be found in each and every being. When we are too involved in our personal will, then we cannot see beyond to the original wisdom. Zen is about awakening to that.

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