The Scott Shaw Blog Be Positive

Zen and the Simplicity Factor

Certainly, simplicity is one of the primary foundational factors of Zen. The farther you pull away from simplicity, the farther you move from understanding or becoming Zen.
People want to throw all kinds of definitions at Zen. They wish to judge, criticize, and attempt to define the practitioners of Zen. But, the moment any of that happens all the Zen is lost.
If you view a painting created by a Zen artist, what do you see? The simplicity. It is pure in its lack of entanglement. Listen to the music created by a Zen musician, what do you hear? Minimalism, equaling Zen. Read the words of a Zen poet and what do you find? Simplicity.
It is a common trait of the human mind to seek deeper understanding; to look for the secrets, and, yes, to even cast judgments based on what each individual thinks and feels. But, none of that is Zen.  Zen is removed from all of that.
How can you find Zen? How can you understand Zen? How can you participate in Zen? Let everything go and simply BE.
One of my primary influencers on the path of Zen I have walked was a man named Paul Reps. Though he was still alive when I was alive, I never had the chance to meet him. Nonetheless, his writings have continued to be a big influence on me, reminding me of the simplicity necessary in Zen. He embraced a pure source of Zen and put it out there via the methods of his moment: via art, publications, and chapbooks.
Here’s a link to one of his very rare chapbooks,
22 Ways to Nowhere. If you feel like it, check it out. Maybe you will understand what I find so appealing about his writings. Let the simplicity of Zen overtake you.