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To Comprehend Zen Through Willpower and Faith

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When a person is pessimistic about the world and loses trust in everything, how can he save himself? Maybe becoming Zen is a way for people to seek peace and get personal enlightenment from it. This is what the author Morinaga chose. Morinaga changes during the path he tries to become a Zen and he awakens something truth. He notices that trust and belief are a strong power which can stand by people’s internal, and also discover the beauty of the world. It takes time to build a trusting relationship with people, and it takes time to find a belief. But once people notice that, then this is personal enlightenment, which eventually becomes their power. In the essay “My Struggle To Become A Zen Monk, ‘by Soko Morinaga, the author recounts how he gained personal enlightenment in his process Zen instruction.

Firstly, when Morinaga finishes the first task of sweeping the garden, he learns the enlightenment that everything/everyone is useful and starts to trust his teacher Roshi. It is because Roshi shows the way to use the thing that Morinaga thinks they are rubbish. Morinaga wasn’ t believe everything/everyone before because he already loses confidence to trust after he experienced the war. He comes to the temple and meets Roshi. Morinaga pretends to trust him in the beginning. However, when he completed his first task, Roshi teaches him the truth. In the essay, Morinaga thinks the leaf and gravel are rubbish. However, Roshi shows the way to use them. Roshi tells Monriaga that no one or nothing is rubbish. Only then, he realizes that it has always been that he has not thought about other uses of these things. He has firmly seen things. That’s the time Monriaga starts to trust Roshi. And he learns the first enlightenment. He understands that everything has the meaning of its existence. Some things seem useless still have their value. So this is the first lesson for Monriaga. He gains this awaken and can trust Roshi gradually in the first step to becoming a Zen. At that time, a seed called trust takes root in his heart.

Second, Morinaga gets the second enlightenment-trust when he listens to the conversation with Roshi and Miss Okamoto. It is because Roshi’s answer shows his full trust to his student and touched Morinaga. Morinaga thinks that Roshi and he is the simple relationship between teacher and student. So most of the time is following Roshi’s order to do the task. He has not thought deeply. However, when Roshi answers of Okamoto’s question. Morinaga is touched. For example, Roshi seriously thinks about his students and him and answers that he doesn’t know who is better. That makes Morinaga surprises because he thinks the answer must be Roshi himself. Roshi’s answer proves that Roshi put his students in mind and supplies enough trust to his students. Now, Morinaga knows that he has a good teacher because Roshi forever wants his students to be better, and teaches them good principles. That inspires Morinaga. It turns out that Roshi and his relationship are deeper. He knows that the power of trust is excellent. He also has the feeling of being trusted. His teacher has always put him in his heart and believes that he will grow and become stronger one day. At this time, Morinaga truly feels the power of trust and realizes the enlightenment. The seed of trust is growing in his heart. He has a closer relationship with his teacher. And he already trusted Roshi.

Third, Morinaga realizes personal awakening when he is ordered to leave by Roshi after he did something wrong. It is because his persistent action proves his beliefs and let him understand how close and trusting Roshi and him are. Morinaga is ordered to leave by Roshi when he makes a mistake. At that time, Morinaga still doesn’t realize how much he trusts his teacher and doesn’t mean he values his teacher so much. Morinaga just follows his heart and reacts subconsciously. For example, he keeps begging Roshi not to drive him away. He firmly states that he wants to stay with Roshi. His persistence moves and reassures Roshi. Until he sees Roshi tears, he realizes that the relationship between him and Roshi was so deep. Only then does he wake up and Roshi taught and influenced him a lot. His trust and affection for Roshi are deep. It is the change in Morinaga’s heart, and it gives him personal enlightenment. It is his unwavering trust and persistence in Roshi that keeps him. This also causes their connection between teacher and student to become closer. This relationship makes him persist and become Morinaga’s conviction. The power of this faith makes him stick to his heart and act regardless of any obstruction and scolding. So Morinaga is enlightened, and he understands the power of trust. From the beginning full of unbelief to the world to learn to trust, from no faith to insisting on faith. Morinaga feels his faith. The seeds of his inner trust have matured.

Finally, when Morinaga is refused and stayed outside the monastery, he comprehends his final enlightenment that once people have belief and trust, it can defeat their willpower. Morinaga says goodbye to Roshi and goes to the monastery to continue his independent practice. However, this is not smooth because the monastery refuses Morinaga. Although it may as a test for Morinaga, it is a difficult task. For instance, the monastery refuses the entry of Morinaga. During these days, Morinaga is scolded and kicked away by other Zen. In that situation, Morinaga is tired and hungry. He thinks a lot during those three days, and his mind begins to shake. However, when he asks himself, again and again, he finds out the answer. He understands the reason for this test, which was to prove his willpower and belief. Man’s willpower is weak, but as long as he has enough faith, he can persist in any difficulty. At this time, Morinaga comprehends the enlightenment and understands the power of trust and belief. That can arouse previous courage. For example, as in the text, Morinaga says ‘I had learned the meaning of the courage which has its roots in faith. It shows that Morinaga is inspired. He realizes the power of belief. When Morinaga trusts his teacher, he also is trusted. So he feels this power of trust. At this time, Morinaga uses this power of this faith. He persists outside the monastery for three days. Then finally, he can enter the monastery successfully. Because of internal belief, people’s courage can be so strong and precious. Thus, Morinaga finally gains the personal enlightenment of faith’s power.

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To Comprehend Zen Through Willpower and Faith. (2022, May 24). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 29, 2022, from
“To Comprehend Zen Through Willpower and Faith.” GradesFixer, 24 May 2022,
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