STAN: I’m not as reluctant as Judy to use abstractions such as good, but I share her wariness about these abstractions. What really matters is what we do in any given situation. The Buddha always said: I teach the truth of suffering and the end of suffering.
He was not interested in metaphysical questions or philosophical questions at all. And Zen really does come from that deep Buddhist tradition, so insight into the truth of suffering and what can be done to alleviate suffering is primary. So what helps, what is helpful in a particular situation, what works (are the important issues.) It might be different sorts of things in different sorts of situations and with different sorts of people. That notion is so important in Buddhism that there is a word for it, a Sanskrit word …, which is usually translated as expedient means. We all understand means, ways (that) have been developed to help people and ourselves, but expedient is a very interesting word because there is obviously nothing absolute about any of this. It’s changeable, it’s provisional, it’s nothing to cling to, it doesn’t mean that if it worked yesterday, it’s going to work today. You have to be alert and caring and really paying attention. Read More.