Zen Tapes


Zen Tapes - Enlightenment

(Zazen music plays in the background.)

Hi there! This is Zen Master Rama. Today our topic is, my favorite, enlightenment!

Enlightenment is to be outside the circle. What circle? Well, the circle of death and rebirth.

And for the next 45 minutes or so, I'd like you to sit back, relax, clear your mind and consider perfection - in your life, in your mind, in your work, in your play, in life beyond death. Perfection. Enlightenment.

What is enlightenment, anyway? Well, I don't know if you can really put it into words, or perhaps you can, I can't. I'll try.

Enlightenment is having no mind. No human mind. No limitations. Your awareness is eternity - timeless, infinite, beyond boundaries, and yet it exists within all things.

But maybe it would be good to have some background about all this enlightenment stuff. Let's consider it a little bit more closely.

The most noble of all pursuits - to become all that you are, all that you have ever been - is to be enlightened, to know truth, to have knowledge and yet be beyond even truth and knowledge, to be God.

You are God. To be conscious of that, not from just the point of view of the human form. To be endless and beginningless, perfect being. Infinite awareness, beyond pain, beyond frustration, beyond birth and death - that's enlightenment. A part of it, anyway. And we call the study of enlightenment, self-realization or self-discovery.

There are many paths that lead to enlightenment. There are lesser enlightenments along the way to a larger enlightenment, which is referred to sometimes as liberation - the larger enlightenment, that is. Not just being happy, not just having a peaceful mind or coming to a good understanding, which can change, but being perfect. Perfect mind, the diamond mind. Radiating all universes through your being. Each pulse beat is the universe. Each breath, eternity.

Enlightenment. Try it. You'll like it.

So let's cruise the galaxies a little bit in the world of Zen, the music of Zazen in the background from their "Samurai" album - the warrior, the samurai.

You have to be a warrior in order to become enlightened. It's not easy. I mean if you think it's tough just paying the bills and driving the car down the freeway and trying to schedule all your appointments, be all the places you've got to be - think about being everywhere all at once and doing everything in all the universes simultaneously, past, present or future.

It doesn't matter. They can't stop you. Nothing can. Because you're eternity.

Obstructions on the way to enlightenment? Are you kidding? Hey, they crucify people here. You think this is an easy place? But what's the alternative? To live in a mundane, boring level of consciousness? Knowing limitation, pain, frustration, skepticism, disbelief, no adventure, no childlike wonder?

Enlightenment, beyond knowledge. Oh heck, it's the best!

(Zazen music ends.)

I'm here today in the city. The sirens are wailing, human beings are moving back and forth. In the hospitals, they're being born and dying. In the universities, they're going to school. Some are getting married, some are getting divorced. Some are unhappy, most - all - are unhappy. Some think they're happy - when the pain that they experience every day stops for a few minutes, they call that happiness. There are billions of people on the earth, and there are billions of earths, billions of universes. It's endless.

What is life? What is death? Why is it that people suffer so much? Well, I'll tell you. It's the way it is. But it's not the way it appears to be. Enlightenment.

Rama smiling with his arms crossed wearing a designer suit
Seeing is the ability to tell what really is.

The works of Rama – Dr. Frederick Lenz are reprinted or included here with permission from

The Frederick P. Lenz Foundation for American Buddhism.