What Is the Meaning of Life?
There are many different answers for the question, ‘What Is the Meaning of Life?’ Why is that? It is because of differences in belief, tradition, understanding, culture, faith, and so on. So it follows that there would no wrong answer for this question, if we were to open our mind to learn other beliefs, traditions, understandings and so on. It’s like giving a multiple choice answer 1 A, 2 B, 3 C or 4D and all are the right answer! There is a Zen story, which, if we open our minds to learning, can illustrate this well. Here is the story:
There was a conversation between a Zen teacher and his student. The teacher said, “We like speaking of the meaning of life, which does not really mean the meaning that we give to it. Everything has its own meaning; but human beings try to define things in their own way. So, things go wrong. In fact, life does not have a fixed meaning. It is changing all the time, until it comes to an end.” The student asked his teacher, “Where is the end of life then?” He answered, “The end of life is in the pure state, without anything.” The student asked the teacher, “What is the pure state of life, sir?” He replied, “The pure state of life is not involved with goodness, badness, wrongness, or rightness.” The student, full of doubt, asked him, “If life is not involved with good and bad, right and wrong, where is life? What does it mean, then?” The teacher replied, “Life is here and now and it means life. If you always ask a question, the meaning of life never ends” The student answered, “Sir, I will stop right here and now. So life means ‘life’ and it is with me here and now.” The teacher said, “That’s it.”
From the story, the conclusion of the meaning of life comes to an end, here and now, and it just means ‘life.’
Bear in mind that we should not bother about the question of the meaning of life. Just live it in full mindfulness or awareness. Then it means to us what we give to it.