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#186853 - 09/18/05 01:18 PM American Zen
Bushi_no_ki Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/03/05
Posts: 1667
Loc: POM, Monterey CA
An interesting point, Buddhism is one of the fastest growing religions in the US. The "Zen" aspect is very popular, via MA schools. Obviously there has been some changes to the philosophies in the US as it is being adopted by an entirely different culture. A good case in point would be Christianity, which originally came out of Judaism, with the belief that Messiah had come. But most Western Christians don't adhere to the full Rabbinic Law, especially the dietary restrictions. Thus, Christianity has taken on a life of it's own, so to speak. As for Zen, what is that effect, what predictions do you make for the future of American Zen, and would you consider it a good thing?

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#186854 - 09/18/05 01:42 PM Re: American Zen [Re: Bushi_no_ki]
Kintama Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 2724
Loc: Massachusetts
IMO, its not growing fast enough.

half-kidding aside, first the term "American Zen" is meaningless...since beliefs in general should not be tied to nationalism...a very dangerous thing to do as ancient and modern history should have taught us.

but I know thats not what you meant...you mean Zen/Buddhism as it is practiced in the US. The way that I've seen MA schools present it is in terms of social harmony thru individual betterment and respect for others and life.
If that gains in popularity reguardless of what it is called or what country it comes from, I'm happy to see it and be a part of it.

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#186855 - 09/18/05 01:47 PM Re: American Zen [Re: Kintama]
Bushi_no_ki Offline
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Registered: 05/03/05
Posts: 1667
Loc: POM, Monterey CA
Yes, thank you for clarifying a very dangerous point Kin. That is exactly what I meant. Social harmony through individual betterment. That is a very good way to describe what Zen is becoming in the US. And it is a good thing to be. But here's a though, are we looking at Zen losing the concept of abstract thought in the US? Abstract thinking is one of the defining aspects of Zen, and concrete thinking is what much of Western thought is based upon.

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#186856 - 09/18/05 09:59 PM Re: American Zen [Re: Bushi_no_ki]
ButterflyPalm Offline
Enigma

Registered: 08/26/04
Posts: 2637
Loc: Malaysia

Zen, like anything else is subject to the Yin / Yang laws.

America is very much "Yang" So, maybe we may see a kind of "hard" / "external" Zen; as in "hard" / "external" MA? A kind of Zen that is utilitarian; goal oriented; aggressive even?
_________________________
I'll rather be happy than right, anytime.

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#186857 - 09/19/05 12:55 AM Re: American Zen [Re: Kintama]
Foolsgold Offline
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Registered: 09/02/04
Posts: 1635
Loc: South Lyon, MI, USA
Quote:

half-kidding aside, first the term "American Zen" is meaningless...since beliefs in general should not be tied to nationalism...a very dangerous thing to do as ancient and modern history should have taught us.




I have to disagree on one point. It's the nationalism itself that is an endangerment, not the connection. The connection of nationalism to belief is an empowerment, enhancing the effects of the preset bigotry, but it's the nationalism itself that is the evil.

Just trying to keep priorities in order .
_________________________
Soy stupido, pero soy guapo!

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#186858 - 09/19/05 07:09 AM Re: American Zen [Re: Foolsgold]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
Nationalism is evil? That is a very un-zen like attitutde! Where would Poland be if not for latent Nationalism...oh...and the Pope!

Seriously, is the question 'how is zen practiced in the USA vs. elsewhere?' Is 'zen' practiced elsewhere more religious? It seems that in the USA there is the spectrum of spiritual/religious zen practice to looking it as a tool for insight, pain management, etc.

My zen is not your zen?

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#186859 - 09/19/05 11:48 AM Re: American Zen [Re: harlan]
Bushi_no_ki Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/03/05
Posts: 1667
Loc: POM, Monterey CA
It's not so much a question of how Zen is practiced elsewhere, but how is Zen evolving and growing to fit American culture, which is different from the Asian cultures that Zen originally evolved in.

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#186860 - 09/19/05 12:13 PM Re: American Zen [Re: Bushi_no_ki]
oldman Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 5884
I can't help but imagine a MegaZendo with huge parking lots filled with large SUVs. Also a bookstore and a Coffee bar in the lobby. Maybe Suzuki will even produce a hybrid vehical called the "Roshi".

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#186861 - 09/19/05 03:16 PM Re: American Zen [Re: oldman]
Kintama Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 2724
Loc: Massachusetts
The all-nonorganic 'Buddha Burger' !

selling tagline:
"Nothing killed in the name of the Buddha!"

or how about: Nirvana-Land!
"Reaching all Kids... come explore on the Path to Enlightenment and visit the Zendo playroom with lotsa zafus, zabutons and Zazen pillow rides; meanwhile Mom and Dad can visit the SuperSutraRoom..."

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#186862 - 11/13/05 06:00 PM Re: American Zen [Re: Kintama]
don_juan Offline
Member

Registered: 11/13/05
Posts: 82
Loc: USA, Indiana, decatur
i belived that zen in america is not growing that fast. at my school their is only about 2 ppl who even heard of it. my teacher Mr. keefer has heard of it and he told me of some books to read for it. but does anyone know how i can get more info. on zen in the US?
_________________________
-Confused Clouds Rain

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