Search This Blog


Zen is not all Zazen

Buddhist extremists are often overlooked when they pop out of the woodwork.

A Buddhist becomes an extremist when she believes her practice of zazen to be superior to reading the sutras.

If such a student of Zen feels that way, then I will point out that the founder of Ch'an was not illiterate and did study the sutras.

When zen says one must do away with the sutras, the meaning is not do not be literate; it means, do not rely on quotes from sutras to awaken you spiritually.

Hence the reason why zazen is important over mere book learning.

If Zen promoted zazen in favor over reading the sutras and meditating on their ability to achieve satori, then it may be that Zen also does not promote magical thinking.

For one magical thinking concerns the delusion of sutra as granting one a short cut to Nirvana.

In Zen there is no such short cut; you will have to sit on your ass for a long time before that would work.

This post was written from the viewpoint of a Pure Land practitioner. If any of the Zen practitioners would like to critique this post, then feel free too.

For I anticipate the dialog to be interesting.

No comments: