One of the earliest posts on the blog is one called, ‘What’s Your Pulpit of Origin?’ In that post, I point out that most of us come to Buddhism from other traditions. My own pulpits of origin are Christianity and Kriya Yoga.
This week while I’ve been away from home on business, I’ve been reading about Zen Buddhism. And have discovered something interesting.
Practical Buddhism and Zen Buddhism are strikingly similar
In reading the site located at http://zen-buddhism.net, I learned several interesting similarities between Practical Buddhism and its Zen cousin.
- Zen Buddhism rejects metaphysical theories and rituals and focuses entirely on the practice of Zazen
- Zen is not a moral teaching, and as it is without dogma, it does not require one to believe in anything
- Zen Buddhism is not a theory, an idea, or a piece of knowledge. It is not a belief, a dogma, or a religion; but rather, it is a practical experience
- Zen is Zazen or Zen meditation (za meaning sitting, and Zen meaning meditation in Japanese), or seated meditation
- Zen is very cautious towards those answer-givers who claim to know the truth about God, the afterlife, reincarnation, spiritualism, etc.
- Zen does not seek to answer subjective questions because these are not important issues for Zen
- Zen firmly [maintains] that nobody knows the answers to those questions and that they are impossible to answer because of our limited condition
- Zen gladly accepts the idea that men are only men and nothing more
The only difference that I can see between Zen and Practical Buddhism is that Practical Buddhism includes an equal mindfulness and compassionate kindness as active practices in addition to meditation.
While the Zen Buddhist practitioner most likely would agree that these additional active practices are indeed fruits of zazen, the Practical Buddhist pursues all three active practices.
What this changes
Nothing. Zen is Zen.