But seriously, Niall, you realise that you are presenting a very specific interpretation of Zen, I hope? One that is very modernist and closely connected with often inaccurate 19th century samurai myths and 20th century (Japanese, but ironically enough even German) nationalism? And late 20th century marketing lingo?
An alternative view would stress the character of zen/ ch'an, for almost all of its history, as essentially Mahayana buddhism, and challenge its appropriation for the political and ideological purposes of 20th century Japan. As well es the decontextualisation ("everything is somehow zen", "zen cannot be spoken about" and the like) that came with it.
Not meaning to be disrespectful, just pointing it out.
Niall is, considering his rank and experience, surely aware of your points. Which made me wonder why he wrote this column the way he did?
April Fool's column published before the date intended?