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Old 12-28-2006, 09:02 PM   #33
Fred Little
Dojo: NJIT Budokai
Location: State Line NJ/NY
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 632
Re: Zazen necessary for training

Kevin Wilbanks wrote:
However, it could be that the term was being used more loosely than what I have encountered. My thought would be that in this case, they are misusing the term, but maybe an actual eastern religion/philosophy scholar will show up to clarify.

While I am no great shakes as "an actual eastern religion/philosophy scholar" I did pass the doctoral qualifying exam for same at Columbia.

I'm no great Buddhist either, but I do practice in a tradition other than either Rinzai or Soto Zen. The "counting to 10" method is one of a number of introductory techniques found in Zen Buddhist meditation, but it has as much to do with full-bore meditation -- even in the Zen School -- as first grade block printing practice has to do with writing poetry.

Some sectarian Zen Buddhists would be pleased as punch to have a trademark on "zazen," and some people do use the term in a proprietary way. That's an unfortunate fact that leads to unfortunate confusion.

D.T. Suzuki was, from all accounts, a very sweet man, but he really cobbed up a couple of generations of scholars by his early emphasis on Zen Buddhism as central to understanding Japanese culture, and nobody pays attention to his late work on Pure Land, but that's another story.


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