Wednesday, January 14, 2009

14 January: ABC Wednesday - Z

Zen Buddhism - as Rev. Master Jiyu-Kennett said, a religion for adults. You take responsibility for your own training, though there are teachers to guide and help. You do it yourself, meditation and keeping the Precepts; and you get the karmic consequences of your actions. (The law of karma states that every action has a consequence, or an equal and opposite reaction - or was that something else?)

Four Noble Truths, the Eightfold Path, Three Refuges, Ten Great Precepts - lots of numbers. Most of them are different aspects of the same thing. It's not easy, but you try to learn from mistakes, and do better.

As I understand it, and I could be wrong, Soto Zen differs from Rinzai Zen in that there is less emphasis on koans; as the Rules for Meditation tell us "the koan appears naturally in daily life". Zen Buddhism differs from other Buddhist paths in its emphasis on formal seated meditation.

There are probably more varieties of Buddhism than of Christianity. Google will help if you want to know more.

Zen and karma are words that have been taken from their original meanings and applied in a fuzzy way to all sorts of stuff, and Buddha figures have been used as household and garden ornaments - it amuses me to think of people using Jesus in the same way, but at least it gives Buddhists a chance to bow to Buddha more often.

"going, going, going on beyond, and always going on beyond - always becoming Buddha"

Homage to the Buddha,
Homage to the Dharma,
Homage to the Sangha.


Jay said...

An interesting post. Buddhism is a very appealing religion to me. It seems very gentle and personal.

RuneE said...

Well written, interesting and informative - even for a non-religious person like myself.

Granny J said...

I've been sort of surprised at the massed Buddhas in the lawn ornament section of a couple of stores. I piece of me says it's more than a little bit sacrilegious, but then another piece says that the Buddha would just laught.