How Buddhism Differs from other Religions

Buddhism is not a Club religion The most important difference between Buddhism and other religions is that Buddhism is not a Club religion. In Club religions when you join the club, you become special in some way and closer to truth and God. You may begin to discriminate between those in your club and those … Read more

Facts on Buddhism

Buddhism is a religion that was founded in India in the sixth century BC by Siddhartha Gautama, known as the Buddha. The Buddha is not a God, or a messenger of God, and cannot act as a savior or redeemer. It is the Buddha’s teachings, known as Dhamma, that is at the core of Buddhism. … Read more

The Differences and Similarities between Shinto and Zen Buddhism

In western culture, a good majority of the population does not have a clue about eastern spirituality. There are many different religions in eastern culture; the focus of this article is Shinto and Zen Buddhism. Described below are the fundamental principles of both Shinto and Zen Buddhism, You will notice the differences and similarities between … Read more

Zen Koan Carrying the Raft

Case: In China, at the base of a mountain, an impoverished young man sat in meditation in front of his hut facing a great rushing river.  A monk from the mountain monastery hiked down a long, steep path past the hut carrying two huge wooden basins to transport water from the river back up the … Read more

Tibet vs China

In her article “Praying for Tibet,” the author hoopee writes that many years ago, the Chinese decided that a portion of their country could not be ruled by a religious leader, the “honorable Dalai Lama.” This is a gross oversimplification of hundreds of years of Chinese and Tibetan history.  Such an oversimplification indicates a limited … Read more

Zen Koans Joshus Dog

Case: A monk decided to test the wily old teacher, Roshi Joshu, by tugging sharply at his beard with the question, “Does a dog have Buddha-nature, yes or no?” Giving this monk the fish-eye, Joshu Roshi answered, “Mu!” Pointer: This monk is either a fool or a courageous seeker of truth; only one or the … Read more

Zen Koans Roshi Polishes Brick

Case: It is meal time at the temple’s Great Hall and a line of monks are performing ‘kin-hin’ – awareness walking – between their living areas and the Great Hall.  As the monks pass through the courtyard they notice Roshi sitting on a bench.  In his lap, he holds a rough-hewn brick selected from a … Read more

Monotony Zen Repetitive Fluidity Constancy Tessellation

Furiously Zen The problem with the zen philosophy is the constancy of the fluidity. Always ready to accept what comes, always ready to live in the exact present moment, enjoying *now*, rather than *then*, either forward or backward. There is a zen story about the man who is hanging by a weakening branch with a … Read more

What is Zen?

In the sixth century, an immigrating monk from India or Persia by the name of Bodhidharma introduced Mahayana-Buddhism to China. His doctrine was then fertilized with Chinese Taoism resulting in the Buddhist system of Ch’an. During the 12th century, the teachings of Ch’an had reached Japan, whose followers then called it Zen. Zen consists of … Read more

Zen Koan Meeting your Master

Case: A wandering monk was walking down the road when he met a Zen master. The monk bowed three times, knelt, and then rose. “Excellent,” said the master, and the two became student and roshi. Some years later the monk found himself wandering again in search of a master. A master met the monk along … Read more