Posts Tagged "Zen"

Rejecting the wanting self

December 24, 2012

adam-and-eve

“We have been raised to fear … our deepest cravings. And the fear of our deepest cravings keeps them suspect, keeps us docile and loyal and obedient, and leads us to settle for…many facets of our own oppression.” – Audre Lourde

In the myth of Eden, God created the garden and dropped the tree of knowledge, with its delicious and dangerous fruits, right smack dab in the middle. He then deposited some humans close by and forbade these curious, fruit-loving creatures from taking a taste. It was a set up. Eve naturally grasped at the fruit and then was shamed and punished for having done so.

We experience this situation daily inside our own psyche. … Read more »

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How to organize Zen? Japanese Buddhists adapt to Western views of their religion

October 18, 2012

Rocket News 24 (Japan): What do you think of when you hear the word Zen? For most people, “organized religion” probably isn’t a phrase that pops up immediately. This can be a bit of a predicament for Zen Buddhist missionaries working in places like Europe and North America.

The word, which comes from a Japanese translation of the Chinese word chán, literally means meditation, and has developed a romantic sense of being purely in the moment and devoid of all thought. This concept has been focused on by various artists in Western culture like Jack Kerouac, with a diminished emphasis on the less sexy …

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At 105, a Zen master blends East with a bit of L.A.

October 1, 2012

The Zen master would not stop talking.

Several times he began to draw his teachings to a close, explaining to his students that he was tired and in poor health. Then he would burst down another path.

He discussed the difficulties of raising children. He lingered on the subject of death. Eventually, he raised a small fist in the air.

“Everybody is together at one point,” he said. “We cry together, we love together. There is no moment in which we are not together.”

He is 105 years old and not even 5 feet tall, with paper-white skin and a blocky, bald head. Enveloped in …

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Zen Buddhism, art subject of University of Tennessee exhibit

September 10, 2012

An exhibit opening Sept. 15 at the University of Tennessee’s Frank H. McClung Museum explores both the simple yet elegant beauty and the deeper meanings of art developed around Zen Buddhism.

“Zen Buddhism and the Arts of Japan” is at the museum, located at 1327 Circle Park Drive on the UT campus, through Dec. 31.

The display includes such objects as tea bowls, robes, bronze memorial plaques and a wooden sculpture of the guardian figure called Fudo Myoo. “Zen Buddhism” also shows more than 40 hanging scrolls whose paintings and calligraphy were created by Zen Buddhist monks from 1600 to 1868.

The beliefs and practices of Zen Buddhists were …

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How hunks, rap, and booze might save Buddhism in Japan

August 26, 2012

It can be difficult to get people excited about religion in Japan. No doubt, Japan’s culture and its religions are deeply intertwined, but the vast majority of Japanese people say that aren’t very religious.

With membership in religions across Japan in free fall, many are trying to make themselves more appealing to attract more followers. How do you get people excited about religion? Do you pull a Pope John Paul II and get some sweet-ass breakdancers to get the kids all excited about God?

Japanese Buddhists have found their weapon of choice: hunks. Not just any hunks, but hunky monks. Earlier this year …

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The suffering of rejecting desire

August 11, 2012

“We have been raised to fear … our deepest cravings. And the fear of our deepest cravings keeps them suspect, keeps us docile and loyal and obedient, and leads us to settle for … many facets of our own oppression.” – Audre Lourde

In the myth of Eden, God created the garden and dropped the tree of knowledge, with its delicious and dangerous fruits, right smack dab in the middle. He then deposited some humans close by and forbade these curious, fruit-loving creatures from taking a taste. It was a set up. Eve naturally grasped at the fruit and then was shamed and punished for having done so.

We experience this situation daily inside our … Read more »

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Finding right meditation technique key to satisfaction

New to meditation and already thinking about quitting? You may have simply chosen the wrong method. A new study published online July 7 in EXPLORE: The Journal of Science and Healing highlights the importance of ensuring that new meditators select methods with which they are most comfortable, rather than those that are most popular.

If they do, they are likely to stick with it, says Adam Burke, the author of the study. If not, there is a higher chance they may abandon meditation altogether, losing out on its myriad personal and medical benefits. Burke is a professor of Health Education at SF State and the director of SF State’s Institute for Holistic Health Studies.

“Because … Read more »

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Zen meditators tap in to subliminal messages

Anil Ananthaswamy, New Scientist: Meditation increases our ability to tap into the hidden recesses of our brain that are usually outside the reach of our conscious awareness.

That’s according to Madelijn Strick of Utrecht University in the Netherlands and colleagues, who tested whether meditation has an effect on our ability to pick up subliminal messages.

The brain registers subliminal messages, but we are often unable to recall them consciously. To investigate, the team recruited 34 experienced practitioners of Zen meditation and randomly assigned them to either a meditation group or a control group. The meditation group was asked to meditate for 20 minutes in a …

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Anders Behring Breivik used meditation to kill — he’s not the first

Vishvapani Blomfield, the Guardian: Meditation makes you calmer and clearer and encourages empathy and kindness … right? Not if you are Anders Behring Breivik who has told psychiatrists that he used meditation to “numb the full spectrum of human emotion – happiness to sorrow, despair, hopelessness, and fear”. He still practises it behind bars to deaden the impact of his actions.

Breivik uses meditation as a form of mind control – a way to focus the mind and exclude responses that get in his way. You could argue that he is meditating wrongly, but I think his testimony shows that the effect of …

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Zen for high schoolers: ‘Notice the anxiety. Notice the fear.’

The New York Times reports not only that Brooklyn high-schoolers are attending weekly meditation sessions meant to help them handle the challenges of growing up in the city, but that Zen meditation is being offered as an alternative to traditional detentions.

The meditation sessions are taking place in the Brooklyn Zen Center, where Zen priest Greg Snyder is involved in the center’s Awake Youth Project, which includes weekly workshops in five public high schools as well as teenager-led sessions at the center.

Now, Mr. Snyder is taking on the tougher task of teaching meditation to Level 1 offenders— students who are frequently put in detention or suspended because they start fights or cause trouble —

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