--- In Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com, "Bill Smart" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:

... [snip]...

> Yes, you certainly can learn, practice and receive full benefits of 
> zazen without being Buddhist (or even Japanese!).

Well said, Bill. Reminds me of the following dialogue (extracted from 
the Platform Sutra) between the Fifth and the Sixth Patriachs:

"After having gotten my mother settled, I left right away and reached 
Huang-mei within thirty-odd days. There I paid respects to the Fifth 
Grand Master. 
The Grand Master asked, "Where are you from, and what do you want?" 
I replied, "I am a peasant from Hsin Province in Ling-nan. I have 
come from far away to pay my respects to you only because I seek to 
be a buddha, nothing else." 
The Grand Master said, "You are a southerner, and an aborigine; how 
can you be a buddha?" 
I said, "People may be southerners or northerners, but the buddha-
nature originally has no south or north. As an aborigine, my social 
status is not the same as yours, but what difference is there in our 
The Grand Master wanted to talk with me more, but he saw that his 
followers were all around, so he had me do chores with the workers. 
I said to him, "My own mind always produces wisdom. Not being 
alienated from one's own essential nature is itself a field of 
blessings. What work would you have me do?" 
The Grand Master said, "This aborigine is very sharp! Don't say any 
more. Go work in the mill." "


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