In 'my school' there is no serious attempt to define zen. The purest approach would be to not even try to talk directly about zen, or even acknowledge there is such a thing as 'zen'. As soon as you open your mouth you're lost, and the more you talk the farther away from zen you get. But I haven't figured out how to communicate at that level on a text-based web forum, so I continue to post.
Gay/straight, Black/White, etc., are not manifestations of the universe; they are manifestations of your mind and as such are illusory. And yes, gay/straight, Black/White illusions do plague many people - maybe all people. Zen meditation helps dissolve these illusions or at least helps you recognize them as illusory. When you understand they are illusions you are then free to move in and out, around and through, with and without them as situations require. All of this is however very academic and probably not really very helpful to Curt who started this thread. To EXPERIENCE this you need to sit (perform zen meditation - zazen). A good way to learn how to do zazen is to join a sangha (community) that has a good teacher who can help you get started. Curt's initial posting indicated he was looking for a 'gay' sangha, presumably believing he would feel more comfortable in a gay community than a heterosexual or mixed community. I was merely trying to point out that zen itself does not recognize and certainly does not encourage these kinds of classifications. And I also have a personal opinion that 'comfortable' is not a good pre-requisite or requirement for zen practice. I do hope Curt does find a suitable sangha. I did see someone suggested a group in the Washington, DC area (I think). I encourage Curt to contact that sangha even if it's not in his area and talk to them about his interests and concerns, and hope he gets started in (or continues) his zen practice soon. .Bill! Donald Hwong wrote: There is another way to look at it. In our school, Zen is defined as the life force and wisdom of the universe. Therefore, gay/straight, Black/White, male/female are all manifestations of the universe and of Zen. They are all parts of the whole and interdependent. To accept Zen and be one with the One is to accpet them all. Namaste, Donald