There are of course now those that are only peddling zen to make a buck. That was probably inevitable when zen moved to the West, especially in the US where avarice is the national pastime. But I don't look at these as representative of the zen to which I was introduced in the 1960's by a couple of Japanese zen masters living very modestly in Los Angeles, nor is it even remotely associated with the zen I try to practice every day, every minute of every day. I don't associate these types of people or groups or schools with zen, anymore than I associate people like Jim Baker or Oral Roberts with Christianity, or even Osama Bin Laden with Islam. What they preach is based on some parts of some religions, but has been perverted so much as to be unrecognizable with the original intent. What you are talking about might in fact be the reason why I'm always uncomfortable defining en as a sub-set of Buddhism. I don't see zen as a sub-set of anything. It's just a very pure, unfettered, unencumbered and very clear experience of life. I practice zen. I'm not always happy. I'm not always sad. Happy and sad pass through me like clouds pass through the sky. They're there, they sometimes hide the sun, but they're not permanent, and they haven't destroyed the sun. It's still there and will be revealed again when the clouds dissipate. So, I do understand and commiserate with you on the pop nature of zen and all the problems that brings. In some ways I wish it were more unpopular just so it wouldn't be so subject to perversion. But it is right now. Clarity! That's what zen is to me. (.and I don't need NO STINKING BADGES!) .Bill! From: Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] On Behalf Of Al Sent: Wednesday, February 20, 2008 7:31 AM To: Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com Subject: Re: [Zen] Practice begins From: <BillSmartI like zazen because it's not a blur, it's clarity.> I don't see it the same way. Most zen seems like a lot of bullshit and smoke and mirrors. I thought Krishnamurti had more concrete remarks even though he basically was ripping off zen. At least he would actually have something to say. Zen is more along the lines of amorphous clouds of happy faces. The fact that they never actually say anything means that anything can be interpretted however the listener wants. That is what charlatans and con-artists do. I am not saying that is what it is, just that if you put a zen master and Hillary Clinton and Barack and McCain all behind a wall and asked them questions, it would be hard to tell which one was the zen master. They are all things to all people. Zen is a business, and business is about selling what people want; a non denominational, non-judgmental, everything is good, we are what we are, philosophy of none-ness. Zen is the ultimate burn-out religion in the West. They are selling easy street.