Chuck, Thanks as always for your post.
You are not wrong in the history, genealogy and classification of zen you present in your post attached below. This is the generally accepted position - that zen is an outgrowth and sub-set of Buddhism. I disagree with that for several reasons, but that really depends on what your definition of 'zen'. - IF you define zen as a SPECIFIC process/method taught/followed to develop the ability to directly experience reality (enlightenment); AND if you restrict that process/method to activities, references and verbiage ONLY (or primarily) supported by the Buddhist religion (like traditional Buddhist monk/lay activities, Buddhist sutras and Buddhist terms); AND if you FURTHER restrict that process/method to activities, references and verbiage borrowed from Japanese culture (zazen, koans, mondos, roshi, dokusan, satori, Buddha Mind, Direct Transmission, etc...); THEN the traditional classification as you've presented below is applicable. - IF, however, you define zen (as I do now, reluctantly) as ANY NUMBER of NON-SPECIFIC processes/methods taught/followed/stumbled-upon which enables the direct experience of reality; AND if you pose NO RESTRICTIONS (religious, cultural or otherwise) on those processes/methods; AND THERFORE would INCLUDE ALL processes/methods that lead to the direct experience of reality (whether they be Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, Islam, Hindu, Taoist, Wiccan, Agnostic, etc...) from ANY CULTURE; THEN you would classify zen as the SUPER-SET of which all these other processes/methods are SUB-SETS. To put it more plainly, I think the ultimate teachings of Buddhism, Christianity and most all religions are talking about the SAME THING, not different things; and that the experiences that have been described as being had by Buddha Siddhartha, Bodhidharma, Renzai, Nansen, Joshu, Moses, Abraham, Jesus, John, Peter, Francis of Assisi, Mohammed, etc..., are the SAME - and just expressed differently through the prism and filters of their specific religious and cultural heritage (and of course of that of their followers who wrote down or interpreted rightly or wrongly what they said or did). Do you now understand my perspective? Do you accept it, or do you have a different perspective? Thanks...Bill! From: Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] On Behalf Of Chuck Gierhart Sent: Wednesday, July 23, 2008 10:05 AM To: Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com Subject: RE: [Zen] Re: Dear Bill Bill, You say: I also believe, as you do, that zen and Buddhism are not the same. I believe Buddhism is a religion and is a sub-set of zen, and so are most other religions I thought Zen, including Soto, Rinzai and Obaku, are part of the Mahayana school of Buddhism and a direct outgrowth of the Chinese Chan, which was brought to China by Bodhidharma, an Indian Buddhist monk. What has led you to conclude the above? Chuck ------------------------------------ Current Book Discussion: any Zen book that you recently have read or are reading! Talk about it today!Yahoo! Groups Links <*> To visit your group on the web, go to: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Zen_Forum/ <*> Your email settings: Individual Email | Traditional <*> To change settings online go to: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Zen_Forum/join (Yahoo! ID required) <*> To change settings via email: mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] <*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to: [EMAIL PROTECTED] <*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to: http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/