In my estimation there really is no way to assert what Zen is, whether you  
are restricting it to zazen; or opening it to a wider religious and 
cultural  discussion.  The best we can do is just admit we fall short and 
point to our own experience, to presence.  Of course we could ask ourselves  
who is being present?  
So repeating zazen zazen zazen with platitudes to support it, or explaining 
 big Zen and little zen, does do much but tell us something about who is 
doing  the talking and perhaps who is doing the listening here.  
I think it is safe to say that Zen is a path that addresses the  
experiential with zazen as its central methodology -- a sort of undoing of  
the conditioned cultural and experiential part of your personality  that 
continuously reacts and feeds your ego.  
Think of it this way, while you are reading this you are already reacting  
inside in an automatic way.  Zen seeks to loosen the bounds of your false  
self and return you to your natural state.  Part of the reason why Zen  
honors spontaneity, clarity, nature and a sense of the primordial untouched  
mother that feeds us all.
In this respect Zen shares a great deal in common with Sufism, although the 
 methods might be a great deal different.  
Best wishes
It shares a great deal of common
In a message dated 9/9/2010 10:55:19 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time, writes:

In my direct experience there is nothing at all mystical about zen - nor is 
 there anything mystical about it as the old Chinese masters taught it. And 
I  do think this is why many people have such a hard time with zen - they 
are  looking for something mystical, they cannot believe it really is that 
simple:  "Everyday mind is zen mind" or "Marvelous spiritual power; chopping 
wood and  carrying water!" or "If you want to understand zen directly, the 
normal mind  is zen mind." And my favorite: "Someone asked Xuedou, 'What is 
the living  meaning of zen?' Xuedou said, 'The mountains are high, the oceans 
are wide.'  "

Until you "get it" these things don't seem to make sense and people  think 
there must be some deep mystical thing they are missing. After you "get  it" 
you realize it was there all along! ;-)


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