I’ve studied under both Renzai and Soto masters.  Generally speaking, Renzai 
uses koans and Soto only shikantaza (clear-mind meditation).  The culmination 
of both teachings is shikantaza.  Koans are just teaching techniques or tools 
used to help you stop your discriminating mind so you can be clearly aware of 
Buddha Nature.


Some Soto schools do, however, employ koans.  The teacher I ended my formal 
training with had teaching credentials (Inca) from masters in both Soto and 
Renzai schools.   He tailored his teaching techniques according to the student. 
 Since I started with his Renzai master and began koan study with him, he 
continued to use koan study with me all throughout my training.


To what ‘slaps’ are you referring?   I didn’t read about any ‘slaps’ to a lady 
in the koan that was posted a couple days ago.




From: [] On Behalf Of 
Maria Lopez
Sent: Saturday, October 09, 2010 4:19 AM
Subject: RE: [Zen] New member.



Thanks Jody.  Doesn't the Soto tradition uses koans?.


Should be understood them that slaps the lady received in the koan given,  were 
defectuos because nobody can awake anybody else except for oneselves?





--- On Fri, 8/10/10, Jody W. Ianuzzi <> wrote:

From: Jody W. Ianuzzi <>
Subject: RE: [Zen] New member.
Date: Friday, 8 October, 2010, 17:10


Hello Mayka,

It is my understanding that Soto Zen is just about sitting and Renzei Zen is
about koans.

When the Roshi slaps a student in Renzei it is not punishment it is to wake
them up and bring them to the moment. The student bows in gratitude for the


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