Very simple truths here, you are not what you eat, the clothes you wear or the words you speak.
Make no mistake about it. Zen is Buddhist. When you try to take the Buddhism out of Zen, in order to make it more palatable for the masses, you do a great disservice. Zen without Buddhism is like a plane without wings. Here in the West, Zen is often peddled as a feel-good philosophy that anyone can do, regardless of their other beliefs, practices, or religious temperament. Although Zen Buddhism does NOT have to be fixed in robes, chanting, incense, foreign lexicon, or Asian temples, Zen DOES have a blueprint which makes it Buddhist. If this invisible structure is removed, the tiger which is Zen becomes a mere jellyfish.
I highly recommend What Makes You NOT a Buddhist, by Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse. In this invaluable book, he explains that if you lack some of the basics of Buddhism, no matter if you meditate, chant, or don’t eat meat, you…
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