Jen Winston Buddhist Literature Discussion Week 11 November 11, 208 When “Zen” is used in mainstream American culture, what is it used to connote? What, in the popular American mind, does Zen mean? Have our lectures and readings on Zen challenged your preconceptions about Zen? Why or why not? (And if the answer is yes, explain how your ideas about Zen have changed.) Zen is a concept that many people think they know a lot about. It is a word thrown around to connote peace, serenity, and clearness of mind. However, as we look further into Buddhist texts about Zen, we see that the concept is way deeper than simply being in harmony with ones minds. Zen is strongly focused on wisdom and inner strength, and emphasizes dharma practice over the study of Buddhist texts. My perspective on Zen has changed very much after having read the texts in this class. As opposed to believing that Zen is simply a way of thought that create a peacefulness of mind, I now realize that it is strongly rooted in tradition. Popular American
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This note was uploaded on 12/09/2008 for the course REL 134g taught by Professor Loriminks during the Fall '08 term at USC.