I don’t describe myself using any religious term like Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Taoist, Gnostic, etc. I am simply me, and I see the world through my own eyes and filter the world around me through my own senses using my personal, internal computing system in all its limitations.
Not aligning to a particular religious belief allows me unfettered consideration of how various religions tend to view the world and try to make sense of people’s lives. I find that some aspects of various religions seem to have a ring of TRUTH to them, but often their stringent rules and doctrines of required adherence for qualified “believers” of that particular religion, will quickly turn me off to it.
So I can stand here on the outskirts of all religions and simply admire what I like about certain ones. In truth I do like Buddhism for its psychological approach to the subject matter of why we are here and how we should be conducting our lives in non-judgmental full awareness of every moment.
And as I understand it standing on the outside, there are different forms of Buddhism, one of which is the Zen approach, which is appealing to me in many ways because its focus is on helping people to see life as it simply is and live your life from the purest form of moment-by-moment awareness.
I see the value in this approach to life just as I see value in certain aspects of other religions. What this condensed article is describing is pertinent to the human aspirations I most admire: Wisdom, Compassion and Mindfulness. And according to this author, that is the point of Zen.
But I also know that Zen is considered a fathomless concept, and none knew it better than D. T. Suzuki. So if anyone is truly interested in studying more about Zen, he would be a good starting point.
The quotes listed here are from the blog article: The Way of Zen – Wisdom, Compassion & Mindfulness . Posted on October 24, 2014 by Christopher Chase (https://creativesystemsthinking.wordpress.com/2014/10/24/the-way-of-zen-wisdom-compassion-mindfulness/?fbclid=IwAR1baYMA9UAfRnPJliTnIjB7QWR4GUQAegOKV126aTsQV_vwmLMV1pXMY5g)
“Much has been written about Zen, but there are 3 essentials that are especially important. These insights and practices flow from the Buddha’s teachings yet can be applied by people of all religious faiths.
The first is the awakening of wisdom, what Buddha called right view. It’s coming to see the impermanence and empty “self” nature of all that exists. Seeing through the illusions of compartmentalized thinking to a more holistic understanding of how every atom, river, planet, galaxy and living being in our Universe arise together and flow as one interdependent ever-changing whole. …
The second is ethical conduct and compassion, valuing love and life more than material things, power or wealth. Supporting others, seeking to reduce violence and suffering, cultivating greater kindness and equality in society. Prioritizing peace, love and compassion is at the core of what many wise beings have shared with the world down through history. …
Finally, Zen teaches mindfulness of the present moment, observing what is happening without attachment or aversion. Being aware of what we are doing right here, right now, where ever we are. The practice of seated meditation is meant to assist with efforts to concentrate and calm the mind, but it is moment-to-moment mindfulness in all situations that Buddha most strongly emphasized. …
These three essentials taught by the Buddha: wisdom, compassion and mindfulness—are linked together synergistically and interdependently. When we successfully prioritize all three each serves to strengthen the development of the others. Over time (and with practice) we become more compassionate, wise, mindful, loving, joyful and at peace. –Christopher Chase”