Zen Buddhism: North Americans Embrace a Contemplative School of Buddhism

Article ID: DB565-3 | By: J. Isamu Yamamoto

Perhaps no Eastern religion is considered more chic and intellectually sophisticated in America today than Zen Buddhism. Offering an autonomous path to mystical enlightenment that does not demand acceptance of Eastern mythology and culture, Zen is well suited for the “post-modern” American. Yet, J. Isamu Yamamoto maintains, Zen is actually an anti-intellectual approach to truth that denies fundamental human needs.

Zen Buddhism- Summary

One of the most popular forms of Buddhism among non-Asian North Americans is Zen Buddhism. As one of the many schools of Mahayana Buddhism, the primary goal of Zen is to achieve personal enlightenment by meditating upon specific illogical phrases. Zen’s emphasis on self-effort, contemplative experience, and detachment from one’s desires appeals to many Westerners, who have abandoned rational philosophies and religious dogmas for a religion that stresses “nonthinking.”

Lance Miller was raised in a Presbyterian church, where he learned to love God and where he decided to give his life to the Lord. It was not surprising to anyone that he entered seminary and graduated with honors. Lance was a gifted minister. People loved his preaching because he was able to convey the love of Christ in a way everyone could understand. They valued his counseling because he was able to touch people’s deepest needs with caring insight. But Lance struggled with one burden: his wife was miserable as a preacher’s wife. Although she loved to be in the spotlight, she hated acting the role of a saintly wife. In time, she rebelled, becoming involved with different men. Finally, she left Lance and her three young children for another man.

Lance was heartbroken, but found consolation by pouring all his affections into his children. At first, other Christians sympathized with Lance’s plight. But a divorced minister is a stigma that many churches have great difficulty accepting. Inevitably, many of the leaders of his congregation — along with the assistant pastor — compelled Lance to move on.

At one time Lance was a young rising star in the evangelical world. But now no one wanted him as a head pastor. In order to support his family Lance took a position as a youth minister in another state. After a couple of years Lance’s ex-wife took him to court. She had decided the children would be better off with her. And though he spent everything he had to fight for them, the courts awarded the children to his ex-wife. Lance had lost everything on earth he held dear.

A year later, Lance began to date a woman who was involved with Zen Buddhism. Although their relationship did not last, his interest in her religion did. It was not the teachings that first attracted him to Zen. In fact, at first Buddhism grated disagreeably with his faith in Christ. But the practice of Zen meditation filled the void he felt in his life. His Zen experience inevitably displaced his Christian faith. No one knows what lies ahead for Lance. Today, however, he says without hesitation that he is a Zen Buddhist, not a Christian. Like Lance, many non-Asian North Americans are becoming involved with Zen Buddhism. While the reasons vary widely, in most cases it is the Zen experience that has attracted them to this Eastern religion.

Zen Buddhism- HISTORY OF ZEN BUDDHISM

Even in the early history of Buddhism, the elements that would ultimately develop into its two major branches were present in its many ancient schools. These two branches are Theravada Buddhism1 and Mahayana Buddhism.

Mahayana Buddhism

Mahayana Buddhism is actually a vast umbrella that encompasses a number of Buddhist sects whose doctrines and rituals can be quite diverse from one another. In fact, some Buddhist scholars categorize Tibetan Buddhism2 as a separate or third branch of Buddhism because of its significant distinctions.

Of the major schools of Mahayana Buddhism (other than Tibetan Buddhism), three are currently prominent in North America: (1) the Pure Land schools of Buddhism, whose members are primarily Japanese Americans and Chinese Americans,3 (2) Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism, whose members are primarily non-Asians,4 and (3) Zen Buddhism, whose teachers are mostly Asians, but whose followers are predominantly non-Asians.

Antecedents of Zen Buddhism

Zen Buddhism is a Japanese religion, but its roots can be traced to India by way of China. In India the Sanskrit word for meditation is Dhyana, which refers to a highly developed meditative discipline in Hinduism. Evidently this practice — or a form of this practice — was transmitted to the Chinese, giving rise to the Chinese word Chan-na, which is a rendering of the word Dhyana. Ch’an is the shortened form of Chan-na, and also means “meditation.” The Japanese studied Ch’an, and pronounced it “Zen.”

The traditional Buddhist doctrines of emptiness (sunyata) and intuitive enlightenment are vital elements in Zen Buddhism. Chinese Taoist influence also helped to formulate this religion. Nevertheless, it is the Japanese who are responsible for systematizing and developing it into a unique expression of Buddhism.

Zen tradition locates the origin of Zen in the esoteric teachings of the Buddha. In fact, Zen tradition lists 28 Indian patriarchs, each passing the “lamp of enlightenment” to his successor. Bodhidarma (A.D. 470-543) is said to be the 28th patriarch, who established the Ch’an tradition in China. During the following centuries Ch’an divided into numerous sects, unable to maintain a single tradition.

Zen Buddhism in Japan

According to Japanese Buddhist tradition, after Buddhism spread from China down the Korean peninsula, one of three Korean kings, Syong-Myong, presented Emperor Kimmei of Japan with Buddhist scriptures and images of the historical Buddha in A.D. 552. This apparently was the introduction of Buddhism to Japan.

Once the Japanese accepted Buddhism, the religion subdivided into a number of sects, just as it had in China. Although elements of Zen were already present in some of these Japanese sects, it was not until the Kamakura period (1185-1333) that Zen Buddhism was established in Japan.

The Japanese monk Myoan Eisai (1141-1215) was responsible for the introduction of Zen as an independent Buddhist sect to the Japanese. Eisai had studied the teachings of the Lin-chi sect of Ch’an Buddhism in China. After bringing what he had learned to Japan, the established Buddhist order vigorously opposed him. Subsequently he received protection from the shogun (the military leader of Japan) Minamoto Yoriie. Eisai had to compromise with the shogun on matters of doctrine and practice. This was a principal reason for the interaction of ideas between Zen and the samurai philosophy. His sect became the Rinzai school of Zen Buddhism.

Another Japanese monk, Dogen5 (1200-1253), also traveled to China and studied Ch’an Buddhism. He focused on the Ts’ao-tung school. Unlike Eisai, Dogen refused to mix any other ideas or concepts with Zen. He taught that the attainment of Buddhahood is achieved through continuously striving to reach deeper levels of awareness, and is not a quick experience stimulated by a flash of understanding during meditation, as Eisai believed. Dogen founded the first independent Zen temple in Japan in 1236, and established the Soto school of Zen Buddhism.

Other Zen sects exist in Japan, but the Rinzai and Soto schools are important not only in that country but also in North America. The Rinzai and Soto sects currently claim “about 2 1/2 million and 7 million adherents respectively” in Japan.6

Zen Buddhism in North America

In 1893 Soyen Shaku was invited to the World’s Parliament of Religions, which was held in Chicago. Soyen Shaku was the first Zen master to promote the growth of Zen in the United States. The success of Zen, however, was due not to him but rather to his disciple, Daisetz Teitaro (D. T.) Suzuki (1870-1966).

“Until the 1960s,” says Asian historian Emma Layman, “most of what the English-speaking world knew of Zen came from Suzuki’s pen.”7 From 1950 to 1958, Suzuki lectured on Buddhism at Columbia University. These lectures, along with his many books, stimulated a lifelong interest in Zen Buddhism among such Westerners as Alan Watts and Christmas Humphreys. Although Suzuki was neither a Zen priest nor a master, as an adherent of the Rinzai sect he taught that a quick, abrupt experience effects enlightenment — contrary to the gradual process toward enlightenment, which is the teaching of the more popular Soto sect in Japan.

Other Easterners who have taught Zen in the West include Sogaku Harada, Shinryu Suzuki, and Kyung Beo Seo. Harada came from the Hosshin Temple in Japan and taught both the Rinzai and Soto techniques of Zen. The Eihei Temple in Japan commissioned Shinryu Suzuki to instruct Westerners on Soto Zen. Seo brought a Korean form of Zen Buddhism to North America. Although the shadow of D. T. Suzuki has obscured the accomplishments of these men, they still have played significant roles in the development of Zen in the West.

There are also Westerners who have done much to advance Zen, most notably Alan Wilson Watts. Watts was born on January 15, 1915 in Chislehurst, England. At the age of 23 he came to the United States, where he was ordained in 1944 as an Anglican priest. During the next decade, D. T. Suzuki had a substantial influence on Watts, whose faith moved from Christianity to Zen Buddhism. Watts wrote a number of widely read books extolling the virtues of Zen as he understood it.

Philip Kapleau is another important figure. Unlike most Westerners, Kapleau has tried to adjust the traditional technique of Zen into a more Western form. For example, he introduced English words into the practice of chanting. Since he is one of only a few Americans who has been ordained a Zen priest in Japan, his unique style of Zen has been generally observed with respect.

Though the First Zen Institute of New York was established in 1930, few people joined the Institute over the next two decades. Most Americans who had any interest in Buddhism prior to the late ‘40s were of Asian decent. Not until the middle ‘50s did Zen begin to gain a wide following.

Outside the mainstream of American Zen during the late ‘50s and early ‘60s, groups of philosophers, artists, poets, and students popularized Zen philosophy. This brand of Zen was known as “Beat Zen,” and its spokesperson was the Beat novelist Jack Kerouac.

In the ‘70s and ‘80s, no one Zen master or charismatic spokesperson for Zen emerged in the West as had Suzuki, Watts, Humphreys, and Kapleau in previous decades. Instead, what has occurred is that scores of zendos (Zen centers) have sprung up throughout North America. Anchorage Zen Center in Alaska (established in 1986), Zen Desert Sangha in Arizona (1983), Zen Center of Los Angeles in California (1971), Boulder Zen Center in Colorado (1978), Atlanta Soto Zen Center in Georgia (1973), Chicago Meditation Center in Illinois (1985), and Living Darma Center in Massachusetts (1972) are just a few that can be named. Zen may not seem to the news and entertainment media to be as fascinating as it was during the late ‘50s and early ‘60s, but actually Zen is penetrating American society much more deeply.

Zen Buddhism- THE PHILOSOPHY OF ZEN

According to Zen Buddhists, Zen itself cannot be defined because it has no definition. Its philosophy cannot be delineated because it has no theory or system of principles. As described by Christmas Humphreys, “Zen is beyond description.”8 “Zen is not something that can be explained in words,” explains Toichi Yoshioka, “but is a practice which is carried out for one’s own self-development and leads to a state of liberation called satori.”9 Alan Watts states, in reference to the Zen experience, that the Tao is beyond words: “To say that ‘everything is the Tao’ almost gets the point, but just at the moment of getting it, the words crumble into nonsense. For we are here at a limit at which words break down because they always imply a meaning beyond themselves — and here there is no meaning beyond.”10

If Zen cannot be defined or described, the attempt has nonetheless been made countless times. Within the past four decades a mountain of literature has appeared in North American bookstores. Most of these books deal not with the mode of Zen’s expression, but with its experience. “It is enough,” says Alan Watts, “to add that Zen is first and last a matter of experience.”11 “Personal experience,” says D. T. Suzuki, “is everything in Zen.”12 For Suzuki, the experience of Zen cuts through rational authority and objective revelation and unveils spiritual truth. He then argues that Zazen is “the most practical method of attaining spiritual enlightenment.”13

Za means sitting and Zen means meditation. According to Zen Buddhists, Zazen, like Zen, cannot be explained. Dogen states in Fukan Za Zangi (General Teaching for Zazen) that the crux of Zazen is nonthinking, which is the essential art of Zazen. Since nonthinking excludes rational thought, to explain nonthinking would automatically put it in a category of thinking and thus miss its essence. Therefore, Zazen must be something that can only be experienced for oneself.

Zen Buddhists seek truth through meditation, and Zazen can only be performed through self-effort (jiriki). “Zen emphasizes salvation within oneself,” says E. Dale Saunders. “Every man has the Buddha-nature, and this nature is perceptible through a ‘realization of self.’ Hence Zen more than any other sect stresses the qualities of self-understanding and self-reliance as prerequisites for apprehending one’s own nature.”14

“You yourself must make the effort,” says the Dhammapada (Buddhist scripture); “Buddhas do but point the way.” In other words, Zen Buddhists must have faith in their own Buddha-nature. To have faith in the Buddha himself is therefore an obstacle to salvation. In fact, there are Zen stories of the images and icons of the Buddha being burned or desecrated. Even the name of the Buddha has been referred to as dung. Some Zen masters employ these apparent profanities to teach their disciples that “one does not practice Zen to become a Buddha; one practices it because one is a Buddha from the beginning.”15 Zen Buddhists must not look to the Buddha but know that they are Buddhas themselves. “For Buddha’s sake Buddha is to be given up. This is the only way to come to the realization of the truth of Zen.”16

The ultimate goal of the Zen Buddhist is the same as for all Buddhists: the attainment of nirvana, which is the extinction of all desires and passions and the extinction of one’s individual identity. The immediate goal of the Zen Buddhist, however, is uniquely Zen; it is called satori, and involves an experiential realization that duality is the illusion of the mind. Satori is an inner perception of all reality as one. It is the heart of Zen.

Two techniques are employed in the Rinzai sect of Zen Buddhism to attain satori. The rapid exchange between master and disciple through question and answer is a technique known as mondo. The other technique is the concentration on a koan — a phrase, question, or problem that is insoluble to the intellect. Both are in frequent use in the West.

Some famous koans are: “Is there Buddha-nature in a dog?” “What is your original face before you were born?” “What is the sound of one hand clapping?” “All things are such as they are from the beginning; what is that which is beyond existence?”

These are just four of an estimated 1,700 Koans. Only a few, however, are necessary to reach satori. Even one may be enough. When one solves his or her koan — and not by reason — he or she experiences kensho (enlightenment). Each kensho will transport the individual to a higher state of satori.

Although the koan is a Zen paradox whose expression conflicts with conceptual reasoning, “the Koan is neither a riddle nor a witty remark,” states D. T. Suzuki. “It has a most definite objective, the arousing of doubt and pushing it to its furthest limits.”17 Koans, therefore, are used as a means to cut through discriminating intellect in order to achieve satori.

Although attaining enlightenment is the primary goal of a Zen Buddhist, “Zen is not against philosophical understanding, study of Sutras [scripture], or development of liturgy, but is quick to reject these concerns once they threaten to become objects of desire and hence obstacles to the one essential [satori].”18

Zen Buddhim- ZEN’S ATTRACTION TO WESTERNERS

According to Christmas Humphreys, Zen “is at once the Life, the Truth, and the Way.”19 Humphreys is not alone in ascribing to Zen qualities that Christians ascribe to Jesus Christ. In fact, tens of thousands of non-Asian North Americans have embraced Zen Buddhism as the religion of their choice.

How can we explain Zen’s popularity in the West? There are many reasons: One is that we live in a self-reliant culture. Rugged individualism is prided as an American virtue, and Zen fills that bill nicely. Although numerous Zendos have been formed in North America, there is no single organization that can claim bureaucratic authority over all — or even a large minority — of them. While many acolytes of Zen Buddhism in the West acknowledge that they are under the tutelage of a Zen master, there is no supreme authority figure equivalent to the Dalai Lama in Tibetan Buddhism. And most Western Zen Buddhists prefer it that way. Since Zen promotes the religion of self-effort, non-Asian Americans view Zen as a way to plunge deeper into themselves.

A second reason why non-Asian Westerners are attracted to Zen is that Zen is experience-oriented. North American culture places a high premium on experience. Whereas pop culture in the West promotes the thrill element in experience — such as enjoying the most passionate sexual climax or viewing the most gruesome violent murder on the screen or in a video game — philosophy and art in Western society exalt the existential moment when the true essence of self emerges to give meaning to one’s life. Either way, the quest for the ultimate experience is a troubling yearning in the consciousness of most North Americans, and many of them regard Zen as the vehicle that will transport them to that ultimate experience.

A third reason is that nonattachment is a key component of Zen Buddhism. As much as Westerners are addicted to the pleasures of the world, many are equally desirous of being detached from anything that would cause them to suffer. Lance Miller found solace in Zen because it compelled him to be detached from the sources of his suffering. Whether dealing with pain, stress, anxiety, or even discomfort, people in our society would prefer to cut themselves off from the causes of their suffering rather than face them and allow suffering to chisel them into better persons.

Zen Buddhism- EVANGELISTIC SUGGESTIONS

Since “nonthinking” is a vital element in Zen Buddhism, any attempt to argue religious doctrines invariably stalls as the Zen Buddhist discounts conceptual reasoning. This mindset effectively veils to Zen Buddhists the illogical implications of their assumptions about ultimate reality. Thus, when we engage in a religious dialogue with Zen Buddhists, we should avoid getting entangled in long discussions in which we try to persuade them that they must accept the logic of our argument.

Ultimately the best route to the soul of most Zen Buddhists is through their hearts and not their minds. Once the Holy Spirit touches their hearts, their minds will also be awakened to the truth of the Gospel. One way to accomplish this is to ask them a series of questions about different aspects of their faith in Zen. The benefit of querying is threefold: First, since Zen Buddhists are familiar with this mode of dialogue, they become more willing to address theological issues. Second, it lays the cards faceup on the table for both sides to see — for them to recognize the implications of what they believe and for you to determine the weaknesses of their faith. Third, it plants seeds of doubt that may later compel them to question the validity of their commitment to Zen.

The third point is especially important to keep in mind. In most cases when conversion has occurred, the Holy Spirit used evangelism primarily as a tool to dismantle the props that support the Zen Buddhist’s attachment to nonthinking. Therefore, just getting Zen Buddhists to think about what they believe is often a giant step in opening their hearts to the Gospel, which normally occurs later when they struggle with the Lord privately.

Of course, it is useless — perhaps even mean-spirited — to attempt to crush a person’s faith and not offer something better in its place. And, of course, that something better is Jesus Christ. After asking them questions about a certain point, we can share what we believe in that area, resisting the urge to argue. Then we can go on to the next point. If they ask questions about our faith, then we can address specific issues more thoroughly. In this way we will plant not only seeds of doubt but seeds of hope as well.

Zen Buddhism- Soul or No Soul?

The Buddha taught that people do not have souls and that the ultimate goal of an enlightened being is total extinction. Now, how can something that doesn’t exist become extinct? According to the Buddha, that which is a person’s identity is not a soul but transient elements that form the identity of a person at birth, dissociate from one another at death, and reform at birth in another person. Buddhists believe it is these elements that are extinguished when one attains parinirvana (the ultimate experience of enlightenment). Of all the major schools of Mahayana Buddhism, Zen seems to be the most faithful to this doctrine of no soul (anatta in Pali or anatman in Sanskrit).

You might say to a Zen Buddhist that, according to your understand of the teachings of the Buddha, people do not have souls. Ask him or her to briefly explain what it is that continues to exist in another life form after he or she dies. Then say that as you understand nirvana and satori, the ultimate goal of Buddhists is extinction. Ask him or her, Why do you want to be totally extinguished?

Whether the Zen Buddhist is knowledgeable about the Buddhist doctrine on these points or not, these questions will force him or her to face the implications of these doctrines. For you, it is enough to simply say that you believe you have a soul and that you will live forever in intimate fellowship with a loving and compassionate God. The distinction should be startling.

Zen Buddhism- The Burden of Self-Effort

According to Buddhist tradition, one of the last instructions the Buddha gave to his disciples before passing away was for them to work out their own salvation with diligence. This admonition is one of the major pillars of the Buddhist faith. Although many Mahayana sects, like the Amida schools, have diverged quite far from this doctrine, Zen Buddhism is insistent that the individual must achieve his or her own deliverance.

When you converse with Zen Buddhists, ask how much effort it will take for them to finally attain the ultimate goal of their religion. What must they do? What must they accomplish? What must be sacrificed in order to be diligent in this task? Also ask them if they think they can reach this goal in their present lifetime. If not, how many lifetimes?

Then admit that you don’t have what it takes to achieve salvation in your own religion — and that since your God knows this, His Son Jesus Christ has carried the entire burden for you Himself. Point out that God asks only that we place our lives in His hands. Later, in the darkness of their solitary quest for self-enlightenment, they may remember your questions and confession, and God will ask them, Can you really find deliverance from suffering yourself?

Zen Buddhism- Becoming Detached

Why do I suffer? And how can I end it? These two questions have always troubled humanity. The Buddha answered them by saying we suffer because we are attached to things, and we end suffering by becoming detached to all things. Of course, this brief summary of the Buddha’s teachings on suffering can be construed as simplistic when one notes the complexity of his teachings on the Four Noble Truths and the Twelvefold Chain of Causation.20 But for Zen Buddhists, what is constantly hammered into their heads is to stop being attached to this desire, or to that thought, or this person, or that material object. Therefore, focusing on the nonattachment tenet of the Buddhist doctrine hits upon the heart of the Zen Buddhist’s quest for deliverance.

If you ask Zen Buddhists what they are trying to become detached from, most will probably list the negative things of life — anger, lust, greed, materialism, and so on. But be more specific: Are you to be detached from your affection for your parents, spouse, and children? Are you to be detached from enjoying the beauty of nature and art? Are you to be detached from wanting global justice and feeling compassion for the afflicted? Do all these things cause you to suffer? Are you to be detached from other Zen Buddhists and especially your Zen master? If you are to be detached from your Buddhist teachers, how can you be certain they are guiding you to the truth? If you become detached from your thoughts and feelings and finally your will, what prevents evil spirits from possessing you?

Tell the Buddhist that you agree that the Buddha was right in trying to resolve the issue of human suffering, but that when you are hurting, you want to find comfort from someone who can feel the pain you feel and not someone who has detached himself or herself from all pain. Explain that in Jesus Christ you have found someone who did not refuse or try to eliminate suffering, but accepted its full force even unto an agonizing death. This He did in our behalf, that by dying He might deal a death blow to suffering and death’s true ultimate cause, sin, in order to provide us with true ultimate deliverance from them.

Also admit to your Buddhist friends that Jesus did not instruct His followers that they were to detach themselves from all sufferings. But Jesus did promise that He will help us carry our burdens during our struggles here on earth (Matt. 11:28-30), and that when we enter His heavenly kingdom, “He shall wipe away every tear from [our] eyes, and there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain” (Rev. 21:4). Point out that because of the love Jesus has for you and you have for Him, you believe Him and can go to Him with your troubles and afflictions.

Zen Buddhism- A Surprising Example

As you share your faith in Christ with Zen Buddhists, one additional point may be worth mentioning. Your Zen Buddhist friends may have spent considerable time and effort in trying to attain satori. To give up all they have sacrificed may be agonizing to them even if they believe the Gospel is the truth. Furthermore, they may be anxious about what their Buddhist friends and particularly their Zen teachers may think of their abandonment of Zen. Perhaps their friends and teachers will think they have betrayed their spiritual quest for enlightenment and have succumbed to falsehood, weakness, and ignorance. To renounce Zen in the face of such disapproval and possible derision might require a resolve that your support can bolster. One way you might be able to encourage them is to remind them of the life of the Buddha.

After Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, became aware of human suffering, he spent many years trying to achieve enlightenment by practicing severe austerities with other Brahmin monks. Finally, he came to believe that the way to truth cannot be discovered through the extremes of life, but through the Middle Path. At that point he ate a full meal in the presence of the other monks. Despite their accusations that he had yielded to physical weakness and abandoned the journey to enlightenment, Gautama did what he believed was right. Although what the Buddha came to believe is not what the Bible teaches, he did show that one must commit to what one believes to be the truth rather than be intimidated by what others think. Ironically, this example may help your friends break their bond to Zen Buddhism.

Zen Buddhism- FINAL THOUGHTS

Solomon was the third king of Israel. At one time he was said to be the wisest person in the world. But Solomon became a fool. Despite all his wealth, fame, and knowledge, he departed from the statutes of God and betrayed his friendship with the Lord.

Solomon, however, did learn one important lesson. He realized that pursuing all the things of the world was like chasing after the wind. “Meaningless! Meaningless!” he declared, “Everything is meaningless!” (Eccl. 12:8).

Without God life is meaningless, and grasping after the things of the world is like grasping brittle paper. The more you try to hold it, the more it breaks apart.

Zen Buddhists understand the futility of grasping. But in order to stop grasping, they deny life. To Christians, grasping is futile as well. But instead of grasping, we give our lives and desires to the Master. And as we serve Christ, our lives are affirmed by Him — not extinguished, but marked with meaning.

NOTES

1See Part Two of this series in the Fall 1994 Christian Research Journal.2This will be discussed in the Spring 1995 Christian Research Journal.3Since Jodo Shinshu was surveyed in the three-part series on “Witnessing to Asian Americans” in previous issues of the Christian Research Journal (Summer 1992, Fall 1992, Winter 1993), the Pure Land schools of Buddhism will not be covered in this series.4Since John Weldon examined this religion in the Fall 1992 Christian Research Journal, it will not be discussed in this series.5Japanese commoners at this time often had only one name.6C. W. Edwards, “Zen,” The Perennial Dictionary of World Religions, ed. Keith Crim (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1989), 824.7Emma McCloy Layman, Buddhism in America (Chicago: Nelson-Hall, 1976), 28.8Christmas Humphreys, Zen Buddhism (New York: Pantheon Books, 1957), 55.9Toichi Yoshioka, Zen (Osaka, Japan: Hoikusha Pub., 1978), 4.10Alan Watts, The Way of Zen (New York: Pantheon Books, 1957), 147.11Ibid., 26.12D. T. Suzuki, An Introduction to Zen Buddhism (New York: Grove Press, 1964), 33.13Ibid., 34.14E. Dale Saunders, Buddhism in Japan (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1971), 228.15Watts, 154.16Suzuki, 54-55.17Ibid., 108.18Edwards, 821.19Humphreys, 11.20The Four Noble Truths were discussed in Part One of this series (see the Spring/Summer 1994 Christian Research Journal. In the Twelvefold Chain of Causation, the Buddha traced the cause of suffering back to its origin — from ignorance to suffering, of which attachment is a key link in the chain.

MENU