March 15, 2007

Zen Buddhism Without Meditation?

At the Tricycle's blog today, there is a post about how most Buddhists don't meditate. I always knew that western style Buddhism was differently practiced than any other culture's interpretation of Buddhism. It makes sense: westerners have incorporated Buddhism into our culture as best as we could, as we do/did any other religion/philosophy/practice.

But I was surprised to read that making meditation of the central tenets of Buddhism practice is a very western thing - not an eastern one.

I guess, I still have a whole heck of a lot to learn.

I sit maybe once a week, and I don't think that makes or break my Buddhist-ness. But it's interesting to know I'm not the only one in the world who practices Buddhism without being married to daily sitting.

I suppose, in some ways, it's like Christians who don't generally pray?


JohnR said...

Thank you for the link to the Tricycle article.

I lived with my (Japanese) mom's parents in Japan, where Buddhism is woven tightly into the cultural milieu. Every morning my grandma greeted her ancestors and Amida Buddha at the altar, and when her husband passed away, the priests chanted over his body before he was cremated. His bones rest in an urn kept in a special room at the temple. I don't think she's ever meditated in her life.

Cheryl T. said...

Thanks for that. I've been
studying and practicing buddhism
for years but have been unable
to meditate without getting a
severe headache. It's been hard
to find a buddhist community because so much focus is on meditation. It's nice to know
that the tradition does not really
center on meditation.
Cheryl T.