Beat Zen, Square Zen, and Zen, by Watts Alan
It is as difficult for Anglo-Saxons as for the Japanese
to absorb anything quite so Chinese as Zen. For though the word "Zen"
is Japanese and though Japan is now its home, Zen Buddhism is the creation of
T'ang dynasty China.
I think it would be a very fascist world if only Tibetans
were allowed to be initiated into Tibetan Buddhism, and only Chinese were
allowed to practice Tai Chi, and so on. But, speaking from a Buddhist
perspective, where I have had a reasonable amount of experience, and in
particular, the Tibetan lineage, certainly, "Westerners" who enter the
transmission stream bring a great deal of cultural baggage with them.
Some Westerns wear Tibetan clothes, drink Tibetan tea with rancid yak
butter and have fully accoutred Tibetan Shrines and so on. My teacher,
Gelongma Palmo, said that this was not the point, that the point is that
the Dharma is transmitted. It may also be possible to be a white sangoma,
without having to wear the beaded wig and other paraphernalia. I have met TAR
initiates in simple suits. To the outer world, they could have been a railway
Johan chooses to decorate himself in his own version of
neo-ethnic, and in this age of uniformity, grunge and designer labels, and bully
for him. I do not know the gentleman at all, and have only seen him at
Exhibition openings in his bright regalia. Have not seen his work either.
Religion and the Military are, as we know, both extremely fond of display, the
regalia and accoutrements, the vestments and uniforms. ,
But history refers to the past; while in Africa we have a