by AlanWatts, popular book of the '60s

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


For those of you who visit this site, you will find that I am 'saturating' this site with videos on or of ZEN in various ways to give you the needed dose without slapping your faces or hitting you unduly with my this is sort of a 'mental preparation',which some often call or liken to 'brainwashing' although I am uncertain if any or all of the dirt in the contemporary mind can be removed, erased, expunged, or cleansed..... Probably none of this will hone your minds and intellects to a 'razor's edge' enabling you to cleave through the EGO,never mind the ID, and allow what some think is THE SUPER EGO to drop down and assume its 'superior' role in your life, ala Jungian outlooks....



THE WAY OF ZEN can be considered a most special section of BUDDHISM which has many categories for consideration......and a vast body of literature that varies to create,not only a colorful tapestray or prayer rug, but a confusing mandala of images that only a rare few can appreciate who are not strictly devotees but mere admirers of the 'esoteric' and of THE EAST of ASIA....... For some in the Western World, especially the United States, Zen and all other Asian sects, creeds, practices, and so forth represent to the conservative, orthodox minds, an 'invasion',often in conflict with established mores, customs, beliefs and practices...and so carry the additional stigma of being merely 'exotic' and the lives of converts and adherents, of whatever type and persuasion, tend to reinforce this for the most part, even if writings by or of them make very interesting reading for many...... Religions taken from their cultural settings and exported into foreign lands have a long history, of course, and it is often misunderstood and barely tolerated in the areas where they set up and operate....despite the interests of academics and persons searching for some type of 'fulfillment' that regular,local religions do not the religious chain.... ZEN has made various inroads into American Culture and Society but still has the stigma of emanating from the 'beat' generation, the hippie-drug culture/protest movements of the '60s, and now morphed into seminar/spa vacations or certain centers or 'Zendos' offering training to be a Zen Monk or simply offering Zen vacations or retreats and so on. Catalogs of 'ZEN SUPPLIES' available and market the various items, such as, prayer beads, images or statues of Buddhist Deities, incense, mats, etc. to further re-inforce the neophytes' initiations and the like and to 'open the mind' or 'shut it down' as the case may be....often described as 'polishing the mirror' or 'dusting the mirror'...among other pithy and aphoristic statements and sayings....which 'ZENISTS' are fond of spouting or quoting....especially those well versed in the writings and literature that are available.... But it is the actual practices of the Zen Buddhist Tradition that have the stronger, if not the strongest, appeal....rather drastic in some cases, moderate in others...but a path that one should not take lightly if one desires to begin such a journey or path or way.... The risks and dangers of ZEN are not usually stated in the beginnings,save by those opposed to any such undertaking or set of doctrines and beliefs and that mentioning them often raises eyebrows but fall into line with those opposed to ashrams, mosques, temples, yoga, and so those who have no understanding of such and would never enter a monastery, a retreat, a seminar, etc. on such...or a 'brotherhood'.... 'THE CULT OF TRANQUILLITY' as Zen is often called is not unlike other cults that frequently make the news or are written about from time to time....there are also various magazines devoted not only to Zen but also include other Eastern,Exotic,etc. practices and beliefs....and some of which offer trips to the various lands where these things are very prevalent and practiced, on various levels and on various scales....whether or not they impress or influence many. I have met one Zen person who did not accept any of the standard interpreters of Zen in the US...and he lives not far from me and sells old books, prints,etc. and is a Caucasian or so I believe....I was there looking for books on China, Japan, yoga, jiu-jitsu,etc. and got into a discussion with him but I have not been back since...and I will discuss what we covered when I can recall a bit more exactly what it was.....he didn't like the novelist of a Zen orientation who lives in Maine and one whom I like to read....and that sort of irked me, which is perhaps what was intended....but that is not the source of my personal dissatisfaction with aspects of popular Zen for the masses or for the elite....