Zen Filter

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Monday, March 13, 2006

misuse of "Zen": A yen for Zen

Somewhat related to the use of "Zen" in product names is the frequent use of the word "Zen" to mean, well, pretty much whatever you want. Here is an article about Yoga that doesn't mention Zen at all, yet the title is "A yen for Zen." Well, it rhymes. My question with this as well as all the Zen products is, what does Zen mean to people who don't practice? Eastern? Far out? Spacey? Weird? Surreal? Ancient? Cool? Relaxed?


Blogger Tarun said...

I think the word 'zen' in popular culture brings to mind images of mystical places and frames of mind, but also people believe zen is some kind of mystical tool for achievement of some goal (usually contentment and great success in everyday matters).

Buddhism brings to mind 2 things usually -
1. Religion
2. A austere way of life (one of renunciation)

But zen is looked at by some as not end in itself, but a means to power over the mind (and hence the circumstances of life).

I read here that Zen is different from Buddhism since it can be applied to say, archery and be used to do harm (like Samurai did) but Buddhism (hinayana) cannot.

I started reading about zen and buddhism in the hope of finding some relief (even if temporary) to my extreme fear, depression (medication does not help much) and pain. I do not wish to live, even though I know death brings no relief from pain (only nothingness). It does not bring partial dilution of self, it brings complete dilution. And there is no 'happiness' in that.

8:14 AM  

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