What is Zen? (14 posts)

  • Profile picture of bodhi vartan bodhi vartan said 6 years, 9 months ago:

    What is Zen?

    Hey guys I am conducting a bit of research and requesting your help. Osho says that Zen is the future and do be honest I know very little about Zen though I have often described myself as a Zen Monk and when people asked “What is it?” I would answer, “You are looking at it.” Hehe. Anyway, I am plowing through Osho’s last eight books plus whatever else he said on the subject and that will take a while.

    In the meantime I have been asking the question to various friends of mine many not into spiritual matters and the response has been surprising. There is a lot of wisdom in the streets. Two that stand out are, “The path of least resistance” which I have used on the SN forum without any hassle and, “Seamless” which I will probably also use later on. Just joking.

    So the question is, What does Zen mean to you? Be careful about what you say. It might come back and bite you. Hehe.


  • Profile picture of frank frank said 6 years, 9 months ago:

    according to the philosopher slavjob frankzec
    trad zen was about a bunch of guys with shaved heads from one of the most militaristic societies ever,holed up in monasteries in the mountains eating too much porridge,asking each other absurd questions and thumping,slashing and beating each other with sticks when they got the answers wrong .the “masters”did the beating and the the young ones got the bruises.
    cats were slashed for entertainment,and young boys fingers cut off.
    what they did for sexual relief is unsurprisingly,not recorded.
    desperately anti-women,
    one “teaching” story involves a monk being beaten to death just for glancing at a woman.another a “master”throwing his disciple out of an upstairs window.

    neo-zen was a bunch of beatniks doing dexedrine,dope and booze,driving around the states in beat up cars,reading whacked out chinese and japanese poetry,having sex and partying hard.

    osho zen leaned to the neo but had traces of the trad.

  • Profile picture of Deleted User said 6 years, 9 months ago:

    Frank, not bad and Slavo would agree.

  • Profile picture of bodhi vartan bodhi vartan said 6 years, 9 months ago:

    Thanks for replying frank. I would love to disagree but I can’t. It’s hard to argue against hard truths. I may have to attack the messenger,


  • Profile picture of frank frank said 6 years, 9 months ago:

    you`re welcome.
    i love shooting zen bull.

    and those zen masters were masters of the one liner.

    a disciple asked the zen master ho kin
    “does a cow have buddha nature?”
    he replied: “mu”

  • Profile picture of bodhi vartan bodhi vartan said 6 years, 9 months ago:

    In the way I heard it the cow was dyslexic and kept on repeating “OOM”.


  • Profile picture of bodhi vartan bodhi vartan said 6 years, 9 months ago:

    The kind of Zen I am looking at is Archery and Swordsmanship as ways of teaching meditation. One good advantage is that they can be done both indoors and outdoors.

    Osho on Zen Archery and Swordsmanship as methods of teaching Meditation




  • Profile picture of bodhi vartan bodhi vartan said 6 years, 8 months ago:

    Update. Osho’s last 36 (36??? 36!!!) books are on Zen, culminating with The Zen Manifesto which is a must. To those, one must add the pre-Pune II Zen volumes. Good. Plenty to keep me busy for a while. Basically, Zen is what we say it is.

    I see the archery and swordsmanship elements as pre-meditation, presentation, and dare I say ‘fun’ techniques, rather than as meditations in-themselves.

    There is an archery club in the city of London that I will be visiting soon and there are also these guys:


    … they look cool, love the dresses (I was thinking of dresses in Osho-robe colours). There is also lots of stuff on You Tube.

    It looks like the Resort is also offering archery and at some point I will consider their course (article here in Osho Times from 2008 in .pdf)


    This is the best explanation of Zen I’ve seen anywhere (there is the audio at the bottom):


    An exclusive Osho Zen site



  • Profile picture of bodhi vartan bodhi vartan said 6 years, 4 months ago:

    Update. I am starting Kyudo training tomorrow. It looks like I have to do it as a martial art which is fine. I reckon two to three months is all I will need. In the meantime I have been reading everything I can get hold-of on Kyudo and Zen.

    I am not going to say too much here as it will all come out in the wash. I am specifically concentrating on practical Zen rather the philosophy. Prem Martyn thinks it’s old stuff but I don’t find it be so.

    The first paragraph and the content of the link below shows an ongoing debate on the subject.

    Shots in the Dark: Japan, Zen and the West — book review


    Also of note is the Catholic church’s interest on zen.

    “The notion of “pure Zen”—a pan-cultural religious experience unsullied by institutional, social, and historical contingencies—would be attractive precisely because it holds out the possibility of an alternative to the godless and indifferent anomic universe bequeathed by the Western Enlightenment, yet demands neither blind faith nor institutional allegiance. This reconstructed Zen offers an intellectually reputable escape from the epistemological anxiety of historicism.”

    This site is now closed (which is a pity). I wonder what happened …


  • Profile picture of shivamurti shivamurti said 6 years, 2 months ago:

    Hello Bodhi,
    I would suggest reading Osho’s book on Bodhidharma as he is credited with bringing Zen to China and Japan, I found things there I did not find anywhere else, And to know the pleasure of Zen I would say read “If the shoe fits”. Bodhidharma was a strange candidate for this job since he comes from the Tantric lineage of Narajuna. but then he also continued the perpetration of falsehood of Siddhartha Gautama.

  • Profile picture of bodhi vartan bodhi vartan said 6 years, 2 months ago:

    Thanks SM. As it happens I have been reading around the books where Osho talks on the Zen Masters and concentrating on the questions of Pune II. But now that you advise it I will have a look at the Bodhidharma work. I have been unearthing incredible stuff but I haven’t been putting it here as I didn’t think that anyone but frank was interested. (I am familiar with the movement of zen round the world.)

    The main discovery came after covering as much of the traditional ground as possible to identify how “Osho Zen” might be different from all the other forms. “Osho Zen” is a distinct and separate category which encompasses everything up to now plus streamlines it into experience.

    In ‘The Grass Grows By Itself’ page 7 Osho also identifies England as the birthplace of this new western zen …

    As said above I am concentrating all my effort into the practical aspects of Zen rather than the philosophy which I feel also suits the western mind better.

    “Before long, Zen will be the only religion left in the world.” – Osho

  • Profile picture of Jivan Alok Jivan Alok said 4 months, 1 week ago:

    You ask what Zen is, then you refer to Osho’s “best explanation of Zen” saying that Zen is just Zen. That is simply saying that Zen cannot be explained. One should embark on their own journey.
    It’s interesting how your journey through practice has been getting on for 5 years. Could you please share? Archery or swordsmanship or maybe just zazen?
    Jivan Alok

  • Profile picture of Arpana Arpana said 4 months, 1 week ago:

    @Jivan Alok said 14 minutes ago:

    Vartan made that remark six years ago.
    You are unlikely to get a reply.

  • Profile picture of Jivan Alok Jivan Alok said 4 months, 1 week ago:

    Unlikely is not impossible. Nonresponse is another form of response anyway. Let’s see.