Sunday, March 12, 2006

My post on Zenmar...

As I noted below, Zenmar's the kind of guy whose writing inspires me to say, "I admire him, and I've learned things rom him, but I sure better not be like him," and he'd probably agree.

Thanks to Blogmandu, I discovered much to my delight that he has a blog.

In case folks don't know it, and those who aren't close followers of all things Buddhist on the web probably aren't, Zenmar is the (one of?) the guy(s?) behind

First of all, I have to say that Zenmar I think performs a very very valuable service: by helping to demystify the roshis, and by arguing strenuously against the commercialism, New Age-iness,and fluff that has surrounded Buddhism in America, Zenmar's hit the nail on the head.

That said, the "I've got the truth and they don't" attitude (see here and here and here) comes across as not being completely familiar with the fact that there is real depth in American Buddhism today, as well as the fact the people who go to temples or study under teachers are hardly monolithic, nor are the teachers themselves.

Furthermore, I'd have to say that Zenmar's denigration of the Soto school is not what I would do, even though I study under a Rinzai master who's usually out of town these days.

Dogen was a genius; even in translation that shows through his writing. Moreover, I'd hardly call Dogen a "pious forger," as there are many reasons why the shisho certificate "on file" might not be authentic, including but not limited to "the old one was destroyed." Dogen's honored in Tiantong monastery; so it could all be one huge forgery or not, but I don't get that feeling from reading either Dogen nor my visit to Tiantong. (It is kind of amusing to me that Zenmar follows the post on Dogen's "lineage of hypocrites" with one extolling the rise of Buddhism in China.)

It's just not exactly like he's writing; it's not like I'm writing; find out for yourself.

But I suspect there's just this wee bit of Christopher Hitchens in both of us, I suppose, that we could hurl criticisms at anyone if we turned out attention to it.

Waste of time. Forget about this post.

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