Doing practice by Ganhwaseon in America
From International Symposium of Bojo Thoughts Institute, 16, November, 2005
Ven. Jong-Ho(Prof. Mun Gi, Bark)
Dept. of Seon, Dongguk Univ. & Graduate School
It has been taken for 50 years or more since Seon(Zen in Jap./ Ch’an in China/Sitting Meditation in the US) had been introduced as a technique of practice in American society. Many Zen masters came to the States from South-eastern areas; Korea, China, Taiwan, Myanmar, Sri-Lanka, Vietnam, and then they made up a new linage of American Zen, since Suzuki Shunryu(1904~1971) had built San Francisco Zen Center(SFZC) in 1958, in which a hall for practicing and a farm for self-sufficiency are completed.
Today, it is due to them that there are the various methods of Zen with many Zen-Centers and web-sites on internet for meditation practice in the States. If we surf on internet for a moment, immediately, we’d find out hundreds of web-sites related with Zen. I heard, that there are about 30 to 50 thousand of Zen Centers in the States, by a Zen-practitioner whom I met, while I was staying in the States in 2004.
Among them, first SFZC is organizing 9 Zen Centers around San Francisco, 10 in California area and 14 in the other areas. And Tibetan Shambhalla Center is organizing about 1,500 branches all around the States, IMS(Insight Meditation Society) is organizing about 5 hundred or more, and there are lots of Zen-Centers and practitioners. We can say, the number is not so considerable in the big country, but it is raised up so rapidly for a short period.
I classified the groups in the States into 4 methods of practice; Vajrayana Practice by Tibetan gurus, Vippassana Practice by South-eastern practitioners, Mook-jo Seon(Silent Illumination without kong-an/kung-an in China) by Japanese practitioners and Gan-hua Seon(Meditation with kong-an or hua-t’ou) by Korean, Japanese and Chinese practitioners. By the methods, Vajrayana is surpassed others, Vipassana is the next, and then Mook-jo, and the last is Gan-hua.
Hereby, specifically I’ll look into the Gan-hua Seon method in American society. In the lineage of Gan-hua Seon, there are separated to many families from their own Zen Masters, but I’ll study a few big families among them and also study the field related with 3 countries; Korea, China, Japan. I don’t want to review the great Zen Masters’ biographies, either. So I’d like to mention their activities inside of the States.
Ⅱ. Gan-hwa Seon of Zen-Master, Joshu S, Roshi
1. Life of Zen-Master, Joshu S, Roshi
Joshu Sasaki Roshi(1907~ ) arrived in L.A. on July, 1962, because his teacher asked him to go to America to teach Zen Buddhism and at that time, Dr. Robert Harmon and Dr. Gladys Weisbart had been independently trying to bring a Rinzai Zen monk to L.A. They sponsored Master Joshu Roshi to come to the US.
After arriving there, the Master Rhoshi began to teach Zen(Seon) for a few Zen students in a small house lent by Dr. Harmon. Before long, his teaching were attracting so many Zen students and the more lay-people gathered to learn his Zen teaching. At last, the Cimarron Zen Center, since renamed Rinzai-ji Zen Center as the first Zen Center, was opened in L.A.1)
Three year later, Rinjai-ji’s main training center, Mt. Baldy Zen center, was opened. This Center has gained a reputation in international Zen circles for its rigorous practice for 19 hours a day. Most of Rinjai-ji’s monks and nuns have received some or all of intensive training there.
And Michelle Martin who were practicing at Mt. Baldy Zen center, asked to practice in New Mexico area, and then Master, Joshu S, Roshi opened Jamez Bodhi Mandala, now Bodhi Mandala Zen Center in 1974. It became Master J. S, Roshi’s second training Center, offering daily Zazen(Ch’am Seon/Sitting Meditation) and communal work practice. In this Center, all practitioners were growing fresh greens and fruits together. It means Zen practice is not different from farming everyday life.
For 5 years, Master J. S, Roshi had never tired, offering Zazen(Ch’am Seon/Sitting Meditation), investigating kong-an, having private Dharma meeting in a very small house. He had always served tea, cooked for himself, whenever he met with anyone who came to practice. Specially, to commemorate his fifth birthday in 1967, he began to practice Seven-Day Intensive Retreat(Dai-Sesshin) at first, which has developed to another tradition for practice under the Master J. S, Roshi’s teaching. During the Intensive Retreat, practitioners usually do Zazen(Ch’am Seon/Sitting Meditation). Now there are 21 branches in the US under his teaching.
It is notable that the Master J. S, Roshi has held the Buddhist Sutra Seminar every summer at Mt. Baldy Zen Center since 1977. Over 16 years, many Buddhist scholars have taken part in the seminar from other countries. Naturally, Rinjai Zen under Master J. S, Roshi’s teachings was more prevalent.
He has taught his Zen students with old patriarchs’ Dharma Talks and interviewed them in the face of him with private until now, though he is walking 98th year. It is interesting that he was familiar with Korean Zen Master, Seung Sahn friendly. And he was very sad, when the Master, Seung Sahn passed away in 2004.
2. Gan-hua Seon of Zen-Master, Joshu S, Roshi
Even though Master J. S, Roshi has taught Gan-hwa Seon with kong-ans under Rinzai-ji, I wonder how he has checked the kong-ans for his Zen students. As for me, it was difficult to get the related data more. However, it’s obvious that he teaches Zen(Sitting Meditation) with hard, using the traditional method of ‘investigating kong-an’ and his own modern style. I confirmed to the Zen Center of Master J. S, Roshi a few times, that Master J. S, Roshi gives Hua-t’ou to the Zen students who is needed to test and checks the answers in the face of him. But usually beginners have learned the ‘counting breathing’ first and then, ‘investigating Hua-t’ou’ one after another.
Until now they have kept on practicing ‘7-Day Intensive Retreat’ one or two times a month, and Master J. S, Roshi has had private interview directly 4 times everyday during the period. At that time, usually he gives big questions(Hua-t’ou) as follow; “Who am I?”, “What am I?”, “What was my original face before I was born?”, “What is it?”.
However, we couldn’t confirm any more because they don’t want show their private teachings. They wants to come and ask for their methods of practice the Zen Center, if somebody would have any question. Though Master J. S, Roshi is a Japanese, he has chosen only Gan-hua(Investigating Hua-t’ou), not Mook-jo(Silent Illumination) as the methods of practice.
And we know he also uses the Buddhist daily-service or communal working and so forth, by the methods of practice, on his web-sites. During the ‘Intensive Retreat’, practitioners do Zazen(Ch’am Seon/Sitting Meditation), must keep silence, and finally can be free out of all delusion. By doing this, we could attain the self-nature and get wisdom to help all sentient-beings everyday life.2)
Consequently, Master J. S, Roshi emphasizes that you attain your true nature through the practice with kong-ans, and apply the wisdom into your real life. For the purport, he teaches Zazen(Ch’am Seon with Hua-t’ou), Intensive Retreat(Dai Sesshin), checks the kong-ans(private interview) directly, and ‘counting breathing’ for the beginners. And on farming greens and fruits, he leads the practitioners to apply daily life with Zen.
Ⅲ. Gan-hua Seon of Zen-Master, Sheng-yen
1. Life of Zen Master, Sheng-yen
Zen Master, Sheng-yen(聖嚴, 1931~ ) was born in a small village near Shanghai in 1931. Later on his Japanese teacher, Bantetsugu Roshi who met in his studying in Japan, asked him to teach Ch’an(Zen/Seon) Buddhism in the US. But he couldn’t speak English, so hesitated to leave. However, his teacher encouraged to him, ‘Zen doesn’t rely on words. Why worry about words?’
When he had traveled to the State in 1977, where he had served as the abbot of a temple in New York for a while. And he opened a Ch’an(Seon/Meditation) Center in Queens, New York, to propagate Chinese Ch’an(Zen) in there. In 1978 he became a professor at Chinese Culture Univ. in Taipei. In 1980 he found a Ch’an(Seon/Zen) Center and Chung-Hwa Buddhist Cultural Institute in New York. In 1989 founded the International Cultural and Educational Foundation of Dharma Drum Mountain and reopened the Center in Queens to New York Branch of ICEFDDM. Nowadays there are 24 branches of ICEFDDM in New York. In the Center, there are organizing many programmes as follow; ‘One-Day Ch’an Retreat’, ‘One-Day Recitation Retreat’, ‘Three-Day Recitation Retreat’, ‘Seven-Day Intensive Hua-t’ou Retreat’, ‘Ten-Day Intensive Silent Illumination Retreat’, ‘Family Zen Camp’ and so forth. Specially they have Dharma meeting for questions and answers every programme.
Finally, Master Sheng-yen had affected to open the Buddhist subject in almost 40 universities in the US. Currently 3,000 or more Zen students follow him in the States and about 300,000 are learning under his teaching in Taiwan. The Master has published more than 90 books, available in English, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, German, French and other languages.
It is notable that the Master received by two major lineages of Ch’an(Zen/Seon) Buddhism; Lin-Ji(Rinzai) School and Cao-Dong(Soto) School, and he became the Dharma heir in these two traditions. At age 28, sojourning at various monasteries, he had the deepest spiritual experience of his life. The experiences were recognized by the masters later. In 1975 he formally received transmission from Ch’an(Zen/Seon) Master Dong-Chu(東初, 1908-1977) of Cao-Dong(Soto) School and in 1978, from Ch’an(Zen/Seon) Master Ling Yuan(靈源, 1902-1988) of the Lin-Ji(Rinzai) School.3)
2. Gan-hua Seon of Zen-Master, Sheng-yen
The Master emphasizes not only Gan-hua Seon(Ch’an/Zen), but also teaches sutras, mantra practice, and all the methods for practice. In his Dharma talking, there are basically included the Buddha’s teachings, theory of cause and effect, rebirth(samsara), emptiness and so forth. He also applies ‘Gan-hua Seon(investigating kung-an)’ of Lin-Ji(Rinzai) School, ‘Mook-jo Seon(silent illumination without kung-an)’ of Cao-Dong(Soto) School and ‘Ji-kwan(止觀/ Great Shamatha)’ of T’ien-t’ai School for practice. Regardless of the methods, he uses all the types for practice like; ‘counting breaths’, ‘reading sutras’, ‘invoking mantra’, ‘reciting buddha’s names’, ‘walking meditation’, ‘investigating Hua-t’ou’, ‘silent illumination’ and others.
‘Ch’an encompasses four key concepts: faith, understanding, practice, and realization. Faith belongs to the realm of religion; understanding is philosophical; practice is belief put into action; and realization is enlightenment. Without faith, we cannot understand; without understanding, we cannot practice; and without practice, we cannot realize enlightenment. Together, these four concepts create the doorway we enter to attain wisdom.”4) It means that the Master thought all the methods of practice are related with each other.
In practicing meditation, Master Sheng-yen explained very simply. For beginners sitting postures on the cushion and the way of counting breaths is taught first. It is important that body and mind be relaxed. If one is physically or mentally tense, trying to meditate can be counter-productive. Sometimes certain feelings or phenomena arise while meditating. If you are relaxed, whatever symptoms arise are usually good. It can be pain, soreness, itchiness, warmth or coolness, these can all be beneficial. But in the context of tenseness, these same symptoms may indicate obstacles.
For example, despite being relaxed when meditating, you may sense pain in some parts of the body. Frequently, this may mean that tensions you were not aware of are benefiting from the circulation of blood and energy induced by meditation. A problem originally existing may be alleviated. On the other hand, if you are very tense while meditating and feel pain, the reason may be that the tension is causing the pain. So the same symptom of pain can indicate two different causes: an original problem getting better, or a new problem being created.5)
The methods of Ch’an(Zen) that the Master, Sheng-yen has taught in the States are divided into three stages. The first stage is to balance the development of body and mind in order to attain mental and physical health. The second is free from the sense of the small “I”. The third is free from the large “I” to no “I”.
The method of the first stage is very simple. Mainly it requires you to relax all the muscles and nerves of your entire body, and concentrate your attention on the method you have just learned. With regard to the body, we stress the demonstration and correction of the postures of walking, standing, sitting and reclining. Because the tension of your muscles and nerves affects the activity of the brain, the key is therefore to reduce the burden on your brain.
In the second stage you begin to enter the stage of meditation. When you practice the method of cultivation taught by your teacher, you will enlarge the sphere of the outlook of the small “I” until it coincides with time and space. The small “I” merges into the entire universe, forming a unity. When you look inward, the depth is limitless; when you look outward, the breadth is limitless. Since you have joined and become one with universe, the world of your own body and mind no longer exists. What exists is the universe, which is infinite in depth and breadth. You yourself are not only a part of the universe, but also the totality of it.
In the third stage you realizes that the concept of the “I” does not exist. But you have only abandoned the small “I” and have not negated the concept of basic substance or the existence of God; you may call it Truth, the one and only God, the Almighty, the Unchanging Principle, or even the Buddha of Buddhism. If you think that it is real, then you are still in the realm of the big “I” and have not left the sphere of philosophy and religion.
I must emphasize that the content of Ch’an(Zen) does not appear until the third stage. Chan is unimaginable. It is neither a concept nor a feeling. It is impossible to describe it in any terms abstract or concrete.6)
What is the Master’s methods for Ch’an(Zen) practice? He showed two styles for getting enlightenment; Gan-hwa Seon(Ch’an/Zen) with hua-t’ou of Lin-Ji(Linjai) School and Mook-jo Seon(Silent Illumination without hua-t’ou) of Cao Dong(Soto) School. Both of them enables us to be relaxed physically or mentally, and concentrate on mindfulness. The purpose of practicing Ch’an is to “Illuminate the mind and see into one’s true nature.” This investigation is also called ” Clearly realizing one’s self-mind and completely perceiving one’s original nature.”
There are many hua-t’ou as such; “Who is dragging this corpse around?” “All dharmas return to one, where does this one return to?” “Before you were born what was your original face?’ and “Who is reciting Buddha’s name?” is common.
In fact, all hua-t’ou are the same. There is nothing uncommon, strange, or special about them. If you wanted to, you could say: “Who is reciting the sutras?” “Who is reciting the mantras? “Who is prostrating to the Buddha? ” Who is eating?” “Who is wearing these clothes?” “Who’s walking?” “Who’s sleeping?” They’re all the same.
The Master Sheng-yen said, the answer to the question “who” is derived from one’s Mind. Mind is the origin of all words. Thoughts come out of Mind ; Mind is the origin of all thoughts. Innumerable dharmas generate from the Mind ; Mind is the origin of all dharmas. In fact, hua-t’ou is a thought. Before a thought arises, there is the origin of words. Hence, looking into a hua-t’ou is contemplating Mind. There was Mind before your parents gave birth to you, so looking into your original face before you were born is contemplating Mind. 7)
Hence, hua-t’ou’s involving the word “who” are wonderful methods for practicing Ch’an. You have to investigate the great doubt, whenever you walking, standing, sitting and reclining. A necessary element of Hua-t’ou practice is the presence of a sense of doubt. It doesn’t mean thinking or considering of an idea repeatedly. By the Great doubt, it means a burning, uninterrupted persistence to get the root of a question which is unanswerable. That is the core of Gan-hua Seon practice.
Ⅳ. Gan-hua Seon of Zen master, Seung Sahn, Haeng-won
1. His motivation and development for propagating
Zen Master, Seung Sahn, Haeng-won(1927-2004) arrived at the States in April 1972, when he was 42. In there he saw the sight, that Japanese people were practicing Ch’am Seon(zazen/sitting meditation) at a Zen Center in L.A. He was shocked and thought, ‘Why don’t we, Korean monks, teach the Seon(Zen) like that?’ At the next moment, he determined firmly to propagate Korean Gan-hua Seon(Kanna Zen) in the States.8)
However, the Master couldn’t speak English. So, he called Jeong-sun, Kim who was a professor for the Uni. of Rhode Island State, and began to propagate his Zen talks for his Zen students in his house with him.
Before long time, the more people came to listen to his Zen talks at his small house. So, the Master lent a small apartment in Providence and began to transmit his Dharma Talk in there, and then around 50 to 90 Zen students gathered to listen per week. Finally, October 10th of the year, Providence Zen Center was opened with great.
As the Dharma meeting at Providence had developed, so many lay-people came to become one of his Zen disciples from all the areas. Consequently, he opened Cambridge Zen Center in Massachusetts in 1974, New Haven Zen Center in Connecticut in 1975, and Dharma Zen Center in L.A. in 1976, one after another.
From 1976, Seung-Sahn Zen Master has affected on lay-people very tremendously. For his teaching style, he has taught Zen students directly in the face of him, and corresponded with them frequently. Specifically, Stephen Mitchell who was called Ven. Moo-Gak as his buddhist name, published “Dropping Ashes on the Buddha in 1976”, which is the collections of the Master’s Dharma Talks, questions & answers with his students, stories for the old Zen masters or patriarchs, and the letters corresponded with his American Zen students and so forth. In a twinkle, the book was recorded as a best-seller on the list, and then many people who read it wanted to become his disciples eagerly.
Until now, in the US, there are opened 29 Zen Centers, and so many people are practicing Korean Seon(Zen/Meditation) under his teaching in there.
2. Gan-hua Seon of Zen Master, Haeng-won, Seung Sahn
The core of his teaching is ‘see your true nature!’ and practice to attain the ‘true nature’, as it is just substantial world for us.
The Master said, “The most important thing that characterized their practice is that they simply looked inside, very deeply inside, to find their true nature. This is how the Buddha’s first students attained his teaching, preserved it, and passed it down to us.”9)There are layed emphasis on the ‘attain true-nature’ through his all teachings. The Master pointed that the true nature is already realized as it is.
“Zen teaching is very clear and simple. It points directly at our self-nature so that we can wake up and help this world. When you see, when you hear, when you smell, when you taste, when you touch, when you think-everything, just like this, is the truth. Everything is Buddha-nature. Everything is your true nature.”10) “Zen Buddhism means going from the world of ignorance and delusion and attaining the perception that everything is truth, just as it is. This world is already complete, and never moving. If you want to attain that point, first you must let go of your opinions, your condition, and your situation. You can see clearly, hear clearly, smell clearly, taste clearly, touch clearly and think clearly. The name for that is truth.”11)
Everything is already truth, and true Dharma. Zen Master, Seung-Shan admits all the styles of Buddhist practice to attain the true nature. He didn’t insist on any special word, any meaning or any form to get enlightenment.
“In Buddhist practice we can say that there are four main techniques for learning Buddha’s teaching: reading sutras, invoking the name of the Buddha, mantra practice, and meditation. Even though meditation is known to be the most direct way of realizing the Buddha’s teaching, each of these can help you very much. But if you become attached to sutras, or to invoking the Buddha’s name, or to mantras, or even to certain aspects of formal sitting meditation, then any one of these techniques will hinder you and drag you off the path. So the important thing to remember is not to become attached to anything, but rather to use each practice or technique correctly to find your true nature.”12)
Though our goal is to attain true nature ultimately, every technique will be helpful for us as the above; reading sutra, invoking the name of the Buddha, mantra practice, and meditation. “No matter what the tradition, the point of any meditation practice is to help you realize your own original nature so that you can help all sentient beings get out of suffering. Meditation(Zen) is not about making something special. It is not about having some peaceful experience of stillness and bliss.”13) The most important thing is finding your true nature, not the technique, the Master means that.
But the Master insists on the practicing whatever you’ve got enlightened in your everyday life. Of course, even though attaining true nature means that we have nothing to attain because everything is already complete, through the practicing to attain, we could keep a not-moving mind in any situation or condition and control the mind clear from moment to moment and control all the functions correctly to help all sentient beings. Meditation doesn’t mean only sitting in a straight posture, but keep your mind clearly all the time. “So moment-to-moment do-it mind is very important. Just-now mind. It has no subject and no object.”14)
Hereby, Zen Master, Seung-Shan specially teaches Gan-hua Seon as a technique for practicing. In his teaching there are two types of kong-ans(hua-t’ou/ big question); one is for looking inside, and the other is for testing the hua-t’ou(big questions) as follow; ‘Who am I?’, ‘What am I?’, ‘Only don’t know!’ and so forth. “There are many, many teaching words in this book. There are Hynayana word, Mahayana words, and Zen word. There are Buddhist and Christian words………..too many words! But all of these words are not necessary. Words and speech are only thinking, and thinking makes suffering. You must throw them all in the garbage! The reason for this is that our true nature is not dependent on understanding. This is why I only teach “don’t know.”…….”Don’t know” is not Buddhist or Christian or Zen or anything…………….I only teach ‘don’t know'”15) Master said, ‘never forget these big questions, ‘Only don’t know!’, ‘What am I?’ and so forth.
“In the Kwan Um School of Zen…………., the point of kong-an practice is to show you how to connect your don’t know mind with everyday life. How does your meditation on the cushion find its correct function, from moment to moment, to help other people? Nowadays this world is moving very quickly, and there are always new situations………………..If you only hold on to ‘Mu(無, nothing)’, attach to old poetic commentaries, and make some special experience out of Zen practice, you will lose your way. When you step out onto the street keeping ‘Muuuuuuuu’, maybe you will be hit by a car because you are only holding One Mind. However, our style of kong-ans means using kong-ans as practice to instantly perceive your correct situation, your correct relationship to that situation, and your correct function in that situation.”16)
Not holding One Mind, but perceiving your correct situation in your everyday life using the kong-ans. His teaching means that practice to attain your true nature using kong-an, and get wisdom in everyday life. On these days, it is important to apply the kong-ans in our everyday living.
These kong-ans were conventional methods for the Zen masters to review if their students got the right view through practicing in the past.
“When a Zen student practices hard and claims to have attained some insight into his or her true nature, how can this be proven or shown? This is the meaning of kong-ans and kong-an practice.”17)
“If some monk thought he got enlightenment, a master could test him by presenting him with the story or teaching of another monk’s enlightenment experience. Any monk who truly had some sort of realization would hear the kong-an and instantly understand its true meaning. “18)
There are 10 major kong-ans available to Zen students. ①Does a dog have Buddha-nature? Joju answered, (Joju’s Dog /趙州無字) ②Joju’s “Wash your Bowls.”(趙州洗鉢) ③Seong Am Calls “Master.”(巖喚主人) ④Bodhidharma has No Beard. ⑤Hyang Eom’s “Up a Tree.”(香嚴上樹) ⑥Dropping Ashes on the Buddha. ⑦Ko Bong’s Three Gates(高峰三關). ⑧Dok Sahn Carrying His Bowls. ⑨Nam Cheon Kills a Cat(南泉斬猫). ⑩The Mouse Eats Cat food., and “Three Men Walking.” etc. “If you finish the Ten Gates(10 major kong-ans), you get this as special home-work. And if you pass this, the Zen master checks your center and you can get inka19)
As the above, Seung Shan Zen Master’s Gan-hua Seon is composed of practice and checking with his kong-ans,”Only don’t know!” and so forth. This style is a little different from traditional practice in Gan-hua Seon of Korea. Traditionally, kong-ans(hwa-t’ou) are used to get enlightenment with practice. However, Zen Master, Seung Shan is using them to quest and answer for checking. He applies them in everyday life as conventional methods to get wisdom and to realize right view from moment to moment.
All the 3 Zen Masters do not insist on Gan-hua Seon only. They are using all the methods for practice such as; Mook-jo Seon practice, reading sutra, invoking mantra, counting breaths and so forth. If some monk said that I solved one Hua-t’ou, the Masters never admitted him to be a realized man. Because they are all stand for gradual enlightenment, rather than sudden enlightenment.
Moreover, the Zen Masters give the big questions and check the answers to their Zen students in the face of them. By using kong-ans, the Masters lead their students to look back on their self-nature, and apply the attainments to everyday life.
Hereby, I’d like to summary the patterns of Gan-hua Seon practice in the US.
First, all the Masters have practiced strongly under their own Buddhist views.
Second, they are emphasizing on the ultimate attainment of practice, not their own methods for practice. Therefore, they are using all kinds of methods to teach their Zen students such as; counting breaths, invoking mantra, reciting buddha’s names, reading sutras, prayer chanting and so forth.
Third, they are stand for gradual enlightenment, not sudden enlightenment for practice. There are 3 stages to get enlightenment. Masters gives kong-ans to the practitioners every stage and checks the answers.
Fourth, the Masters give hua-t’ou to their Zen students for contemplating original self-nature. Not only traditional kong-ans, but also common questions like ‘Who am I?’ are given to them.
Fifth, the Masters give questions to the Zen students and check the answers continuously. Specifically, this is the main method that the Zen Masters teach their students.
Sixth, the Masters teach to the practitioners Zen practice, and also to apply what they have learned or attained to their own everyday lives.
The Zen Masters have found many Zen Centers in the US for themselves to teach their students, and they have already been able to speak English. Furthermore, now they are transmitting Dharma to the native Americans in active.
For long time, the Zen Masters have considered how to teach the American lay-people and finally they got what the Western Zen practitioners want. Even though their methods for teaching are a little different from traditional styles, those are by far the best for the American practitioners, I think.
However, I regret that I haven’t studied how the Zen Masters could overcome the cultural or social gaps between the countries, and teach the foreign people in the face of them directly. And I wonder how their teachings affected to the U.S. society or inspired to every Zen student spiritually. I haven’t looked for any social or environmental effects derived from the Masters’ Zen teachings yet.
If I had an opportunity, I would review all the above and the prospects of Zen Buddhism for the future in the States.