Friday, June 11, 2010

"This Trans Formative Shit Called Zen"

John's blog, Sweep the Dust, Push the Dirt has been home to some interesting guest posts. (The idea of having people guest post is also a nice way to keep your blog running when you don't have much new to say.) I wanted to share today's guest post because it was enjoyable, and a different perspective on Zen.

Here's a juicy snippet to get you started:

Typically, when Black folks have problems, we don’t sit and we don’t go to therapy. Some drink, some use drugs, some sit around hating the world. But we almost always end up in church. We’ve learned generation after generation to look up, not in. The church is like going home after a long vacation. My momma, her mamma, their grand mamma and all them, go to church. Everybody knows and it doesn’t have to be explained. And if your next question is ‘knows what?”, that is exactly my point. People who look like you, care about you, and sometimes gossip about you, welcome you with open arms. This home away from home is usually in the middle of a neighborhood that people move out of as soon as they can. They are not just in the neighborhood, they are a part of it. From feeding the hungry to neighborhood legal clinics.

I’ve yet to come across a “help the local community,” “grassroots” type of activity organized by Buddhist. I am unaware of any Zen centers in a neighborhood where I can guarantee there is a church. So how exactly are my fellow sufferers with no money, nothing but problems and no inkling of the world outside of their own neighborhood going to discover this trans formative shit called Zen?



helmut said...

Like all "shit" it's inside you waiting to come out and be put to good use.
If you try to pull it out, it only hurts and causes other problems.
Most people actually don't like somebody coming into their neighborhood and transforming them.

zendotstudio said...

Great post. I remember hearing the Dalai Lama say that as this writer points out, Christianity excels at outreach and helping and that Buddhism had lots to learn from this aspect of western religion (this is my paraphrase of what I remember).