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 Brand-Name Zen by Andre Doshin Halaw

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Jcbaran

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Join date : 2010-11-13
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PostSubject: Brand-Name Zen by Andre Doshin Halaw   Thu Nov 28, 2013 1:20 pm

Brand-Name Zen:  The Commodification of Zen in the West by Andre Halaw

Description from amazon.com - Modern American Zen is in a deplorable state: Zen Masters are now pseudo-celebrities; Dharma Transmission has been co-opted as a branding technique; and worst of all, Zen has degenerated into a lifestyle identity whose primary aim is no longer Buddhahood, but rather the perpetuation of the Zen institution itself. Zen is more interested in establishing orthodoxy and orthopraxy than it is in helping people realize their Buddha Nature. Western Zen has become just as consumer-driven and celebrity-obsessed as the rest of American culture. And the worst part is that no one in the Zen community even seems to notice. Or to care. Brand-Name Zen takes a bold and daring look at the current decadence of modern Western Zen. It poses very important questions regarding the entire Western Zen institution, such as what is the true function of Dharma Transmission? How has zazen become the signature Zen “pose”? How have koans been appropriated as a means to establish and maintain authoritarian power structures? Brand-Name Zen offers an invaluable mirror for Western Zen to evaluate itself. It is a must read for any serious Zen student.

Andre Doshim Halaw is a Zen Buddhist monk and teacher in the Five Mountain Zen Order, an independent school in the lineage of Zen Master Seung Sahn. Andre is the guiding teacher of the Original Mind Zen Sangha in Princeton, NJ. He practiced in the Japanese Soto and Harada-Yasutani lineages for several years before finding his home in the FMZO. In November 2012, he received inka (independent teaching authorization) from his teacher, Zen Master Wonji Dharma (Paul Lynch).

Andre writes a Zen Buddhist blog: www.originalmindzen.blogspot.com  (end of amazon description)

I skimmed this book on my kindle on the flight to LA for Thanksgiving.

I recommend this book.  The author makes many good points and brings up lots of issues and questions.  I didn't agree with some of his views, but i still recommend the book - as a centerpiece for discussion - as an engine of critical and sane questioning, as an antidote to the PTSD of being a member of a totalitarian organization like the OBC where all questioning is heretical.
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Jcbaran

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Posts : 1614
Join date : 2010-11-13
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Location : New York, NY

PostSubject: Re: Brand-Name Zen by Andre Doshin Halaw   Thu Dec 05, 2013 12:16 am

This is a review of a very popular mega-restaurant in New York City called TAO

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-12-04/buddha-watches-as-new-tao-waitresses-serve-88-wagu.html

Here is a quote from the first part of the review:

“With our thoughts, we make the world,” said Buddha, who sought spiritual enlightenment through the denial of worldly pleasures.

That quote is printed on the menu of Tao Downtown in Manhattan, which sells bottles of Johnnie Walker Blue for $800.

Yes, this is where children of all ages dress up to drink $15 mango martinis. And this is where two giant Buddha statues, one at repose, the other with 24 arms, overlook the revelry, as Top 40 hits play from the DJ booth.

So kudos to the owners, the people behind Lavo and Arlington Club, for turning the Siddhartha, one of history’s great proponents of self-deprivation, into Paris Hilton."
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