Thursday, 29 December 2016


76. Anti-textual slogans and symbolic acts of sutra burning need to be viewed in the context of the whole Zen tradition and practice. It will be noticed first of all that Zen itself has given rise to a vast body of literature. Then there is the fact that the chanting of sutras is an important part of daily practice in Zen temples and monasteries. Furthermore, the lay-out of a Zen training centre, such as that of Bodhi Zendo in the mountains of Tamil Nadu, features not only a meditation hall but also a well stocked and well used and meticulously cared for library. All this would surely suggest that the extreme character of much Zen rhetoric should be taken with a pinch of salt. Nevertheless, the rhetoric ought not be dismissed out of hand. Its purpose is to counter ever tendency to neglect the discipline of personal meditational practice.

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