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Buddhists/Questions on Zen

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Question
Sir
I am Preethi, pursuing my Masters in Engineering, in India. As part of my curriculum I have registered for a “Liberal Learning course” where I had to choose a topic of my interest and explore it by identifying some key questions I have on that topic. I have chosen my topic as “Zen and its application to everyday living” and have come up with the following questions.

1.      What is the influence of Zen on people and cultures?
2.      How is Zen applied in product design?
3.      How can we apply “Zen” in our daily life?

I am now seeking an expert who can share his/her opinion on the above mentioned questions and found you on the internet. Would you be kind enough to share your opinion?

Answer
Good evening Preethi,

1.      What is the influence of Zen on people and cultures?
Zen is actually an off-shoot of Buddhism.  Zen is Japanese, loosely translated to mean meditation. Zen was introduced from China which is called "chan".  Now zen has come to denote Japanese-type of meditation.  I am not practising Japanese zen, and do not have deep knowledge on the subject.  Your question is very general.  Unless one practises zen, there won't be any influence. Look at Japan, the people in general are not influenced by zen teachings.  

2.      How is Zen applied in product design?
Zen is a spiritual undertaking.  It has nothing to do with product design.  Of course, commercialism can use the term "zen" to market their products.


3.      How can we apply “Zen” in our daily life?
Zen is a spiritual cultivation to understand life through meditation.  As with other types of Buddhist meditation, zen seek self-realization through calming the mind. With practice, one is supposed to be more mindful and peaceful.


Regards,
Justin Choo  

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Justin Choo

Expertise

All your questions will be answered, and you may not have to agree with the answers. Such is the beauty of Buddhism. I follow the Theravada tradition, and have been studying Buddhism for more than 50 years. As I am not a Buddhist scholar, I answer in simple language, and I prefer answering general questions rather than textual.

Experience

I was brought up in the 50's as a Buddhist. For the past 50 years I have read numerous books on Buddhism and listened to numerous talks on Buddhism by well-respected and learned monks and lay teachers. I have conducted Buddhist classes for parents of Sunday School children in a Theravada Buddhist Temple. My teacher was the late Chief Reverend, The Ven. K Sri Dhammananda of The Brickfields Buddhist Mahavihara, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. You can view the relevant website in memory of my revered late teacher @ http://www.ksridhammananda.com and my blog posting at http://blackandwhite999.blogspot.com/2008/08/my-revered-teacher.html

Organizations
I am a life member of the Buddhist Missionary Society Malaysia.

Publications
YOU ARE INVITED TO VISIT MY BLOG @ http://lifeislikethat999.blogspot.com/ Published a book called "The Rainbow And The Treasure". It is a compilation of extracts from various sources to introduce Buddhism to beginners. (Currently out of print)

Education/Credentials
Bachelor of Commerce And Administration, Victoria University Of Wellington, NZ.(1974)

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