The Zen dance

Orthodox vs. Living Spirituality (progressive)

So, orthodox would mean that scriptures are the only source of spiritual knowledge, whereas progressive would mean knowledge comes from within or from those who master the internal knowing.

Zen can go both ways. There is a lot of Chinese Ch’an today that is very orthodox, and Japanese Zen believe it or not is nearly ultra-orthodox. Zen in the West however is highly progressive in where Asians who have come to the west are deemed as Holy men and their writings on par with sutra level writings, and their heirs seen as Holy men who speak ‘living dharma’.

Tibetans have a tier religion in where the commoners are orthodox yet the Lamas are quite progressive. You also see this in the old Catholic church prior to the Renaissance.

A healthy religion has both Orthodox and progressive that intermingle and perform a dance of sorts with each other. Unhealthy religions exclude one side or the other, creating bitter factionalism or worse, outright war on each other.

I personally have danced on both sides of this issue, so all I can say is be healthy and explore deeply.


Non-aligned Zen Teacher currently living in Las Vegas, Nevada USA Youtube Channel Website

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