Introduction to my Articles
- By Stuart Lachs
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I have been a Zen practitioner for roughly forty years. Many years ago I became interested in viewing Zen from a scholarly point of view as a way to explain the great disparity I witnessed between how the Zen institution claimed its leaders behaved and what I saw first hand. I was driven to understand what was happening and why, not out of a dry, academic interest, but rather, by the confusion, trouble and suffering that I and others were experiencing.
By luck, in the early 1990's, I met an academically-minded monk connected with Chinese Buddhism. From him, I was introduced to an academic view of the history of Zen that strongly contrasted with the more familiar history promulgated by the Zen institution. Needless to say, it was an eye opener that led to many exciting hours of study up to this day. Later, through a friend, I became interested in the sociology of religion and of institutions. Read more ...