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Date Posted: 11:01
Author: Anonymous - 1 Dec 2001
Subject: open secrets part one

Americans have been taught that they cannot exist without God, said Kyozan Joshu Roshi, who led a retreat at the center.

''From the Buddhist point of view, God is not a living thing you can look upon,'' said Roshi, who speaks in Japanese and uses an interpreter. ''God is not something you can take as an object. Buddhism says there is no God, there is no absolute personified being other than the manifestation of the complete self.'' The person who takes God as an object is the mistaken self, he said. Zen practice brings people to their true selves. That is a dangerous concept in a country where most people believe in God, he said.

The goal of Zen is zero, or the state of emptiness. At that point, Roshi said, there is no God and no need to take God as an object because a person IS experiencing God.

''That is God. That is the perfect self. There is no need to ask God for help,'' he said. ''There is no need to want to see God.''

But he likes Americans, even if they have a hard time understanding Zen. They like to try new things, and they have a strong will to make a new culture, he said.

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