This final paper asks you to consider how much Zen Buddhism has changed over the centuries with regard to teaching and practice, by examining ideas about meditation based on what you have learned about meditation so far in the course. In this final reflection, you are asked to synthesize ideas from earlier in the course with contemporary Soto Zen interpretations of the purpose of practice. Your conclusion should state whether the following two videos express further development beyond the Heart Sutra and/or Dogen’s teaching, or are simply restating the same ideas from both sources.
This paper should be a minimum of 800 words and a maximum of 1000 words. Structure your reflection to flow from paragraph to paragraph, rather than numbering as in the prompt below. State your thesis pro (it has changed dramatically) or con (it has not changed much), and provide evidence from the texts to support your argument. You are not required to do research for this (ignore that portion of the rubric that states 2 scholarly sources), but ALL sources that you do use – if you use any -must be cited properly.
Please watch the following two videos:
“Zazen is Good for Nothing” by Shohaku Okumura
“Meditation vs. Zazen” by Brad Warner
1) Are these two speakers making different points, or are they coming at the same point in different ways – and what IS/ARE their main point(s)? You may draw upon the meditation videos from earlier in the course.
2) Both of the speakers belong to the Soto lineage established by Dogen; what did Dogen teach about meditation? (Hint: you can find that by looking back through the course if you don’t remember.)
3) Finally, how might we trace some of the ideas expressed in these videos back to what we learned from our study of the Heart Sutra?
Link for video
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