Although Zen is Buddhism, for me, Zen may be a philosophy rather than a religion
I think that many Japanese people are mentally exhausted before they know it.
I’m one of them.
Regardless of our will, our society has become complicated for better or worse.
Accordingly, we have become more anxious.
Although science and technology have advanced greatly, human beings have never evolved biologically from ancient times.
So, I think that a simple way of life may be the most human way to live.
Such a way of life may release me from various social distresses, but I don’t know what I should do specifically.
This conflict made me want to learn Zen.
When I was a junior high school student, I read about “Dogen Zenji” for the first time in a historical textbook.
It said that Dogen Zenji was the founder of the Soto sect of Japanese Buddhism.
Although I wasn’t interested in him at all, I had to learn his name by heart because his name would be on the test.
For me, he was just one of many historical people in the textbook.
Over time, I have been in need of the teachings of Dogen Zenji.
This is because he was a person who embodied the essence of Zen.
His writings are very difficult, and there are many points that I don’t understand.
However, I’m sure that the teaching of Dogen Zenji is like a compass that leads me in the right direction.
So I must try to learn a lot from his writings.
Although Zen is Buddhism, for me, Zen may be a philosophy rather than a religion.
By the way, Zen is more popular in the U.S. than in Japan, even though the religion of the U.S. consists mainly of Christianity and Islam.
The American people who learn Zen may regard Zen as a philosophy just like I do.