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Hank Hill, television's Man For All Seasons, is a man of honor and as such does not gossip; and

this is why his wife Peggy - who frequently pushes "clueless" into negative numbers, fell victim to that species of Urban Legend we often call, "Accrediting the false through familiarity" or something like that. Everybody in Hank's neighborhood knows that Dale Gribble is being cuckolded - everybody but Peggy and, of course, Dale. Usually it is difficult to condone adultery but Dale manages to lend a certain facility to the task. Chain-smoking and paranoid, skinny and with the sexual allure of a tangled bunch of coat hangers, Dale helps onlookers to regard with sympathetic acceptance his wife Nancy's "medical needs" - Nancy regularly is seized by migraine headaches that seem only to relax their grip when she receives the curing touch of a handsome Amerindian Faith Healer, John Redcorn. Dale, as generous as he is obtuse, is actually grateful to John for attending to Nancy's needs. And Peggy? She sees nothing peculiar in the Indian's frequent house calls even when they are concluded by rapid window exits. Imagine her surprise, then, when she accidentally discovers Nancy and John, in flagrante delicto. Uh oh, trouble in Arlen, Texas. Peggy, stunned, hastens to another neighbor, Minh, and breathlessly announces, "Nancy is having an affair!" Minh is incredulous. "Oh my God!" she responds,"Nancy is cheating on John Redcorn?" Thematically, this is one of the oldest urban legends in circulation: it arose in the era before electronic identification of bank checks. Signatures used to be examined for authenticity by clerks, and the story was that an embezzling bookkeeper had so often forged the signature of the usually absent business owner that when the owner actually came back and presented a check for cashing, the teller deemed it a forgery - it bore so little resemblance to the signature he was used to seeing. And this is a rather long way around to get to the point of this complaint: Zen Buddhism and Meditation are a married couple; and the guest who comes to their house is Health Benefit. But in recent years Health Benefit and Meditation are so often found en flagrante delicto that Zen Buddhism begins to look like a superfluous but otherwise enabling motel desk clerk, one that provides a setting for the assignation. Buddhist priests and other members of Eastern religions are rigorously prodded, poked, and tested as if they were abductees on an alien spaceship. The report that follows the examination, however, doesn't appear in UFO digests, it is published as a feature story in the health section of a news magazine or an in-depth analysis in Lancet . What about insomnia? High blood pressure? Curing cancer? How does Japanese Green tea, a Zen staple, affect the immune system? Psychologists view Zen meditation from a more social aspect. Anger management?.. A less judgmental personality? The merits of Zen Buddhist meditation are rated in a kind of Consumer Reports' lab evaluation. How does it stack up against other mind control techniques? If the name "Buddha" were not found in the name of our religion, we'd have no religious identification whatsoever. Buddhist congregations are photographed as if they were sitting at biofeedback or EEG machines - and sometimes they actually are. Those who study the pictures assume that the subjects have gathered to get control of bad habits or hypertension. The Zen Buddhists that we know - the faithful who work hard to gain salvation and weep with joy when they reach it or who bow daily in gratitude to the Merciful Guan Yin - may reverently whisper, "Buddham saranam gacchami" but to the outside world they're saying, "Look Ma! No Prozac!" Buddhism is an ancient religion which has eight separate disciplinary steps that comprise a single Eightfold Path. The Eighth of these disciplines, Right Meditation, is a collection of introspective techniques used for achieving higher states of consciousness, which, together with the other seven disciplines, leads to spiritual liberation. All religions offer introspective techniques for achieving spiritual ascendance. And if it should happen that these techniques provide additional benefits such as calmness, greater immunity to disease, or lower blood pressure, that's fine. But this is not why they are performed. And when Buddhists lend themselves to the study of meditation's benefits, that's ok, too. They are contributing to the common good and no conscientious Buddhist would refuse to share the benefit of his discipline. But when the medical

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. and what were those words he mumbled while preparing to drink the wine? Were these syllables as efficacious as those uttered when putting a foot up on the brass-rail? Do the words that go with taking the Divine Beloved into oneself in Perfect Communion compare favorably to "Gimme a Jack Daniels. since its inception. While another says.. something fuzzy happens to Mr. "Scientists study it. And. "I mean. we get indeed many doctors recommend . We don't demand respect. Stein. He talks about the ability of Zen Masters to not habituate to environmental sounds.and then devote a significant portion of that article to interviewing Roman Catholic priests who in the course of celebrating Mass every day consume a glass of wine. Stein. and of the four that are about breathing. Mr." he says. surprises Mr."? Time Magazine can take all the shots it wants at Buddhism in America. our religion is an Indian. Stein will later call "creepy" because it is foreign. Chan (or Zen) is also the specific name of one kind of Buddhism that was founded in China in AD 520 and which....txt[12/13/2013 8:03:52 AM] . "Just say Om. But surely we have a right to object when our religion is stocked on the same supermarket shelves as non-religious health aids. The condescension drips on and on. "I briefly consider waiting outside and mugging the lot of them. He has. and observes.uses of the discipline suddenly take precedence in the public's regard and Buddhism becomes not so much a religion as a therapeutic regimen . breathing must be the most complex thing we do. asking them to supply anecdotal accounts and personal testimony about the physiological benefits gained from conducting Eucharistic Service.which.. Ah. How does he feel about "Kyrie Eleison"? If Time Magazine were to publish a feature story on the health benefits of a glass of red wine per day ." After twenty minutes of his sacrifice in the name of literary art or money or whatever it was that prompted him to sit with the hot women. Let's take a look at Time's presentation. the class is given a break . Mr. Stein.. why say "if Time Magazine were to publish. Stein confides his contempt . has been file:///C|/Users/VTao/Desktop/000. in the midst of this sexual challenge." or "Bring us a decanter of port. we've got a problem. and how eating a little bread might effect the absorption of the alcohol. Stein's cynical remarks." "Yoga. oddly. neat." one woman complained." But in the next sentence he says that once he gets beyond thinking about the pain in his foot. he also lets his "thoughts of the hot women go." means union and the specific union it means is with God.many of whom don't even own crystals -. left-handed compliments and amused contempt as it is by Joel Stein in a recent edition of Time Magazine. Mr. Millions of Americans .. Stein since he "would not have guessed that sitting on a cushion was an activity that requires a break.or worse. before and after they took a drink."? "Well. These hot women have aroused the sadist in you." Excuse me? Om is a sacred syllable to those who follow Indian Paths to salvation.. indeed. Stein begins with a cute contradiction: He's sitting in a yoga studio with forty people. "None of this. despite his painful foot. but one that Mr. A very sacred syllable." leads off Mr. and treated with glib. But for so long as the Buddha was Indian. First... "this epiphany:" which is. as merely the source of a therapeutic regimen. a term which the Chinese reproduce as Jan or Chan and the Japanese as Zen.. asking them to submit to calibrations of their blood pressure. has emphasized the practice of meditation in any of its many forms. Brrrr. "Breathing is too complicated for me to concentrate on. Doctors recommend it. most of whom are pretty women.. and he considers it an accomplishment that he is "not thinking about them. We don't even ask for it. the Sanskrit word for meditation is Dhyana which is roughly pronounced as Jana. "I could be watching television. In one left-handed compliment after another he derides Los Angeles' "New Age" mentality. "eastern" religion. but it is not sufficiently crass to take a sacrament as holy as Holy Communion and sully it with Mr. Stein selects two for our amusement. but on the other hand drops the names of Hollywood stars throughout his article to give it gravity." Mr." The class is invited to ask questions or make comments.

duplicated for a Vegas show. you can train yourself to focus on the present over the past and the future. setting. "Imagine the messed-up stuff Lynch might come up with.txt[12/13/2013 8:03:52 AM] . We can't speak for the other religions.. would doubtless be fair in his appraisal of Time's article. Lynch is quoted as crediting his religious practice with aiding his creativity. and inaccurate comments and explain to us "American" Buddhists why they chose someone like Joel Stein to write about religion. Much respect is accorded those businesses that offer classes in meditation or that study meditators as if they were creatures in a petri dish. "The Shambhala Mountain Center in the Colorado Rockies. misleading. We may never understand why Time Magazine published an article that contained such mocking references to Buddhism and to other eastern religions that emphasize the practice of meditation.. transcending realty by fully accepting it. after having furnished the bodies. instead you focus on a sound or on your breathing." says Stein archly. a Man For All Seasons.. while the piece provided scientific information about meditation. but there remains a nugget of Buddhist philosophy: the belief that by sitting in silence for 10 minutes to 40 minutes a day and actively concentrating on a breath or a word or an image. the methods have become more streamlined. but Zen Buddhists are not clownish freaks or flakes whose activities warrant their being subjected to this kind of sleazy reporting. We are just another health benefit group and we might as well accept our lowered status gracefully or risk further derision in Time "transcend reality by fully accepting it? " Gee. in our Internet ministry at least. Stein is doing some extra public relations' work for those authors who have written secular books on meditation he so nicely advertises. "directed "the studiously bizarre Twin Peaks.when other religious groups were sneering "Gay Plague.advised by Mr. and the lore for all that scientific data." and "Eraserhead and Blue Velvet" meditates for three hours a day. since other religions practice similar forms of meditation. Why didn't we think of that? And. There's less incense burning today. people receive Buddhist Precepts and sangha membership at absolutely no cost to anyone except the priests of our Order who personally bear all of the expenses associated with our ministry. And that philosophical nugget is not found in Buddhist ethics but in a scientific estimate of Buddhism's philosophy ." Every day Zen Buddhists work without pay in hospices and soup kitchens and prisons. Everyday people consult Zen websites and receive without any fee whatsoever Buddhist guidance and literature. He even pauses to note. Instead. gilded campus that looks like casino magnate Steve Wynn's take on Tibet. Perhaps Mr. what nugget of Judaic philosophy remains after Mr. it has dropped the creepy mantra bit that has you memorize a secret phrase or syllable. "Dropping the creepy mantra bit"? This certainly simplifies Zen training. In its most modern. and." file:///C|/Users/VTao/Desktop/000. a sprawling.. business-oriented groups and authors. Hank Hill. its slant was clearly directed against traditional religious practices and in favor of secular. " if he meditated for four hours a day. Stein and others of his ilk to dump our religious pretensions." "Demystified"? Uh oh. Americanized forms. Stein dispenses with the dross? What nugget of Christian philosophy remains? Perhaps the editors of Time Magazine would kindly reread those insulting. Who needs sacred words in the "Do it yourself" Health Benefit business? "A nugget of Buddhist philosophy remains"? Hmm." David Lynch." Cute. And in judgment of Joel Stein's flippant comments. Zen Buddhists were the first American religious group to volunteer to care for AIDS patients . Stein's comments are disturbing.. So here we are. Calling an article The Science of Meditation and putting it in the Health Section ought to have limited the references to religion. Mr." Yet the doctored photograph that illustrates his story is of a Hollywood movie star levitating as if she were performing in a Siegfried and Roy spectacular.. Real cute. "He needs his ass kicked. "As meditation is demystified and mainstreamed. Hank Hill would undoubtedly conclude. notes Stein. Meditation is divorcing Zen Buddhism. Time needs to investigate to determine if a conflict of interest has compromised its journalistic integrity.

txt[12/13/2013 8:03:52 AM] . file:///C|/Users/VTao/Desktop/000. And so he does. Hill. Mr.And so he does.