We recently finished our Spring Retreat at the Grail, a retreat center just north of Cincinnati, Ohio. There were five of us who set out to face the task of just being in this very moment over the course of the four days.
This was my first time leading this group of transplanted Tendai Practitioners, and they all took to Zen practice like fish take to water. It is an illuminating experience when the efficacy of Buddhist practice shows its true face, no matter what approach we enter into it with. Buddhism has many faces in the West these days, and the subtle flavor differences shouldn't get in the way of sharing our Family practice with all of our Brothers and Sisters in the Dharma.
It is like different styles of eating. In America, people use a knife and fork; in China, people use only chopsticks; in Korea, people use chopsticks and a spoon, but the result is the same, they all get full. Entering into the Buddhadharma with a mind that is clear like space transcends even the boundaries of Buddhism itself. It is important to realize that the true Buddhist Adept is one who does not discriminate or make the mistake of entering into the world of opposites.
It is my aspiration that Buddhism take a firm root in American soil and slowly grow in this Western landscape of ours. Thanks to all of you who take time in your busy schedules to ask the important questions and are willing to live in a world of both confusion and clarity.