Uproar in Korea

There’s more uproar over religious discrimination in South Korea. (North Korea, whose leader Kim Jong-Il is dying, is also ramping up tensions with Seoul and a state newspaper is threatening a “total freeze” in relations with the south.) South Korea saw protest marches by Buddhist clerics in August, the first such strife between religions in the nations’s modern history.

Plus Big in Japan has an ongoing series about Zen: here is their beginner’s guide. All you need is five minutes!:

Few Japanese words capture the imagination quite like Zen (禅), a school of Mahāyāna Buddhism that emphasizes experiential wisdom over theoretical knowledge. Of course, while most Westerners have a vague concept of what Zen entails, few understand the subtle intricacies of this centuries-old philosophical treatise.

Indeed, Zen is much more complicated than a cup of green tea from Starbucks or a pebble rock fountain from Bed, Bath & Beyond. However, you needn’t spend years and years on a remote mountaintop living off of nothing more than morning dew and tree bark to grasp the core fundamentals of Zen.

On the contrary, all you need is roughly five minutes to read today’s post, which will hopefully help de-mystify some of the mysteries of Zen Buddhism.

[Image: A Buddhist nun in Seoul protesting with a poster of President Lee Myung Bak. (Jo Yong-Hak/Reuters)]

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