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Buddha Zhen

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CULT CONCEPT = Tradition / Devotion / Doctrine

Even a brand new cult will create a 'tradition.'

People seek a connection to something or they make themselves outcasts.

Presuming that a person is not trying to isolate themselves from other people and society (which is usually a symptom of a mental disorder), we all seek a cult. Even those who claim not to seek a cult are usually joining a cult of rebels. By denouncing some cult you are usually joining another cult.

Humans have conquered the earth through teamwork. If we would have spent less time fighting each other we would have conquered it even quicker.

So, let's get past whether cults are 'good' or 'bad' and just acknowledge that every person wants to be in a cult and that every family has rules that control membership just like a cult.

Buddhism may have less rules for membership and less restrictions to belong than most religions but every sect of Buddhism has some rules. Before you start rebelling against the concept of rules, remember that rules are fundamental to any living beings' existence. Ants have rules, dogs have territories, and nature follows predictable designs. Rules create order.

Yes, too many rules can be very annoying but let's just stick to rules that you agree with. You probably have a rule that people should not throw rocks at you.

When Shakyamuni Buddha created Buddhism he created a lot of rules to keep his Disciples out of trouble and improve society's view of this new religion.

When Mahayana Buddhism migrated to China the rules changed to adapt to Chinese culture. So, Chinese Mahayana Buddhism has some parables and concepts that were added to it to make it easier for people to join without appearing to 'lose' something they already had. Many Christian holidays were Pagan holidays that had to be added to Christianity, otherwise people would have been inclined to quit their Christian cults when lured by the celebrations of Pagan traditions.

Mahayana Buddhism in China became Chinese Buddhism. Two thousand years ago it was rare and difficult to transfer information back and forth from India to China. So, sometimes Chinese Monks had to 'fill in' the blanks with their own ideas or borrow concepts from Chinese culture and Chinese Daoism. The Chinese also believed that China was the 'center of the world.' This gave them a sense of confidence in renovating or taking control of their Buddhism. There is a wonderful old Chinese classic book entitled, JOURNEY TO THE WEST. In this book, the Chinese Buddhist Patriarch is sent back to India (west of China) to acquire some missing teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha. The book is very fanciful and is a combination of science fiction and the odysseys of Hercules. I recommend it to all my Shaolin Chi Mantis Disciples.

So, like a child that lives as an adult away from its' parents, Chinese Mahayana Buddhism grew into it's own unique religion. Just as Christianity uses The Holy Bible to maintain similarities between the many Christian sects, Buddhism is unified by the lectures and Dharma of Shakyamuni Buddha.


Zhen Shen-Lang, November 8, 2002

  Chinese chop of Shifu Zhen Shen-Lang
  Buddha Zhen Shen-Lang
  Patriarch, Shaolin Zen


Disciple-Z / p04-chan02Z.html
"Disciple Pages p4: Chinese Mahayana Buddhism"