though i have great respect for tzu chi and all the good work they do, as well as for their founder, in addition having adopted some of the zen philosophy to my life, i have to say all in all, buddhism is alien, not only to chinese culture, but also to humanity and other life forms on this planet. just ponder the following:
1. vegetarianism- please! domestication of animals for food is one of the great accomplishments and steps forward of the human race, the Chinese being among the first cultures to do so.
and look in your own mouth! if we're not supposed to eat animals, why do we have incisors? only meat eating animals have those. check out a girrafe next time you're at the zoo. they have none, because they're herbivores. we're NOT!
and anyway, how many animals on this planet kill other animals for food? ever hear of a food chain?
2. releasing animals to be "free"- first of all, releasing fish into streams and lakes messes up the whole balance of the system, killing off previous species there. is that what they want?
3. celebacy- giving me a fucking break (pun intended)! how many converts would they have if everybody shaved their heads and suddenly stopped humping? ZERO! but not only that, it's a really bad policy considering human history. early in the 10th century, the plague swept from central asia into europe to the west and china to the east. it is estimated that half of the world's population died! luckily, people ignored buddhism (and roman catholics) and went right back to fucking,and now the world has a robust population;so in case that meteor hits like in the movies, we're covered.
and anyway, marriage and having babies is Chinese culture! what parent doesn't hope their child meets someone and starts a nice family?
4. leaving home to become a monk/nun- this is as un-Chinese as it gets! christianity also condemns people who don't care for their parents.
5. nirvana- no, not the band- the concept. if the ultimate goal is to cease to exist, then i'm running the opposite way. sorry, i really like existing. it's sort of fun.and if nirvana is some sort of "bliss", then perhaps ecstacy (see? even the label tells you what it's for) or even some weed might be an easier option for seeking it.
all in all, i think Zen has some useful stuff. but like a lot of things in this world, i think it's only 20% useful and the rest filler. i take what i find useful from it, but that's as far as it goes.
i'd much rather be surfing at kenting! that would be nirvana to me!