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Harada Roshi

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Do you accept life long vows students of Zen ?

Zen training is part of the Mahayana tradition, which again is a lay tradition. We do our training to liberate society. In Theravada Buddhism the lifestyle of the Buddha is kept, yet the base of liberation in Mahayana Buddhism is samadhi. Samadhi is awakening. The purpose of our training is to awaken to the same state of mind as of the Buddha. From that awakening we realize that society and us is the same. Not protecting ourselves only but giving ourselevs to society and thus protecting society. If we were to stay a whole life in the monastery, then we would separate ourselves from society, protecting only our own state of mind. That is not the truth of the Buddha. TheBuddha, after 6 years of ascetic training, sat under the Bodhi tree, and from then on, not resting even one day until he passed away at Kushinagara, he kept on guiding others. That is Mahayana Buddhism. That is why staying in a monastery until you experience awakening is important, and after that society is your place of practice and work.

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