Q. What shall I do when my family don’t want me to practice Zen because Christianity is our family religion?
A. In fact, Zen meditation has nothing to do with religion even though it is from Buddhism. To practise Zen never means to change our religion just as for a Korean patient to take British medicine doesn’t mean to change him into an Englishman.
As mentioned previously, words are not real but illusionary, so you need not use the word Zen which makes your family members uncomfortable. You can replace the word Zen with ‘prayer’ which is one of the most popular terms among your family members. Say, “I pray” instead of “I practice Zen meditation”. Whatever label you may put on it, the label never changes the essence of it.
The Bible says, “Everything is created and controlled by God”, which means that God is making you pray when you pray and not that your body prays on its own. You can see God clearly only if you see what or who is getting you to pray. One step further, if you ask yourself and try to realise what is controlling your body not only when you pray, but also when you do something else, whatever it may be, that is no other than Zen meditation.
Pray with your family members as usual. I don’t encourage you to change your religion but to change the way of your praying. If you try to know what makes your body pray when you pray and what makes your body say, “I love you” when you say, “I love you” to your spouse or children, that is true prayer and Zen meditation.
All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway http://ow.ly/i/x1aSG