Innovationen und Reproduktionen in Kulturen und Gesellschaften (IRICS) Wien, 9. bis 11. Dezember 2005

<< Buddhist Psychology: A Transcultural Bridge to Innovation and Reproduction

Neoyana: the Buddhist 21st Century Innovation and Reproduction, Exemplified by NeoZen

Maurits G.T.Kwee & Marja K. Taams (Transcultural Society for Clinical Meditation)



NeoZen is functionally defined as Zen for our postmodern era NeoZen is principally a clinical psychological approach to Zen based on constructivistic underpinnings. The essence of NeoZen is a synthesis of 'EastWest' mentalities for a new spirit in the art of living of post Y2K hearts-and-minds. NeoZen has developed out of the combination of Zen and Western ways of living and the merits of hardwired science. A growing number of 'BioPsychoSocialSpiritual self-organizing systems' are seeking for transcendent values as guidelines to live. The inclination to seek refuge in a guru seems to have increased now that technological progress is able to satisfy material wishes and the pious behavior prescribed by priests of most religious creeds is on the decline. NeoZen's message is to look inwardly and to be 'a light unto your self'. NeoZen is also an effort to close the gap in the millennia-lasting competing quest between 'rational knowledge' based on scientific evidence and 'intuitive wisdom' based on kensho/satori (enlightenment). The latest seminal effort to have 'the twain' meet was Austin's 'Zen and the Brain' (1998), that took up where D.T. Suzuki's 'Zen Buddhism' left off. Austin's perennial psychophysiology is supplemented by Clinical Meditation that makes a sharp distinction between the functions of psychotherapy and the disciplines of personal growth. Adherents might need Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy to secure psychological balance enabling one to grow through NeoZen. Suzuki indefatigably promulgated Zen and satori during more than a half of the past century on an academic level. Japanese terminology is maintained to celebrate his successful scholarly mission exporting an originally indigenous Chinese methodology and mentality of 'no-mind' to Europe and the USA. Zen stems from Chan which can best be categorized as a non-religious, non-esoteric, no-nonsense, and down-to-earth synthesis of Taoist terminology and the Buddhist teaching. Because Chan tends to de-emphasize explicitly Buddhist tenets and practices, especially the dhyana (yoga sitting), it does not fit easily into the rest of Buddhism. Eventually, it was Suzuki who - after including the landmark inputs of two great Japanese Rinzai masters Bankei and Hakuin - brought back in well established Buddhist traits, restoring Buddhism into Zen (Chan). A capsule history is presented of the heyday of Chan between the 6th and the 13th century that allegedly began with the legendary Bodhidharma and brought forth iconoclastic masters like Hui-neng, Ma-tsu, Huang-po, Lin-chi, and Wu-men. One major aspect of Zen is the koan (a technical device of paradox to help suddenly awaken and transform into enduring satori or wu). Another is wuwei (going with the flow yet nothing remains undone). Both are practiced without necessarily excluding sitting meditation (zazen) or sutra (scripture) chanting. NeoZen provides a constructivistic clinical psychology of 'rational-science-intuitive-wisdom'. It aims at a transcultural but ideographic approach to the art of postmodern living and strives for emotional happiness through self-actualization by meditation amidst all daily activities.

Innovations and Reproductions in Cultures and Societies
(IRICS) Vienna, 9 - 11 december 2005

WEBDESIGN: Peter R. Horn 2005-08-28