Are there any Zen Pagans out there? Is Zen Paganism a functional religion?

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Let’s use as a base definition …..
for Zen: “emphasis on practice and experiential wisdom–particularly as realized in the form of meditation known as zazen–in the attainment of awakening.”
And Paganism: “a term which, from a Western perspective, has come to connote a broad set of spiritual or cultic practices or beliefs of any folk religion, and of historical and contemporary polytheistic religions in particular.”

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Is ANY religion “functional”? I think not. I think all religion is DYSFUNCTIONAL.


Zen itself isn’t a religion as much as it is a practice of other religions, and the Eastern ideology accepts syncretism, when one can claim to be Buddhist, Taoist, Pagan, and it’s accepted and understood. So I’d guess, as rational as a religion can be, yes. At least on paper.


it should be, I think it’s ppl with pagan beliefes that practice zen, since zen is more of a mental thing and pagans are open to more than on deity so the shoe can fit either way.

Jesus M

Zen [zen]
form of Buddhism: a major school of Buddhism originating in 12th-century China that emphasizes enlightenment through meditation and insight

Mother anne

The wonderfull thing about pagans (and i use the term loosly), is that they do not shut out other beliefs or practices. And there are very few “functional” religions out there to begin
Pagans (as you put them), are very aware that there are other faiths out there that use different methods to attain this “awakening”, but also realize that it is one in the same. I myself use the Tarot with meditation.
You will ALWAYS find that each individual has thier own way of doing things or thinking things but I am postitive you will find others with the same idea’s, just keep looking!

Fenris Wolf

NO I would not call it a functional Religion. they are two separate things combined together to make one belief for the individual and I think it is different for each person that practices both ZEN and Paganism such as myself.
I’m proud to be both!


religion takes common sense away from any equation.


Never used that name, but I dig Zen and Paganism.
Like PB&J, they just go well together.


I’ve seen people mix and match all sorts of religions to match their needed desires. I’m sure there are plenty out there but most probably describe themselves as simply spiritual. 8) Have a good night my friend.


I can answer that… I have practiced Zen for many years, and am also a Pagan Priestess. Fenris is correct, the 2 are not connected. Zen is a philosophy that enables us to lead a happy and well-balanced life. It is a division of Buddhism without any gods or metaphysical aspects, so it is really more of a philosophy, not a religion. On the other hand, it is wonderful preparation for opening the mind to metaphysics and dedicating oneself to serving a deity or deities without ego or false perceptions being in the way.
I was an athiest with a Zen philosophy most of my life, until I began to have metaphysical experiences with my Goddess. I tested these experiences until I was sure they were genuine and then accepted my calling and dedicated my life to Her service. I don’t ask others to believe me but I can tell you that it has made a wonderful difference in my life.
I have a website you can visit if you wish to know more. It’s rather dry reading, since I’m sort of a technical type and don’t know how to write any more interestingly… but anyway, the address is:
I hope my post is helpful.
Many Blessings,

Lyndon Hamill

Yes, Zen Pagans exist, who are neither solely Zennists, or solely Pagans.
We have a website that describes Zen Paganism in basic detail, with pointers to further study.
Best regards,


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