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Do those who have strong, negative issues with religion also have problems with the practice of Zen Buddhism?

Oh, I know, for some it will be an obvious answer but meditation on one’s breathing and paying close attention to the actions one performs seems to bring peace rather than contention. Your ideas please?


  1. Breathing is irrelevant in Zen. You’re supposed to just sit. That’s it. It’s basically a religion for passive-aggressives. Bodhidharma is said to have sat for 9 years.

  2. Actually a question i was just sort of asking. Is Buddhism compatible with non theistic world view??? Do they believe in demons and angels or something simliliar?
    buddha seems ok (I just watched a video on him), but astral travel and the like is just ridiculous nonsense I see.
    I am largely against christianity because of its overwhelming negative influence upon society. However am still overall against irrational nonsense regardless of what package it comes in

  3. I have no problem with meditation or the well-reasoned ethical principles.
    However this is often tied together with New-Age bullshit about energy fields and spirits and souls and other anti-scientific magic talk, and that is offensive to me.

  4. Buddhist tend to keep their religion to themselves. They don’t try and take freedoms away from other people so I don’t have a problem with them.

  5. Religions such as Christianity and Islam all talk about answering to a higher power. Do things to appease one higher God/Allah. Zen Buddhism talks of balancing things and energy within yourself. This gives the member a better feeling of control over their life and all that is going on within it because they aren’t worried about doing things or not doing things because of what another God declares is right. Buddhism is all about being at peace with yourself and your energies and not pleasing someone else.

  6. I doubt this is what you were looking for but I want to thank you for asking this question. I am not a christian but I am a person of a different faith and it often amazes me that most atheists only condemn the christian faith. It seems some times that they have a grudge rather then a belief about about god and those that believe.

  7. i honesty do not know enough about Zen Buddhism to have formed an opinion of it.
    i do occasionally meditate, but not in any form that has been learned by following a particular teaching.
    i only have strong opinions on religions that push themselves on people or try to hold sway in areas of politics or human rights. especially in areas that concern me and and my rights.
    as far as Zen Buddhism goes, i have not seen any evidence that it tramples on my rights, my freedoms or attempts in any way to subvert the political process. so, i’m neutral…
    you’re not thinking of organizing against little dogs anytime soon, are you? ok. you’re cool then.

  8. Someone that just sits, meditates and focuses on their breathing is the least of my concerns when it comes to religion. So, no, since Buddhists don’t even want to hurt earth worms when they build structures!
    However, I still think what the Buddhists believe in is silly. But at least they keep their beliefs to themselves and not try to legislate morality like the Abrahamic religions do.

  9. not at all!
    when was the last time a Buddhist said “Hey attend my Budda church this sunday or you’re going to hell for all eternity?”
    or..”Here’s this pamphlet on how to be a good buddhist?”
    or..”Budda says that having sex before you’re married is a sin!”
    or..”let’s kill this guy because he performs abortions”
    No, The Bud man is alllllright.
    And yes I’m an atheist/humanist

  10. No I don’t think practice is a problem especially when it’s only for zen. But there’s a lot of things in Buddhism like reincarnations and spirit forces that are looked negatively at.

  11. People against religion are against its authoritarian aspects – The need to keep to a code, follow the leader totally, don’t think independently -but Buddhism doesn’t exhibit these traits; so I’d say no.
    (That’s not to say that there isn’t a lot of conflict, and leadership roles within Buddhism itself…There is, just not in a form familiar to people in the West.)

  12. Zen is ultimately formless. It is not an ideology. In fact it is a call to extinguish concepts in exchange for a direct experience of being, without getting caught up in the call–or any idea for that matter.
    The problem with organized religion is that it necessarily commands adherence to a specific ideology. In this case, religious dogma dominates the total being and limits ones ability to truly live in the real world.
    Ideas are OK when used properly. As the Buddha said, “they are the finger pointing to the moon and not the actual moon.”
    “The raft is not the shore.”

  13. As a Buddhist, I use symbols like Amida Buddha the same way I use personifications like Jack Frost- after J. Frost has painted up the windows, I know he’s out there trying to nip at my ears, so I wear a cap. Belief is beside the point in Buddhism, practice is the thing. If a religion has effective practices and the members don’t take the doctrines or scriptures too literally, I’m good with it. Zen is cool, but I’m more Jodo Shinshu.


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