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Buddhadharma : Summer 2009
buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly summer 20 0 9 36 WhyWeNeedaPlanB Norman Fischer, a Soto Zen priest who has practiced and studied Buddhism for more than three decades, says that when it comes to teaching the dharma in the West, it’s important to be open and flexible—even if it means forgoing the “usual Zen stuff.” One of my Zen teachers in the 1970s, an American who had trained fairly briefly with a Japanese Zen master, mostly in the United States, used to say that he kept checking to see that his students didn’t “backslide” into a Judeo-Christian Western viewpoint. This, he believed, is what would happen if we were left to our own devices. He felt it was his job to give us enough Zen input that we would learn to see the world as the masters saw it. Zoketsu NormaN Fischer is the founder and spiritual director of everyday Zen, an organization dedicated to adapting Zen Buddhist teachings to Western culture. he is also a senior dharma teacher at the san Francisco Zen center, where he served as co-abbot from 1995 to 2000. he is the author of Opening to You: Zen-inspired Translations of the Psalms and Sailing Home. MakororarchiveSWaltopie/Spiritrock