Martine & Stephen

Batchelor

Thirty years ago, when I was living in Korea as a Zen nun, I thought that Korean Zen was the Way.  A friend coming from another tradition started to make me see that maybe Korean Zen was not the only way, even though it was and is a very good one.

Ten years later I did some research for a book on women and Buddhism.  Until then I had the idea that some Buddhisms were better than others and some practices definitely inferior to others.  I interviewed forty Buddhist women, European, North American and Asian from many different traditions, Zen, Theravada, Tibetan, Pure land.  This convinced me that the tradition and the practice did not really matter as long as the person did it with sincerity, dedication, humility and an open heart.  I learnt a lot from these women and the one who impressed me the most was actually one from a supposedly inferior tradition!

Nowadays having become a teacher myself I can see clearly that no practice can fit everyone.  Generally I would say most practices suits 60% of the people who encounter them and try them out for a certain period of time.  So I have become what could be called a pluralistic liberal in terms of Buddhist practice.

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