Zen is a system of philosophy, highly intellectual and profoundly metaphysical, as most Buddhist teachings are? It is a spiritual discipline or practice that is regular or full time performance of activities and actions that are done in order to cultivate spiritual development, mostly the exercisers are said to walk a path. Therefore, it serves to move a person along a path towards achieving a goal. In most cases the goal is usually refer to as salvation which is union or liberation with God.
The main aims of the spiritual excursuses of the soto zen is to place a man , the man who is well gifted for the life of the apostolate and who is free to dispose his life in a position that will discern Gods call clearly and who will follow it generously. The exercise can also serve as their centre of perspective and culminating point where it is only the union with God that is most intimate and most total. Spiritual exercises also serve to find devotion for example; it showed to Ignatius himself that they were adaptable to purpose more than to an election. The director of the exercise makes full use of the prerogative of adapting to them as Ignatius urges. In so doing, spiritual exercise will have achieved its aim of union with God that is realized in a process that involves conversion from attachments that are disordered and to allow contemplative identification with Jesus Christ and following Gods will as it unfolds in our everyday life.
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The spiritual exercise enables a person to become free
Through the dynamics that the exercise involves, the person exercising is often called to elect in some specific manner, which could be a way of life which allows making utterly actual in her life, her transcendental interior election of openness to Christ through the mystery of God. In general, Buddhists do not believe in a divine being or personal God. It therefore does not have worship, prayer or praying to or praising of a superior being, although some sects do have. It does not offer redemption, forgiveness or hopes for going to heaven or final judgment to those who practice the system. It is a moral philosophy and an ethical way to live for the current world to gain the ultimate state. In have many things in common with atheism and humanism than its original religion Hinduism is separated from. But we cannot conclude that Buddhism is atheist because they don’t believe in a personal God. It can be compared with pantheism because there is an impersonal force which the void is the ultimate.
The elements of Soto zen include yoga and meditation, purpose of life, conscious living, soul and divine, spiritual growth and mediation and balanced life.
The Similarity between Catholicism and Stoicism
Both taught the universal brotherhood of man, the elimination of national barriers, the encouragement of intermarriages and having of one uniform law. The similarity is that they push for humane administration for the benefit of the public.
The Contrast between Stoicism and Catholicism
Stoics perceive pain differently whereas in Catholicism, pain is offered to God, in stoicism they try to transcend or become impervious to it. To stoics pain is not perceived like Christians do for example, take sufferings as experience and embrace as an expression for love. The Catholics say that sacred scripture and sacred tradition make up one single sacred deposit of the word of God.
The stoics emphasize on kinship of all men through participation in divine logos or reasons. They preach of a unified society where brotherhood exists. Stoicism values self control over all human virtues. In the terms of self, stoicism teaches development of self control and fortitude as the best way of overcoming emotions that are destructive. It does not completely extinguish emotions but transforms it by a voluntary abstinence from the pleasures of the world which gives the person ability to develop clear judgment and inner calm.
On the use of statutes and symbols, Catholics accept use of pictures and crosses in Christianity who mostly uses the depiction of the pictures of Christ, Mary and saints. The Zen use statues and pictures as a symbolic reminder which can be found in arts, sculptures and architecture.
Catholics follow the teachings of Christ through the new and Old Testament via the Vatican and Rome and have Sunday as the only day they go to church while zeds follow the teachings of the Buddha and may worship on any day and believe that one understands or not understands Buddha nature. Nothing is sacred according to Soto Zen because everything has Buddha nature all space is sacred space. The divine exist in every day activities and every day space is manifestations of the sacred. Some sacred spaces are identified as by virtue of a perception of sacred presence and more generalized sense of space itself.
Spiritual exercises are above all the methods of experience direct experience of the work and presence of the creator of the earth and this excursive rendered them suspicious to the guardians of orthodoxy in Ignatius own time. One manual exercise that came to be despised is that one of the creature being directly with his lord or creator and that Zen direct experience is decisive will surprise no one and this helps to explain its appeal to a generation that experience it as touch stone of authenticity. According to the Soto Zen one realizes that the deepest level of ones life which is called the true self according to the Zen is always here and now. Another thing is that one is made to u understand that the true self even though here and now is dynamic is always dynamic and changing. The true self discovered in enlighten of the Zen is the ordinary self or every day mind of each and every human life. Every mind has qualities that are unique that are not in agreement with customary ways of thinking about reality and self hood.
According to stoicism, the philosophy was the inspiration for the words of great authors who were in the firm belief that for one to attain happiness, the best thing to do was to deny oneself. Catholicism calls for personal calm and self denial as it leads to enlighten. Likewise, stoicism, calls for self denial but for contention and to achieve peace on earth. Stoicism has four noble truths and it also contains the same ideas. It does not state that life is suffering it states that there is no way of living ones life with virtue or better. There is a moderation which was meant to keep men from being extreme in any given situation. These seemingly philosophies seem to utilize religious myths to support themselves. Stoics considered passionate emotions to be an s a cause of misjudgments and that a normal person would have such emotions as opposed to Catholicism that state that people should live by the laws given by god.