Category: Ask a Zen Teacher

What Happens on a Spiritual Retreat?

  By Daniel Scharpenburg Going on a spiritual retreat is like entering a hole in the universe. If it was just a break from your normal routine, I think that would be enough to have a big impact, but it’s more than that. I used to resist spiritual retreats, thinking they were a waste of time. Now I know better. It helps to put some space between ourselves and our ordinary lives. A lot of people are resistant to retreats, I think, but that’s the ego causing those feelings. That’s our small self that is looking for ways to...

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Ask a Zen Teacher: Is Compassion Important in Zen?

By Daniel Scharpenburg This is  a regular column where I answer questions that are sent to me. As a spiritual teacher, I am often asked many questions and I’d love to have an opportunity to answer them all. So, if there is anything you wanted to know about Buddhism, send me some questions. You can email me here: zenteacher@thetattooedbuddha.com Thanks. Q. I’ve heard that the Zen tradition in its different forms and lineages is generally less focused on compassion than other Buddhist traditions. Often it seems like Zen teachers only talk about the right way to meditate. Is this correct? Is compassion important...

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Ask a Zen Teacher: What’s the Difference Between Zen & Tibetan Buddhism?

  By Daniel Scharpenburg This is  a regular column where I answer questions that are sent to me. As a spiritual teacher, I am often asked many questions and I’d love to have an opportunity to answer them all. So, if there is anything you wanted to know about Buddhism, send me some questions. You can email me here: zenteacher@thetattooedbuddha.com Thanks. Q. I’ve been practicing in the Shambhala lineage and I’ve heard a lot about Zen. I’ve always wondered what the difference are between Zen Buddhism and Tibetan Buddhism. Can you explain? A. People ask me this a lot. Zen is my favorite...

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Ask a Zen Teacher: What’s the Deal with Women in Buddhism?

  By Daniel Scharpenburg This is  a regular column where I answer questions that are sent to me. As a spiritual teacher, I am often asked many questions and I’d love to have an opportunity to answer them all. So, if there is anything you wanted to know about Buddhism, send me some questions. You can email me here: zenteacher@thetattooedbuddha.com Thanks.   Q. I find that I relate to a lot of Buddhist teachings but I’m not sure I understand the role of women in Buddhism. Can you help me out? A. This is actually a complicated issue. I’ll address the simple part...

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Ask A Zen Teacher: Are You An Atheist?

  By Daniel Scharpenburg This is  a regular column where I answer questions that are sent to me. As a spiritual teacher, I am often asked many questions and I’d love to have an opportunity to answer them all. So, send me some questions. You can send them to: zenteacher@thetattooedbuddha.com Thanks.   Q. I know you’re a Buddhist. Does that make you an atheist? A. I’m going to have to unpack this question. It’s direct and personal and I’m going to make it broader first and then narrow down to actually answering about my personal beliefs. Do Buddhists believe in God? That’s...

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