One way to beat the heat, according to devotees in the land of its origin, is through quiet Zen meditation.
One way to beat the heat, according to devotees in the land of its origin, is through quiet Zen meditation. Zen, the Buddhist philosophy stressing mental discipline and inner reflection, was on the wane in Japan a few years ago. Exported to foreign climes, where young persons, including artists and American "beatniks," popularized it to the point where Zen lectures and books in Zen attracted growing numbers of young people, Zen took on a new lease.
Reflected back upon its native shores, the interest in Zen has given new impetus to study of the religion in Japan. Some companies now send their employees in groups to Zen Buddhist temples for a week or more of disciplined meditation, contending it makes the employees better-adjusted human beings, better able to function efficiently and happily amid the stress and turmoil of living and working in the world's biggest city.
Zen priests, accustomed to living and praying quietly in their placid temple compounds, find themselves dispensing religious instruction to groups of university students, office clerks, construction workers and taxi drivers, as well as foreigner visiting or working in Japan. As they sit in meditation in classic pose through the long night, a beadle raps them to keep the Zend devotees in line.