Zen Buddhists Meet in St. Paul’s Episcopal Church of Ohio

March 29, 2003

Source: Repository


On March 29, 2003 the Repository reported that "at the biweekly Zen Buddhist meeting in the basement of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, eight people sit cross-legged on mats to meditate. Each person is lost in the world of his or her thoughts. Any sound — a rustle, a footstep, a shift in weight, a passing car — cuts through the room like a round of artillery... 'We’re trying to develop a mind where the Ohio State band could come through,' said the Venerable Shih Ying-Fa, 'and we’d hear, but we wouldn’t mind...' one regular attendee at the Buddhist sessions is the Rev. Zev Rosenberg, pastor of St. Paul’s. 'Buddhism is more a set of practices than a set of beliefs,' Rosenberg said. 'It does not presuppose that you have any religious belief. ... You can, as a devout Christian, engage in Zen meditation as a spiritual practice...' Shih delivered a talk, using the possibility of war as his starting point. 'We have to be conscious about our own peacefulness,' he said. 'For us, wanting peace is OK, but it is fraught with peril, because it can become an egocentric desire. ... One of the great oxymorons of all time is fighting for peace. Just be peace, and the rest will take care of itself...' Great peacemakers, he said, such as the Buddha, Jesus, Gandhi and Martin Luther King, 'had very little or no internal struggle going on. ... Wars come from people who struggle internally and externalize that struggle.'"