The Problem with Purity

Humans have a natural instinct to be attracted to the pure and reject the impure.

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Foto: Jo Michael de Figueiredo

Humans have a natural instinct to be attracted to the pure and reject the impure. But our tendency to see the Other as impure - immigrants, people of a different faith, sexual persuasion, or tribe - has long been exploited by leaders to sow division and hatred.

Zen Buddhism asks us to question our instinctive relationship to purity, in ways that help us relate to other people, groups, and aspects of ourselves more skillfully. This work is something the world could use more of now.

Koshin is the current teacher at the Rinzai Zen Center Oslo. He studied with Joshu Sasaki Roshi from 1990 to 2002 at the Mt. Baldy Zen Center in Los Angeles and served as vice-abbot at the center during the last two years. He was ordained in 1991 and received the title of teacher in 1999. Since then, he has established the Puget Sound Zen Center in Washington state, not far from Seattle. Koshin has been leading RZS's sesshins (retreats) since 2006 and has been the center's teacher since 2009.

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Bilde av salen Skram på Litteraturhuset med tomme stolrader

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