July 01, 2005

Lifestyle Zen

Zen seems to have become truly popular in California when it started being recast as an exotic species of self-help program (complete with simplistic inspirational slogans), rather than as an interesting and complex religion or philosophy. For many people here, Zen is just the latest slightly hip lifestyle accessory (not that that's exclusive to California, of course -- I see the same thing in both Sydney and London, but to a lesser extent). The new Yoga, maybe, in the same way that to admit an interest in Zen (or Budhism in general) 'round here nowadays often just provokes knowing and rather patronising responses complete with eye-rolling and tart comments about buying a Prius or moving to Marin.


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