Does anyone here know anything about Vietnamese Zen? It turns out there's a Linh Son temple about ten minutes from my house, and I'd like to get some info and maybe visit. Info is hard to come by... I've seen some stuff that makes me thinkit's sort of a cross between Zen and Pure Land, then other stuff that makes it seem much more like Tibetan Buddhism.
If anyone's got any knowledge about them, I'd also like to know (before I commit a cultural faux pas,) if they'd be welcoming of Westerners. anyone know anything about Vietnamese Zen or Linh Son?
Without knowing anything about the particular congregation your are mentioning, you might find it to be more of a "parish temple" catering to the local Vietnamese population. How open they are to others, and how much of their activities are conducted in Vietnamese (I would imagine most) will vary from place to place. You might also find it more on the "religiony" side of Buddhism, as it does cater to a general congregation in need of weddings, funerals, etc.
Generally, Vietnamese Zen Buddhism (and modern Chinese Ch'an) does tend to be a mixture of Zen and Pure Land.
Anyway, I do not mean to make assumptions before you have even gone there, so please have a look and report back. Give it a try. It seems that the group has quite a bit of information on the Web in English.
http://www.buddhistchannel.tv/index.php ... 08,0,0,1,0
PS- For any new folks who might be curious what we are talking about on the differences between Zen and "Pure Land" Buddhism, here is an interesting table I found put together by a Chinese teacher. I don't agree with all of it (e.g., that Pure Land is about "Compassion" and Zen mostly about "Wisdom " and not "Compassion"), but it is generally right ...
Thanks. They don't answer the phone, and don't have a machine. SO, I guess I'm wandering over to the temple tomorrow. I'll let you know what happens!