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Zen vases. They are simple, essential, symmetrical, and set up in a formation. Although rock formations in karesansui are in groups, those groups are not typically of four but three. Simple, essential, and symmetrical are American interpretations of what Zen is - disregarding the fact that Zen is a religion with a dogma. We would be hard pressed to sell Jewish vases and toothbrush holders in Japan - an idea recognized immediately for its profoundly incorrect application of the term - but we manage to do a good job of the reverse here in America. Some might say that American consumerism is a religion. If so, perhaps Zen has not been taken out of religious context after all.

This work is licensed under a Public Domain

nfrancis — Last modified Mar 30 2011 8:00 p.m.

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