Zen Tapes

Tantric Zen

Zen Tapes - Tantric Zen

(Zazen music plays in the background.)

What is Tantric Zen?

There's a place where everything comes together and where it's all the same.

For the next 45 minutes or so, you and I are going to take a journey through eternity. Somewhere in the middle of the L.A. trendiness, Boston conservatism, New York chic and San Francisco intellectual mellow, somewhere in the desert or on the top of a mountain or on a subway, somewhere in Berlin or in outer space or at Disneyland, in the embrace of someone you love or someone you can't stand, somewhere in meditation, somewhere in Japan or India or in your own mind, there's a place where everything meets.

There's a place where everything comes together and where it's all the same. It's a state of mind, that is, where it's all the same, in which it's the same. That state of mind, in which all things are the same, is the state of mind of Tantric Zen.

And it's inside your mind. Everything is inside your mind. Even you are inside your own mind.

The future, the past, the present, photographs from your childhood, your funeral, the stars, the distant stars, and the core of the sun - everything is made of energy, and life pulses through all things.

Success, failure, pleasure, pain, small furry animals, household products, freeways, Star Wars systems, profound states of enlightenment, purity, nobility, cowardice, treachery and betrayal - all are states of mind, and all are interlinked in the dance of tantra, the dance of awareness, the disco of the mind, the ballroom of cosmic consciousness.

Life is poetry, you know?

So what is Tantric Zen? Well, I don't think I can give you a straight answer, since I don't happen to be a very straight Zen master. I think I'm on an angle. I'm on an oblique angle through all of existence.

But it sure is nice music in the background, the music of Zazen from their "Samurai" album. And the music is part of the tantra, the dance of life. Before your eyes, before your awareness, is the procession of eternity, and it's all joined together somewhere - it is one. Tantra is the perception of the oneness and the perfection of all things. Not just the perfection of light, but the perfection of darkness - seeing God in both beauty and horror.

In other words, all things are spiritual. It doesn't matter what you do or who you are or what kind of blue jeans you wear, or whether you wear an ochre robe or whether you're sober or asleep or dreaming. It is all the same - in the mind of the Buddha. (Zazen music ends.)

(Zazen music ends.)

So then, what is this tantra stuff? What I term Tantric Zen, I could also refer to as old Zen, the original face of Zen, or new Zen, contemporary Zen practice - no mind, the mirror of existence. Tantric Zen is Zen in its essence.

Bodhidharma, who brought Zen from India to the Orient, taught a very pure type of Zen, in that it was - pure Zen. Zen is meditation, the actual experience of life - directly, immediately, with no buffers.

Rama smiling with his arms crossed wearing a designer suit
Seeing is the ability to tell what really is.

The works of Rama – Dr. Frederick Lenz are reprinted or included here with permission from

The Frederick P. Lenz Foundation for American Buddhism.