George's last gift was a book called Working on God by Winifred Gallager. I read the last chapter, then started at the beginning, with a chapter on Winnie's experience in a Zen monastery. Thus began my education in Zen.
Zen seems to place great emphasis on 'staying the mind' and the first lesson in the monastery was to sit cross-legged, take long, deep breaths, and count them; nothing else as I understand it. (Breathing is as close to God as we can hope to get - in this life.)
Long ago I realized that I have a choice between 'God consciouness' and 'ego consciousness'. I would like to choose the first, but the second usually intervenes, agressively and continually. Among the gifts of the Spirit listed by Paul is self-control. In fact it is the last. So I gathered that what is last for Pauline Christianity is first for Zen; interesting.
The silence! Quakers become quiet, whether they count their breaths or not. And in the silence the still , small voice.
Are the Quakers Zen practioners? (I'd like to know the answer to that.) Of course there is a complete gamut of theological perspectives amond Quakers.
Many generic Christians practice silence. At the Church of the Savior every member went on a silent retreat each year at their Dayspring Retreat Center. Roman Catholics of course are very big on silence; the still, small voice often leads the seeker beyond his parochial home. Thomas Merton was learning from the Buddhist monks in Thailand at the end of his life (translated like Enoch and Elijah?)
This exposure to Zen opens a new world for me. Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and many other objects of faith have something significant to say to the enlightened Christian. Expressing this poetically Christ, Mohammed, Buddha, and many others are brothers. Jesus spoke of other sheep, not of this fold.
God is everywhere, in everything, and he has stamped his Presence on all his children; anything different would be less than God.