What drew me into Zen Buddhism was the fact that it didn’t matter who you were or where you came from when it came to learning the wisdom of the tradition. The same goes for Druidry as well. Yes, there can be an ancestral link to the tradition that you might find will perhaps deepen either practice for you personally, but you don’t have to be from a particular place in order to practice either tradition. Zen Buddhism and Druidry may have common roots in India’s Vedic tradition, which goes some way to explaining the many similarities, however one does not need to worry about cultural misappropriation when following either tradition. They welcome one and all to their path, as long as it is walked with respect.
Both Zen Buddhism and Druidry are all about what you do: not who you are or where you came from. Working with compassion, deepening the connection to nature and the world around you, there is a holistic healing of the soul that happens when this is embraced, allowing an integration that just seems to flow easier, where the awen shines and peace of mind and body are attainable. Being utterly awake to the present moment, seeing the Buddha-nature of everyone, and remembering that Buddha-nature within our souls can help us to ease the pain of separation that modern culture and society seem to promote in a theology/philosophy of duality. When we realise that we are part of an ecosystem, systems within systems, we work better, understanding our part and working for the benefit of the whole rather than the self. It promotes a thinking where one doesn’t think less of the self, but rather thinks of the self, less.
The magic and wonder of Druidry and the natural world, and the philosophy and practice of Zen Buddhism have allowed me a deep sense of peace and wakefulness to the world. They complement each other beautifully, each tradition having its own wisdom that is there for everyone to discover. If you’d like to learn more about either tradition, I’ve put together a reading list below from my upcoming book, Zen for Druids: A Further Guide to Integration, Compassion and Harmony with Nature. These are the tools that helped me on my journey (with some of my previously written books thrown in there too), and I hope that should they be of interest, you might also find them of some benefit as well.
Blessings on your journey, wherever your path may take you!
Bibliography and Suggested Reading
Adamson, E. & McClain, G. (2001) The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Zen Living: Alpha
Allen, R. (2002) Zen Questions London: MQ Publications Limited
Beck, C.J. (1997) Everyday Zen London: Thorsons
Beck, C. J. (1995) Nothing Special: Living Zen New York: Harper Collins
Carr-Gomm, P. (2002) Druid Mysteries: Ancient Wisdom for the 21st Century: Rider
Hanh, T.N. (2001) Anger: Buddhist Wisdom for Cooling the Flames: Rider
Hanh, T.N. (2012) Making Space: Creating a Home Meditation Practice: Parallax Press
Hanh, T.N. (2015) No Mud, No Lotus: The Art of Transforming Suffering: Parallax Press
Hanh, T.N. (2008) The Miracle of Mindfulness: Rider, Classic Ed Edition
Hanh, T. N. (1993) Interbeing: Fourteen Guidelines for Engaged Buddhism: Parallax Press
Hutton, R. (2011) Blood and Mistletoe: The History of the Druids in Britain: Yale University Press
Kirkey, J. (2009) The Salmon in the Spring: The Ecology of Celtic Spirituality: Hiraeth Press
Lama, D. (2005) Essence of the Heart Sutra: The Dalai Lama’s Heart of Wisdom Teachings: Wisdom Publications, U.S.
MacEowan, F. H. (2002) The Mist-filled Path: Celtic Wisdom for Exiles, Wanderers and Seekers: New World Libray
Matthews, C. (2004) Celtic Devotional: Daily Prayers and Blessings: Gill & Macmillan Ltd
Talboys, G. (2002) Way of the Druid: Rebirth of an Ancient Religion: O Books
Tzu, L. (2002) The Complete Works of Lao Tzu: Translation and Elucidation by Hua-Ching Ni: Sevenstar Communications U.S.
Restall Orr, E. (2004) Living Druidry: Magical Spirituality for the Wild Soul London: Piatkus Books Ltd
Restall Orr, E. (2007) Living With Honour: A Pagan Ethics O Books
Restall Orr, E. (2000) Ritual: A Guide to Life, Love & Inspiration London: Thorsons
Restall Orr, E. (2012) The Wakeful World: Animism, Mind and the Self in Nature: Moon Books
van der Hoeven, J. (2014) The Awen Alone: Walking the Path of the Solitary Druid: Moon Books
van der Hoeven, J. (2013) Zen Druidry: Living a Natural Life in Full Awareness: Moon Books
Order of Interbeing http://www.orderofinterbeing.org
The British Druid Order http://www.druidry.co.uk
The Druid Network http://www.druidnetwork.org
The Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids http://www.druidry.org
Zen Buddhism http://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/zen/index.htm
Zen Guide http://www.zenguide.com