A friend of mine, who is a dedicated Zen practitioner from a Rinzai tradition and leads a Zen group as well as having a family, is about to be ordained a "lay-monk." He reports that he does not know exactly what "lay-monk" means, but it sounds like he hopes to become a "bridge" between monastic and lay practice. I have been grappling with this term, as this sounds contradictory to me. Is Zen practice inevitably connected with the monastic practice/tradition to be recognized as legitimate or can lay practice stand by itself without losing its essence and connection with a Zen lineage/tradition?
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