SOTO ZEN

The essence of Zen Buddhism is that all human beings are Buddha, and beings by nature are Buddhas, as ice by nature is water.

ˈZen Buddhist school of Japan is the practice of sitting meditation leading to gradual enlightenment. Sōtō Zen or the Sōtō school is the largest of the three traditional sects of Zen in Japanese Buddhism. It is the Japanese line of the Chinese Cáodòng school, which was founded during the Tang dynasty by Dòngshān Liánjiè. It emphasizes Shikantaza, meditation with no objects, anchors, or content.

Sōtō Zen 曹洞宗, Sōtō-shū is the largest of the three traditional sects of Zen in Japanese Buddhism including about 14,000 temples, Sōtō is one of the largest Japanese Buddhist organizations.

Zen, and other Buddhists, don't “believe” in gods or anything requiring “belief” or “faith.” You control your own life, even if it requires thousands upon thousands of previous lives to get it right.

Buddhists can believe in any Gods they like, or none. Hindu Gods routinely turn up in Buddhist scriptures, both in Pali and Sanskrit. But they are either deluded or seeking help or offering protection to Buddhism. They are irrelevant to the practice of Buddhism.

They do not need to ask for gifts and preferences from Gods, and do not need to be told to behave by Gods, and especially do not need to be threatened by Gods. People who inflict suffering on others create even more for themselves.

Gods cannot solve the problem of suffering for all sentient beings. That is the purpose of the Four Noble Truths, the Noble Eightfold Path, and the Precepts, and of the various methods of teaching them that have been found in various times and places.

They are the truth of suffering, the truth of the cause of suffering, the truth of the end of suffering, and the truth of the path that leads to the end of suffering. More simply put, suffering exists; it has a cause; it has an end; and it has a cause to bring about its end.

Karma - Contrary to what is accepted in contemporary society, the Buddhist interpretation of karma does not refer to preordained fate. Karma refers to good or bad actions a person takes during her lifetime. Good actions, which involve either the absence of bad actions, or actual positive acts, such as generosity, righteousness, and meditation, bring about happiness in the long run. Bad actions, such as lying, stealing or killing, bring about unhappiness in the long run. The weight that actions carry is determined by five conditions: frequent, repetitive action; determined, intentional action; action performed without regret; action against extraordinary persons; and action toward those who have helped one in the past. Finally, there is also neutral karma, which derives from acts such as breathing, eating or sleeping. Neutral karma has no benefits or costs.

https://www.pbs.org/video/living-zen-xbmu3y/