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The Austin Zen Center reflects one of the more interesting trends in American life

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Photo: BuddhaMany Austinites have turned to Zen Buddhism to cope in today's world.

"It's possible that people are coming to the Austin Zen Center or any other spiritual practice because of the world we live in," said Sozan Scheilin of the Austin Zen Center. "It's violent, it's commercial, based on money completely."

Photo: Sozan ScheilinLocated in an older neighborhood near the University of Texas campus, the Austin Zen Center offers an alternative way to practice spirituality. Although many consider the practice of Zen Buddhism their primary method of being spiritual, many who come to the Austin Zen Center practice other faiths as well.

Photo: Selrin Barbara Kohn"Is Buddhism a religion or is Zen a religion?" asks Selrin Barbara Kohn. "If you are saying is Zen theistic or deistic. No, it is not. But if you are looking at a way of life which looks at how is it that things are, that is concerned with ethics and how we treat one another than it is very much a religion."

Zen Buddhism -- steeped in Japanese tradition -- teaches about the here and now through meditation, according to Kohn. But it is not a religion that deals with metaphysics.

Although many associate Zen Buddhism with sitting cross-legged on the floor, how you practice this faith is really up to you. Find out more about Austin's Zen Center.

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Produced by Tom Spencer.


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