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The Snow Leopard Themes

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Zen Buddhism

Matthiessen and his wife Deborah were devout Zen Buddhists. Zen Buddhism is a ancient religion dating back to the 7th century in China. A great deal of the doctrine is ascribed to the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama an ancient, holy mendicant who became the Buddha.

In Zen Buddhism, there is much focus on the practice of meditation, which is said to bring enlightenment, peace, and the fulfillment of one's connection with the greater good. Buddhists believe each person has its own God source and is capable of attaining enlightenment. Unlike many traditional religions, Zen Buddhism does not distinguish between birth, life, death, and the hereafter. All things are related and cyclical. The transition between the various stages of life is simply a move between planes of existence and seemingly negative experiences, such as death, should be no cause for sorrow.

Additionally, unlike traditional religions, the spiritual leader...

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