Pre-Lecture Reflection for “Introduction to Zen Buddhism”

pick one topic to respond to that catches your attention or that you otherwise find intriguing. Write no less than 250words.
Topic #1: With respect to learning, when it comes to being open-minded about possible explanations for a particular phenomenon, who do you think is more open-minded to possibilities: an expert or a novice? Explain why you think an expert would be more open-minded than a novice or vice versa? What are the particular advantages to being an expert or novice (depending on your answer the previous question) that makes them more open-minded? What are the disadvantages of the novice or expert (depending on your answer the previous questions) that makes them more close-minded? When it comes to accepting an alternative hypothesis, which should be valued more: those proposed by the expert or novice? As you articulate your position, clearly explain your reasoning for your position, and if appropriate provide a concrete real-life example that illustrates your position.
Topic #2: When feeling anxious and/or stressed, how do you go about relieving anxiety and stress? How do you calm your mind? If achieving calm and peace is at times (or always) difficult to achieve, do you think that there are habits and practices you might engage in to achieve the relief from anxiety and stress you desire? What obstacles exist that hinder you from developing such habits and practices? How might these obstacles be overcome? As you articulate your position, clearly explain your reasoning for your position, and if appropriate provide a concrete real-life example that illustrates your position.

Topic #3: What is required on our part to have an open heart? Or, in other words, what characteristics do we need to embody in order to be receptive to caring for others and being cared for by others? Is it easy or difficult to have an open heart? Specifically, what makes it easy or difficult to have an open heart? What causes people to have a closed heart, to not be receptive to trusting others and forming close relationships with them? How might a closed heart be transformed into an open heart? As you articulate your position, clearly explain your reasoning for your position, and if appropriate provide a concrete real-life example that illustrates your position.

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