Buddhism in the West
Today Buddhism and Daoism, in forms often quite different from Asian origins, are paths that “westerners” choose to follow. Zen, Tantric Buddhism, and Daoism as spiritual practice in western languages and cultures, are quite different from Asian origins. And, indeed, so it must be, to succeed in any context. The American and European fascination with “Zen sitting” is simply not found in Asia. Zen sitting as a disciplined practice is only used in the training of novice monks in Japan. Once ordained (given Kancho or Abhiseka license to practice), it is not used again in the local temples that the monks go home to manage, and support their families by performing ritual. Buddhism in Japan consists for the most part in chanting and offering prayers for good fortune, blessing, healing, and ancestor memorial.
The same is even more apparent for Tantric Buddhist, and Daoist practice. The oral tradition, called Kuden in Japanese, Kouzhuan in Chinese (口傳) （口伝）is not taught to foreigners, nor in its fullness to most of the young monks and nuns who go for training to Hieizan (in Kyoto), or Mt. Koya, then return to practice ritual in their home temples. For instance, the “Goma” (Agni Hotra) Fire ritual is performed as a chant for blessing, wealth, good health, or freeing ancestors from hell-like punishments in the afterlife. Very few of the Tendai or Shingon monks or nuns actually practice the esoteric visualizations, the burning away or emptying of all images, and the experience of Transcendent union, that was the original intent of Tantric practice, before it was adapted to East Asian Ancestor memorial, and prayers for blessing.