In the fourth book in a series of contemporary Zen studies, Venerable Master Miao Tsan of the Vairocano Zen Monastery explores the manner in which many Western and Eastern religions share common principles, despite the distinct ways in which they spread their teachings. Buddhism focuses on the Buddha nature, or the Mind, which creates and animates the world around us. Though it is the source of everything, it has neither substance nor form. Western religion uses the more anthropomorphic "God" to define the functionality of creation and has therefore tended to label Buddhism as a kind of atheism. But if we look more closely, the Buddhist teaching that the Buddha nature is innate in each sentient being is really just another way of saying, "God lives in your heart". The concept that God creates men is very similar to the concept that the Mind creates all phenomena. The glorification of God and the solemn dignity of Pure Land resonate with similar qualities. Intrinsic Awakened Nature provides important perspective on the similarities in Western and Eastern pursuit of eternity, happiness and the ability to understand the meaning of life.
Beneath their religious, linguistic and cultural differences lies a shared core value. The superficial differences have perplexed thinkers for centuries and left many modern people conflicted about which religion or ideology most deserves their loyalty. While it is impossible for any of us to completely assimilate the different aspects of another culture without inadvertently creating a third culture, Master Miao Tsan shows readers a clear path to understanding the most important aspect of any spiritual teaching: At the source of any sound religion or ideology lies the one and only Universal Truth.