The bulk of my friends are in their twenties. This gives me an opportunity to see how Zen or for that matter, Buddhism, will work in the future. What I have learned is that it is best to lean towards shamanism, in the sense of helping a person restore their spiritual senses. It is then much easier to introduce the more recondite side of Buddhism to them which is about realizing one’s true nature, or the same, intuiting pure Mind.
All of us have a spiritual side, but most people have been so despiritualized from childhood that they are no longer aware of what they are missing. By being despiritualized, such people have become devitalized, consumer automatons. Neither Zen nor Buddhism can be learned in such a deplorable state. It is only though some form of shamanism that this problem might be remedied. This includes the use of spiritual artifacts, including malas, special kinds of incense, mantras, astrology, etc. It also includes a kind of ritualized sitting and prostrations much like is done in Vajrayana.
Until one comes into the presence of the luminous Mind (also the Light of Mahayana), or has strong faith that awakening to this radiant Mind is doable, curative and restorative path is necessary. It is then a matter of coupling one’s despiritualized mind, corrupted by materialism, to spiritual artifacts, symbols, even to mantras, etc. It is almost impossible to drop the influences of Western materialism, leaping into the heart of Buddhism or Zen Buddhism, fully understanding what is going on.
So powerful is the poison of materialism that nothing else will do except some form of shamanism—maybe even a modern day form. I would even include martial arts as a shaman-like strategy, for example, Aikido which has its roots in Shinto (Omotokyo).