I am fast coming to the conclusion that those who are practicing Zen are in it for all the wrong reasons from using Zen as a means of self-help therapy, to using Zen as a lifestyle which helps the user to deal with both long term and short term goals. Whatever the reason, many see Zen as a useful instrument for bettering themselves. It is not to gain enlightenment or kensho. Admittedly, kensho is given lip service but it is never taken seriously. There is only a hypocritical respect for kensho.
Using Zen this way opens the door to people who are spiritually challenged so that real Zen ends up being severely compromised. When I began to read about Zen through the eyes of D. T. Suzuki when I was 20 its attractiveness for me, very shortly, turned into a sense of excitement and mystery. The mystery of Zen was, looking back, the most alluring part of Zen. My needs at this period in my life were conflicted with what society offered me which I found unsatisfying to say the least. Zen's attractiveness offered a soothing antidote.
The Zen I came to see, seemed to tell me that I had to study Zen with someone who knew more than I did. This led me to an abbot who ran a small Zen temple in my home town. Eventually, I came to study Zen with him but over time I came to realize that the Zen in Suzuki's books was not the Zen I was being taught. I was just being educated to become a gear in the machine of institutional Zen which, looking back, had become a funerary religion—just a shell of what it once was.
When Zen came to the West it was open to change, but not necessarily change for the best or representative of what was contained in the sermons of the old Zen masters. Into it could be poured aesthetics and self-help psychology. Especially, seated meditation (zazen) became a useful tool as did the psychologically trained Zen teacher (which was the case with the abbot I lived and studied with).
Like with what happened to Buddhism in the West in which nirvana and rebirth were eventually sidelined, Zen as I could see was becoming a path to psychological normalization—not kensho—which offered, in addition, a community of like minded practitioners led by a strong father figure.