My personal view, neither Zen nor Buddhism are likely to survive in the West except in academic libraries and in small groups. The West is just too fucked up right now. Most people don’t believe that there is a fundamental, animative power that is higher than the senses and ordinary reason which is the basis of Buddhism. Sure, it’s true that we all have the capacity to see it and thus awaken provided that we are not mesmerized by the shadows that make up our everyday world which are very dark shadows that are the ideology of materialism, which now appears to tolerate Islam which is a totally violent religion (hiṃsādharma). I firmly believe that people are, to a large extent, living in a trance-like state of mind brought about by the continuous power of suggestion that comes in many different forms. In addition, there is no sure means of getting people out of their trance like state.
I could say at this point, that Western culture is very effective at teaching us sustained, disturbance free attention, which is the basis of hypnotic induction. We develop such an attentional skill at an early age which, if we are going to be open to the power of suggestion, is a prerequisite (hypnosis is the result of suggestion).
Buddhism is about achieving something much more advanced. It is an intuitive awakening from the world illusion; an illusion that the huge majority of mankind believe to be true reality. They are thrown into this illusion which give them, essentially, one option, reproduce your kind just like rats do. In this regard, man is no more than an animal. His technology doesn’t peel back the illusion so he might see, firsthand, true reality. It only helps mankind to increase the odds of species-specific survival. It is Darwinian not enlightenment.
The expression “invisible hand” that Adam Smith used in his book, Wealth of Nations, refers to “unintended consequences” that can’t be foreseen as a result of some policy decision. The outcome could be good, bad, or ugly. This is where the West is at right now. It’s policy decisions have brought about its likely destruction—a leap into the abyss. I saw this many years ago during my own personal awakening having realized that the vast majority of people are spiritual blockheads or in Pali, puthujjana (a common expression in Buddhist discourses). Say what is true, and they will attack you like a rabid dog. But give them what they desire and they will treat you like a blessed god. What the West has done, as I see it, is to build its new order on the three poisons found in the teachings of Buddhism, namely, delusion, belligerence, and greed which are inimical to awakening. In more blunt terms, it is garbage in garbage out.