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In Buddhism, Hotei is distinguished from Buddhism's founder, who lived in India in the fifth century B.C. His many names include Shakyamuni, the Buddha, the historical Buddha. Shakyamuni is almost always depicted as slender. You can't tell a Buddha by his belly, but you can tell the Buddha by his lack of one.
Unlike what is often offered in the Zen practice of Dokusan, I don't limit the discussions to one's meditation practice, but rather encourage people to discuss any issues which are causing emotional distress or intrusive, obsessional thoughts; topics are not limited to the dharma; they can involve a wide array of personal issues, as noted below.