Red Thread Zen. The term ‘Red Thread’ refers to a Chinese custom in which a red thread is tied around a new bride’s wrist as a sign of hope for a happy and fruitful marriage, the red thread being a symbolic umbilical cord. The Rinzai Zen tradition which adopted this symbol did so as a way of acknowledging that sexuality was a natural aspect of human life and hence, innately good. Red Thread Zen is the result of a merging between a world accepting or more or less sexually positive, Taoism, with a world rejecting, more or less sexually negative, Buddhism. In traditional Buddhism sex, and all of the attachments that normally go with are considered less than pure, but the Taoist element in Zen allows Zen to accept sex and those attachments as a completely natural part of the here and now, and even of enlightenment.