Zen This is a Japanese form of Buddhism, introduced to Japan by the monk Eisai (1141-1215 CE).
Dissatisfied with formalistic Buddhism, Esai traveled to China and returned to Japan bringing this new form of the old religion.
The word Zen is derived from the Chinese Ch’an (Ch’an Buddhism).
Ch’an was apparently introduced to China by the Indian Buddhist missionary Bodhidharma (c. 500 CE).
Both of the terms Ch’an and Zen stem from the Sanskrit word dhyana (meditation or contemplation).
Zen emphasizes “being here now” in a tranquil state of mind, untouched by the desires and concerns of worldly life.
The Zen peak experience is called satori, an apparently sudden ego-less flash of illumination.
Zen masters use various techniques to try to instill this frame of mind in disciples or, perhaps better put, to dispense with ‘frames of mind.’
The most fundamental method is zazen (Japanese = sitting + absorption). This involves sitting upright in a quiet room, regulating one’s breathing and watching desires and distractions come and go.
Another Zen method is the koan. A koan is a seemingly illogical, nonsense verse said to facilitate satori. The koan allegedly takes a disciple’s awareness beyond the dualistic world of subject and object.
Archery and elaborate tea ceremonies are also used as vehicles leading to the ultimate achievement of that which is called ‘no-mind.’ » Chan Buddhism, Eightfold Path, Heart Sutra, Mantra, Satori
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Posted on May 15, 2008, in Z and tagged Asia, awareness, buddha, buddhism, china, enlightenment, india, koan, life, master, religion, satori, spirit, spirituality, zen. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.