Zen Buddhism school

Document Type:Essay

Subject Area:Religion

Document 1

Ch'an is the Chinese word version of the Sanskrit word dhyana, which means a mind that has been engrossed in meditation. Zen is the Japanese meaning of ch'an. Zen means meditation Buddhism. Some scholars propose that originally Zen was a mixture of traditional Mahayana Buddhism and Taoism (Bercholz, Samuel and Sherab, p. The no-nonsense simplicity of Chinese Taoism integrated with the Mahayana to create a new form of Buddhism that is widely known. It is the heart of Zen. Zen as a religion is unique; this is because making sense of Zen requires people to understand language differently from the way we usually comprehend it. Its literature is full of annoying exchanges that defy natural interpretation such as Moshan's. But, these exchanges are not random Dadaist utterings.

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A specific message is intended; To understand Zen one need to acquire an intimate experience. It emphasises that there is no point in looking for answers outside ourselves; instead, we can find them in the exact place that raised the questions (Bercholz et al p. Controlling our minds through meditation and other methods that include body and mind helps us to surrender logical thinking which helps us from getting trapped in the slavery of words. The core of Zen is attaining enlightenment by looking into ones original nature without the help of an intelligence. It focuses on intuitive comprehension rather than philosophy. Zen is more concerned with what is as opposed to what we feel and think about what is. It stretches that no one can answer to the profound questions about life and death (Bercholz et al p.

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Define and explain the following: In Soto school of thought, the primary form of practice is sitting meditation without objects, content or anchors (Bercholz et al p. Zazen was the medium of Buddha's awakening. Just being seated is the essence of Soto Zen. It has no objective or goal to be achieved beyond the practice itself. In the Buddhist society, Rinzai Zen is viewed as to be further away from the teachings of Buddha than Soto Zen. Masters regularly recite and offers comments on koans, and some focus on them during meditation. Teachers usually check whether their students are improving on the practice by use of koans to check their awakening experiences further. Koans are designed to shock and force the mind into awareness; the checking question s are utilised to examine the ability of the student.

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