Zen Buddhis1 - characteristic of Zen. A number of teaching...

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Zen Buddhism Zen Buddhism, Buddhist sect of China and Japan. The name of the sect (Chin. Ch'an, Jap. Zen ) derives from the Sanskrit dhyana [meditation]. In China the school early became known for making its central tenet the practice of meditation, rather than adherence to a particular scripture or doctrine. The founder of Zen in China was the legendary Bodhidharma, who came to China from India in the late 5th cent. A.D. He taught the practice of “wall-gazing” and espoused the teachings of the Lanka-Vatara Sutra (whose chief doctrine is that of “consciousness-only”; see Yogacara ), which he passed on to his successor Hui-k'o (487–593). According to tradition, Hui-neng (638–713) became the sixth patriarch of Chinese Zen by superseding his rival in the intuitive grasp of the truth of enlightenment, even though he was illiterate. The Platform Sutra, attributed to Hui-neng, defines enlightenment as the direct seeing of one's “original Mind” or “original Nature,” which is Buddha, and this teaching has remained
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Unformatted text preview: characteristic of Zen. A number of teaching lineages arose after Hui-neng, all claiming descent from him, and teaching the method of “sudden enlightenment” best known in the West by the term satori. In its formative period Zen was influenced by both Taoism and elements of Prajna-Paramita Buddhism (see sunyata ). The 8th and 9th cent. were the “golden age” of Zen, producing such great masters as Ma-tsu, Nan-chuan, Huang-po, Lin-chi, and Chao-chou. The unique Zen teaching style developed, stressing oral instruction and using nonrational forms of dialogue, from which the later koan was derived. In some cases physical violence was used to jolt the student out of dependence on ordinary forms of thought and into the enlightened consciousness. Scholarly knowledge, ritual, and performing good deeds were considered of comparatively little spiritual value....
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This note was uploaded on 01/04/2012 for the course AMH AMH2010 taught by Professor Pietrzak during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.

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