Zen Buddhism - in literary and artistic life Zen...

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Zen Buddhism After the great persecution of Buddhism in 845, Zen emerged as the dominant Chinese sect, due partly to its innate vitality and partly to its isolation in mountain monasteries away from centers of political power. Two main schools of Zen, the Lin-chi (Jap. Rinzai) and the Ts'ao-tung (Jap. Soto), flourished and were transmitted to Japan in the 14th cent. The Rinzai sect placed greater emphasis on the use of the koan and effort to attain sudden enlightenment, while the Soto patriarch Dōgen (1200–1253) emphasized sitting in meditation ( zazen ) without expectation and with faith in one's own intrinsic state of enlightenment or Buddha-nature. The austere discipline and practical approach of Zen made it the Buddhism of the medieval Japanese military class. Zen monks occupied positions of political influence and became active
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Unformatted text preview: in literary and artistic life. Zen monasteries, especially the main temples of Kyoto and Kamakura, were educational as well as religious centers. The Zen influence on Japanese aesthetics ranges from poetry, calligraphy, and painting to tea ceremony, flower arrangement, and landscape gardening, particularly the distinctive rock-and-sand temple gardens. Japanese Zen declined in the 16th and 17th cent., but its traditional forms were revived by the great Hakuin (1686–1769), from whom all present-day Rinzai masters trace their descent. Zen thought was introduced to the West by the writings of D. T. Suzuki , and interest in the practice of Zen meditation blossomed after World War II, resulting in the establishment of Zen centers in many parts of the United States....
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