Zentraveler on the essence of Zen!

Zen Buddhism

Zen Buddhism arose in China in the 6th century when the Indian monk Bodhidharma arrived there. From China it reached Japan in the 7th century.

It cannot properly be called a religion or philosophy as it has no scriptures or a holy book. It is a method of experiencing the Ultimate – a way without rituals. It leads directly to transformation through inner experience.

Amongst the various schools of Buddhism – the Theravada school, Mahayana school, Tibetan school and the like – Zen Buddhism or offers the fastest and most direct road to enlightenment. Using Theravada methods is like traveling from one city to another by bicycle, the Tibetan method is similar to catching a bus, whereas the Zen method is similar to catching a plane. It’s name is a corruption of the Chinese word Chan, which itself is derived from the Sanskrit word Dhyana – meaning meditation.

The main methods taught are Zazen meditation and Koans. Zazen is a method of meditation that uses no techniques whatsoever. Osho Rajneesh describes his experience of using the method in his 12-volume exposition on the Dhammapada titled “ The Dhammapada: The way of the Buddha“. Subtitled “This the path to the ultimate truth”, this is a ‘must have’ for anyone seriously interested in Zazen.

To practice Zazen you are to simply sit motionless, for many hours every day observing your mind. Just observe, be a witnessing presence to whatever arises in your mind. Be indifferent to it. At first the mind will be very active, as always it will jump from one thought to another. Simply witness the antics of the mind, without identifying with your thoughts or feelings. After many months of such practice, the mind will quiet down on it’s own. It will get fed up with you, it will become tired of being ignored, and it will quiet down. And you will be in a state of No Mind, experiencing the Ultimate.

Zen Buddhism is unique amongst the various schools of Buddhism in that it teaches that it is possible to attain enlightenment – Here and Now – in this lifetime. Most other schools of Buddhism regard enlightenment or Nirvana as only possible after living and practicing for many lifetimes in a human form. Adapted from: Eastern-Philosophy-and-Mediation.com

QUOTE:According to Eckhart Tolle, spiritual guru and author of the book, The Power of Now, the essence of Zen Buddhism or Zen religion, indeed of all spirituality, is that it forces us into the Here and Now, into a state of mind beyond past memories and future hopes, into a state beyond analysis and thoughts and conceptualization. The Power of Now is a modern spiritual classic that conveys the essence of the ancient spiritual teachings in a way that is understandable and usable by people in the 21st century.

THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW:Mindless is better than Mindful!

THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO SAVE: No Mind! The ultimate prize….. Nirvana!


From here to Infinity is a relatively short ride! The next leg takes eons and eons as you fly through the Barycentric Dynamical Time Zone! …and on and on and on.

Follow the Zentraveler Blog often for Travel, Health and Zen-like stories and such. Where else can you get a three in one blog for the price of free?


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