What Is Zen Essay Research Paper IntroductionZen

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What Is Zen Essay, Research Paper Introduction Zen is simply a way for us to awaken from our slumber. It is just a way for us to focus on our present experience, living in the moment. It is simply paying attention to our actual experiences as they are: a breeze brushing through your hair, pristine water wetting your lips, a stomach ache, the laughter of children playing seeing what you see, feeling what you feel. It is being aware of all the colors, forms, sights, sounds, touch, taste, and smell of your surroundings. Zen is entering into things as they are, beyond concept and cosmology, beyond separation and duality, beyond personality, and into the intimacy and richness of this whole moment. Zen is the day to day and moment to moment method of focusing on the moment. It has

spanned two thousand, six hundred years from India to China to Japan to right here. Zen is a philosophy designed to accomplish the Buddhist goal of seeing the world just as it is, that is, without the mind being cluttered by thoughts and feelings. This attitude is called no-mind , a state of consciousness where thoughts come and go without leaving any trace. Unlike other forms of Buddhism, Zen holds that such freedom of mind cannot be attained by gradual practice but must come through direct and immediate insight. Zen students prepare themselves to be receptive to such answers by sitting in meditation (Japanese za-zen) while they simply observe, without thought, whatever may be happening. The Zen belief is that nature cannot be grasped by any system of fixed definitions or

classifications. Reality is the world as it is, apart from any thoughts an individual has about it. One of the original teachers of Zen, Shakyamuni Buddha said to his students one day in a talk that has been recorded as the Satipatthana sutta, the Discourse on Mindfulness, that, There is but one way to liberation and that is mindfulness. Mindfulness is paying attention with the entire body and mind to the present experience. It is going past hesitation and reference points, past confusion and fabrication and into our actual lives. Liberation means freedom from the need to hide from our world and ourselves; it means finding out who and what this really is, what this world really is. Buddhadharma, the Teaching of Awakening, is the practice of sitting, walking, breathing, working

and speaking with mindfulness and insight. As such Buddhadharma is not a religion, a dogma, a skill, a science, an art, or a philosophy. It is the presentation of our own natures. Zen is just this. True Zen consists of sitting quietly in the correct posture. It is not a special state, it is the normal state: silent, peaceful, without agitation. Zen means to put the mind at rest and to concentrate the mind and body. There is no purpose, no seeking to gain something, no special effort or imagination. It is not knowledge to be grasped by the brain. It is solely a practice that is the true gate to happiness, peace and freedom. History Historically, it could be said that Zen originated from the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama. Around 500 BC he was born a Sakyan prince. At the age of

twenty-nine, deeply troubled by the suffering he saw around him, he renounced his privileged life, his wife and child, and went out among the shamans to seek enlightenment. After six years of struggle, he finally understood the meaning of enlightenment under the legendary Bo tree. After this he was recognized as a Buddha (meaning The Awakened One ). He taught for about forty years and then died in Oudh, India. Zen, itself, originated from a blend between the Mahayana form of Buddhism originating in India and the Chinese philosophy of Taoism. Zen is the Japanese (Ch’an, which is often used interchangeably with Zen is the Chinese way of pronouncing dhayna) way of pronouncing the Sanskrit term dhyana, which can be roughly defined as meditation. Dhyana denotes specifically the