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Zen Buddhism What is

Zen Buddhism What is

Zen Buddhism is one of the schools best known in the West.

The word Zen is the name in Japanese of a school of Mahayana Buddhism, whose practice began in China with the name Chan which is derived from the Sanskrit term dhyana (meditation).

There are two main schools Zen – Rinzai and Soto. In the Soto Zen practice of meditation Zazen emphasizing the classic posture of the Buddha sitting in the Lotus position. The Rinzai specializes in the koan that may be apparent nonsense questions. One famous is “What is the sound of one hand that applauds?” He uses them as a technique of meditation and not just mere reflection and teaching.

A verse written in the Tang dynasty defines the essence of Zen (or Chan) and it sets apart it from other schools of Buddhism.

A special transmission outside the Scriptures
No dependency of words and letters
Pointing directly to the mind
Observing our own nature and waking up to Buddhahood.
A special transmission


What is Buddhism ZEN


Zen Buddhism emphasizes that the essence of the teaching is transmitted from master to disciple. This transmission is the axis around which revolves the whole Buddhist practice in its entirety. There are different ways to transmit Buddhism, or rather there are different levels in which transmission can carry out in formal way in the tradition.

zen Buddhism


How does spread knowledge?


1) Transmission management


In general terms a sort can be of three types:

Lay management (known Upasaka and Upasika in Theravada Buddhism and Buddhism in South Asia.) Ordination as a monk or a nun (Bhikshu or Bhikshuni). Management Bodhisattva which means special votes and is only practiced in Mahayana Buddhism or Buddhism sino-japones and indo-tibetano.


2) Transmission of Scripture


This second type of transmission is in the effective transmission of the content of Scripture.

After centuries of oral transmission the words of the Buddha were preserved in the form of manuscripts on palm leaves. Eventually the manuscripts were printed so transformed into books.

One of the main functions of the monks was traditionally retain uncorrupted the true and authentic word of Buddha, first way oral and then keeping the word already written in books.

However, appeared once the Scriptures decreased the importance of monks such as custodiadores and transmitters, rather they continued to be the guardians of the correct interpretation of these texts. These interpretations, at the same time they began to materialize in comments in the form of books.

These comments, rather than offer a simple personal understanding of the author, It gave the traditional interpretation of the texts which it had received from their teachers along with texts.

In some parts of the Buddhist world is only considered that a person dominates the Scriptures when he has studied them with a teacher. It is not enough to read the printed page; one has to learn, at the same time the correct interpretation, which can be done with the help of a teacher “in succession”.

Tibetan Buddhism still keeps this type of institution with what is called the lun or “authorization”.


3) Transmission of the doctrine


Doctrine is understood, in this context, the systematic presentation of the teaching -as this is in Scripture- in terms of a logical and coherent structure. This systematic expression is equivalent to what is meant by the terms “Buddhist thought” and “Buddhist philosophy”.

Such systematized presentations seem to have originated with the “lists of lists” in the Buddha's teachings which were compiled after his death or even perhaps during his life. These were enumerations of the various groups of doctrinal issues, example:

The Five Aggregates, The nine Sacred, The Twelve Links, etc., that is the way that it had formulated the teaching of the Buddha for mnemonic purposes.

The transmission of this form of fit and group teachings is what is understood as transmission of the doctrine.


4) The spirit of the Dharma transmission


Dharma in this sense refers to truth or reality. This transmission is the most important transmission of all, and is this kind of transmission referred to in the expression “a special transmission outside the Scriptures”.

This transmission is to be understood as something that takes place, not only out of the Scriptures, If not outside the context of the management and the formulation of the doctrine.


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