29 June 2015

Zen and Zazen

Enso, Zen Circle of Enlightenment                                                        

For the last alphabet of my first ever blog challenge of any kind the only topic that came to mind was this. Happily saved from wondering for this post, let us dive into the post right away and take a peek at what Zen and Zazen is.

Zen is a school f Mahayana Buddhism that emerged in China about 15 centuries ago.

In China it is called "Ch'an" Buddhism. Ch'an is the Chinese rendering of the Sanskrit word dhyana, which we have discussed in an earlier post.

"Zen" is the Japanese rendering of Ch'an. Zen is called "Thien" in Vietnam and "Seon" in Korea. In any language, the name could be translated "Meditation Buddhism."

Zen began to emerge as a distinctive school of Mahayana Buddhism when the Indian sage Bodhidharma, taught at the Shaolin monastery of China. (Yes, it's a real place, and yes, there is a historic connection between kung fu and Zen.) To this day Bodhidharma is called the First Patriarch of Zen.

                                                        Purple Water Lily Stock Photo
 The meditation practice of Zen, called "zazen" in Japanese, is the heart of Zen. Daily zazen is the foundation of Zen practice.

It may start off seeming like mind training, which it is but that perception of it will change as one gets a feel for it.

The most difficult part of zazen for most people to comprehend is sitting with no goals or expectations, including an expectation of "getting enlightened" or feeling calmer or whatever subtle expectation we may have.

Most of us do sit with goals and expectations for months or years before the goals are exhausted and we "just sit." Along the way, one learns a lot about oneself.

If this has piqued your interest dear reader then I'm sure you will delve deeper by yourself. 
After all these are personal journeys of solitary Bliss.

With today's post we come to the end of a month long journey, but journeys never end, do they....                                               
Thanks from the bottom of my heart to all of you who read my posts and left comments and inspired and encouraged me. The doors to my blog are always open. Let us keep this connection Between You and Me alive and kicking.
                                                           Purple Water Lily Or Lotus Stock Photo

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