Zen (Chan)

The meditation (dhyana) school originating in China that emphasizes "mind-to-mind transmission"
  • Tricycle Community 10 comments

    Our One and Only Commandment Paid Member

    Before the time of Hui-neng, who lived in the seventh century in T’ang China, it was thought that the experience of enlightenment could be attained only after one had practiced and attained some depth in dhyana, meditation. Perhaps some of us still think that. Hui-neng, however, maintained that prajna, transcendental wisdom, is inseparable from dhyana. Neither can be understood without the other. More »
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    Impossible Vacation Paid Member

    This is an excerpt from Spalding Gray's novel Impossible Vacation, to be published by Alfred A. Knopf this month. It is the story of Brewster North, a pleasure-seeking puritan and control freak who likes to create his own hells before the real ones can get to him. The film version of Gray's performance piece about writing the book, entitled Monster in a Box, has just been released in New York. More »
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    Instructions for the Tenzo Paid Member

    ZEN MONASTERIES have traditionally had six officers who are all Buddha's disciples and all share buddha activities. Among them, the tenzo is responsible for preparing meals for the monks. Regulations for Zen Monasteries states, "In order to make reverential offerings to monks, there is a position called tenzo." Since ancient times this position has been held by accomplished monks who have way-seeking mind, or by senior disciples with an aspiration for enlightenment. This is so because the position requires wholehearted practice. Those without way-seeking mind will not have good results, in spite of their efforts... More »
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    The Principles of Zazen Paid Member

    The Way is basically perfect and all-pervading. How could it be contingent upon practice and realization? The Dharma-vehicle is free and untrammelled. What need is there for man's concentrated effort? Indeed, the Whole Body is far beyond the world's dust. Who could believe in a means to brush it clean? It is never apart from one right where one is. What is the use of going off here and there to practice? More »
  • The Finger Bone Path of Angulimala Paid Member

    One morning when the Buddha entered Savatthi, all doors were bolted shut. No one was on the streets. The Buddha stood in front of a home where he normally received food offerings. The door opened a crack, and the owner hastily ran out and invited him to enter. Once inside, the owner latched the door and suggested that the Buddha remain to eat his meal inside the house. He said, "Lord, it is very dangerous to go outdoors today. The murderer Angulimala has been seen in these parts. They say he has killed many people in other cities. Every time he kills someone, he cuts off one of their fingers and adds it to a string he wears around his neck. They say that once he has killed a hundred people and has a talisman of a hundred fingers hanging around his neck, he will gain even more terrible, evil powers. More »
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    The Snaggletoothed Barbarian Paid Member

    Zen lineages all begin with Bodhidharma, the mythic first ancestor of Zen, who came to China from India, and who, by inaugurating Zen, also transmitted the true teaching beyond words that begins with Shakyamuni Buddha. For years I felt irritated by Bodhidharma; he glares out of innumerable portraits with a thick odor of machismo clinging to his robes. Image after image offers up a pair of round, bulging eyes popping out between beetling eyebrows and a bulbous nose, the face framed by immense pendulous ears and an untrimmed beard. He is a solid, bull-necked figure, muscular running to fat—a dharma linebacker. More »