Zen (Chan)

The meditation (dhyana) school originating in China that emphasizes "mind-to-mind transmission"
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    Remembering Maezumi Roshi Paid Member

    The Venerable Hakuyu Taizan Maezumi Roshi, Abbot of the Zen Center of Los Angeles and of Zen Mountain Center, and founder of the White Plum Sangha, died suddenly on May 15 while visiting Japan. A seminal influence in the growth of Zen Buddhism in the West, Maezumi Roshi was sixty-four at the time of his death. More »
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    Meditation 101: Less is More Paid Member

    My instructions to first-time meditators are becoming more and more minimalist. These days, it’s something like “Sit quietly and notice what’s going on.” It used to take longer—when I was the meditation instructor at a Soto Zen sangha in Mountain View, California, I would spend thirty to forty minutes telling newbies how to sit, how to breathe, how to bow—not to mention how to enter and leave the zendo, how to ask a question, and (talk about setting them up!) what to expect. More »
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    A Refuge Into Being Paid Member

    When meditating, is it necessary to focus on one specific object? This is not always necessary, but at times it can be very helpful. When you do meditate on a specific object, such as the breath, that object will help you to develop concentration, and concentration will enable you to cultivate a quiet and spacious mind. But you must be careful not to focus your attention too narrowly on the object, as that can constrain your practice. You should keep your primary focus on the object of meditation, but try to do so with a wide-open awareness. As you follow the breath, for instance, allow yourself to also be aware of what is happening in and around you. Be conscious of sounds, thoughts, sensations, feelings—but without fixating on, grasping, or rejecting any of these things. More »
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    No Gain Paid Member

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    Nirvana: Three Takes Paid Member

    In the centuries following the Buddha’s death, dharma teachings spread from India into the rest of Asia, evolving eventually into the three yanas, or vehicles for the teachings—Theravada, Vajrayana, and Mahayana, the predominant traditions of Southeast Asia, Tibet, and East Asia, respectively. The doctrinal distinctions that arose have caused fundamental aspects of what the Buddha taught to be disputed. Even the teachings on such essential matters as karma, enlightenment, and rebirth vary in the three yanas, and from school to school within the yanas—now more so than ever with Western epistemologies stirred into the doctrinal diaspora. More »
  • Clouds & Water Paid Member

    IT HAS BEEN SAID that without monasticism there is no Buddhism. When the first sangha—group of followers—began to grow around the Buddha there was, of course, no distinctly “Buddhist” form of monastic practice. The monasticism that the Buddha developed took into account the needs of his disciples as well as the realities of his culture and society. This responsiveness to the imperative of time, place, and people is still the defining characteristic of Buddhist monasticism. More »