Zen (Chan)

The meditation (dhyana) school originating in China that emphasizes "mind-to-mind transmission"
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    Losing Our Religion Paid Member

    Robert Sharf's interest in Buddhism began in the early 1970s, when, as a seeker in sandals barely out of his teens, he hopped from one meditation retreat to the next, first in India and Burma, then back in North America. It was shortly after a three-month Vipassana meditation retreat in Bucksport, Maine, in 1975 that Sharf began to wonder whether the single-minded emphasis on meditation characteristic of much of Western Buddhism was in some way misguided. Over time, doubt and confusion gave way to a desire to better understand Buddhism's historical background, which in turn led him to pursue a career in Buddhist scholarship. Today Sharf is the D. H. Chen Distinguished Professor of Buddhist Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. More »
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    A Very Practical Joke Paid Member

    We are going to examine the different conclusions of Zen and Tantra. If we begin to discuss the two approaches, we will be lost. If we take a glimpse at the conclusions, we might have something more concrete. The reason is that all of us are more or less thoroughly involved in, or at least interested in, the practice of meditation. More »
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    Buddhism Without Walls Paid Member

    Fifty years ago, yours was a somewhat lone voice in the attempt to integrate Zen Buddhism with an American sense of social justice. Now you have a lot of company, and the movement of "engaged Buddhism" is described as a new paradigm. Is it? More »
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    Entering the Lotus Paid Member

    ALTHOUGH I WOULD NOT have described it as such at the time, looking back, I'd say that my first decade or so of Zen practice was focused on self-improvement, especially on discipline. I think I learned a lot, but most of what I learned centered on me—my strengths, my weaknesses, that sort of thing. During this time, I spent three years in monastic training at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, and when I returned, I felt strangely adrift. I'd spent a lot of time examining and working on personal matters, but I was not particularly happy and in fact felt quite disengaged from my life. Something seemed to be missing from my practice. I began to wonder, Well, what now? More »
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    Revealing a World of Bliss Paid Member

    WHEN BUDDHA WAS on Vulture Peak he twirled a flower before the assembly. Everyone was silent. Only Mahakashyapa smiled. Buddha said: "I have the eye treasury of the true teaching, the heart of nirvana, the true form of non-form, and the ineffable gate of dharma. It is a special transmission outside the teaching. I now entrust it to Mahakashyapa." More »
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    The Quiet Life Paid Member

    Peaceful in body, peaceful in speech, The bhikkhu peaceful and well-concentrated Who has rejected the world's bait Is called "one at peace." -The Buddha, Dhammapada 378 PERHAPS YOU CANNOT imagine such a practice as that which has been current among my people. In China or Japan, monasteries are built on a mountaintop or on the edge of a cliff. From there you can see a thousand miles before your eyes. In winter, when the valley is covered with snow, you feel you are in a world of silver. No color is before your eyes. In the valley it is so quiet. In the daytime when the monks are meditating, if there is any sound in the temple it will be only that of a mouse or a rat. More »