Zen (Chan)

The meditation (dhyana) school originating in China that emphasizes "mind-to-mind transmission"
  • Tricycle Community 32 comments

    Like a Dragon in Water Paid Member

    Thinking about steadiness in practice reminds me of when I was a little girl and would swim in the great breaking waves of the Pacific coast of Baja California. The surf was ragged, and sometimes treacherous, but for those who were accustomed to its rhythms, it was possible to swim through and around the currents, to bob up from under the fiercest waves. I think a key to this ability was sensing that one was part of the ocean and that to play in it was to let go into the wave, sometimes swimming under, sometimes alongside it. There were days when the ocean was utterly calm and days of wild intensity, and for a child, no matter what, there was that fish-like ease and joy of play. More »
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    BOOM! Paid Member

    Zen Master Seung Sahn (Da Soen Sa Nim) was born in 1927, near Pyongyang, now the capital of North Korea. After World War II, he went to the mountains for a one-hundred-day solo retreat. Later he received dharma transmission from Zen Master Ko Bong. Afterwards he worked to reorganize the Chogye Order of Korean Buddhism while serving as abbot of several temples in Korea. He also spent several years in Japan, founding temples and teaching Zen. In 1972 Seung Sahn came to the United States. While working in a laundromat in Providence, Rhode Island, he met some students from Brown University who would come to ask him questions about life and Zen practice. The Providence Zen Center grew out of this. More »
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    Birth and Death Paid Member

    Eihei Dogen (1200-1253) left Japan to study in China and then brought Zen Buddhism back to his own country. The seminal philosophical force of Japanese Soto Zen, Dogen Zenji is revered today for the clarity of his insights, for his passion, and for his poetry. The following fascicle is from The Treasury of the True Dharma Eye, Dogen’s most significant work: “Because a buddha is in birth and death, there is no birth and death.” It is also said, “Because a buddha is not in birth and death, a buddha is not deluded by birth and death.” These statements are the essence of the words of the two Zen masters, Jiashan and Dingshan. You should certainly not neglect them, because they are the words of those who attained the way. More »
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    Questioning The Question Paid Member

    Real questioning has no methods, no knowing - just wondering freely, vulnerably, what is it that is actually happening inside and out. Not the word, not the idea of it, not the reaction to it, but the simple fact. Toni Packer, The Work of This Moment Who’s Asking the Question?  Gil Fronsdal In my first question to a Buddhist teacher I asked, “What kind of effort is needed to practice zazen?” He questioned back, “Who is it that makes the effort?” His response made no sense to me; the conversation came to an immediate end. As I mulled over this exchange, I concluded that I would have to answer both my own question and his counter-question for myself. In doing so I discovered that there are certain spiritual questions that we only answer through our own direct experience. More »
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    Infinite Winter Paid Member

    When things are running smoothly, the refrigerator is very much like some people's idea of the perfect Zen student. It is calm, cool, and quiet, and it possesses its own inner light. Actually, the refrigerator is quite a noble thing on its own merit. For many of us, it has a formidable presence. It offers consistency, dependability, and long-lasting service. Even when we cover it with magnets and memos, and kick and slam its doors, it allows us to enjoy many good foods that might otherwise become spoiled. When we are hungry, we go to the refrigerator. That much, we know. But do we ever give this appliance one moment's thought during any other time of the day or night? Like many things, we take the hardworking refrigerator for granted. More »
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    The First Precept Paid Member

    To refrain from killing is the first Buddhist precept. The Theravada tradition of Southeast Asia interprets this precept in terms that parallel a Western sense of morality: there is a clear-cut distinction between killing and not killing in which the existence of a breathing, moving being either comes to its end—or doesn't. In this view, there is a killer, a separate entity that is killed, and the activity of killing. Compassion is expressed by not harming others, and many followers honor this precept by choosing a vegetarian diet. More »