Zen (Chan)

The meditation (dhyana) school originating in China that emphasizes "mind-to-mind transmission"
  • Tricycle Community 7 comments

    Wash Your Bowl Paid Member

    IT'S SUCH A SIMPLE exchange that it might have gone unnoticed: A monk said to Chao Chou, "I have just entered this monastery. Please teach me."Chao Chou said, "Have you eaten your rice gruel?"The monk said, "Yes, I have."Chao Chou said, "Wash your bowl."The monk understood. More »
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    Incomparable You Paid Member

    Not seeing fine or coarse, How can there be any bias? "FINE OR COARSE" refers to the deepness or shallowness of practice. I have often cautioned you against comparing your practice with that of others or your own self at different times. Such comparisons are only subjective. Today someone burst out crying in the meditation hall. One person may have thought, "Oh, she's not doing so well." Another, "I think she's becoming enlightened!" Or else, "Maybe she's going crazy." None of these thoughts may represent the true situation. Whether she felt pain or sorrow, became enlightened, or went crazy, it's her business. It has nothing to do with anyone else. Making comparisons inevitably means judging others. More »
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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 »
  • Tricycle Community 3 comments

    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 »