Zen Buddhism is a branch of Mahayana Buddhism. In this manual, we will give you a brief introduction of Zen Buddhism, along with its complete history...
The Mahayana sutras that were written in India and China form the basis of Zen Buddhism. Of these, the most prominent ones are the Lankavatara Sutra, the Diamond Sutra, the Samantamukha Parivarta, the Heart Sutra, a chapter of the Lotus Sutra and the Platform Sutra of Huineng. The fundamental elements of Buddhist philosophy consist of the basics of Zen Buddhism also. These include the Eightfold Path, the five precepts, the Four Noble Truths, the five skandhas, three dharma seals, etc.
The teachings in Zen philosophy are restricted to the Mahayana Buddhism. The major religious figures in Zen include Samantabhadra Bodhisattva, Mañjusri Bodhisattva, Kuan Yin Bodhisattva, Sakyamuni Buddha and Amitabha Buddha. Zen Buddhism has been influenced by Chinese philosophy to a great extent, especially Taoism. This is because of the fact that Zen emerged as a distinct school in medieval China. However, the degree of influence of Taoism on Zen Buddhism is still open to debate.
As per a number of modern scholars, the influence was quite shallow, while others contend a deep influence of Taoism on Zen philosophy. It is a mistake to understand Zen as an intellectual philosophy or a solitary pursuit. Rather, it is more of a practice or a way of life. The temples dedicated to zed lay emphasis on a thorough practice of meditation on daily basis. They also advise practicing along with other people, as it helps in preventing the traps of ego. The students of Zen Buddhism are required to perform some of the tedious tasks that one performs at home.
This is because Zen Buddhists believe that a person should acquire knowledge from all the aspects of life. This knowledge will help him in the process of enlightenment. The textual hermeneutics have been severely condemned in Zen teachings. The pursuit of worldly treasures is looked down upon. They advise people to focus on meditation, which will ultimately lead them to unmediated consciousness of the processes of both the world as well as their own mind.
This manual provides introduction to Zen Buddhism. Check out the history and the basics of Zen Buddhism.