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Zen is a form of Mahayana Buddhism that places great importance on moment-by-moment awareness and 'seeing deeply into the nature of things' by direct experience. Zen emerged as a distinct school in China and spread to Vietnam, Korea, Japan, and, in modern times, the rest of the world.

Zen Buddhism is a branch of Mahayana Buddhism, and, as such, its teachings are deeply rooted in those of the Buddha. The Zen schools, like other Buddhist sects, teach the fundamental elements of Buddhist philosophy, including the Four Noble Truths, the Eightfold Path, pratitya samutpada, the five precepts, the five skandhas, and the three dharma seals: non-self, impermanence, and dukkha. Zen philosophy also includes teachings specific to Mahayana Buddhism, including the Mahayanan conception of the paramitas and the ideal of the bodhisattva's universal salvific power...