Jump to content


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Chinese name
Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese
Vietnamese name
Vietnamese alphabetThiền
Chữ Hán
Korean name
Japanese name

Zen (Japanese;[note 1] from Chinese "Chán"; in Korean: Sŏn, and Vietnamese: Thiền) is a school of Mahayana Buddhism that originated in China during the Tang dynasty as the Chan School (禪宗, chánzōng, "meditation school") or the Buddha-mind school (佛心宗, fóxīnzōng),[1] and later developed into various sub-schools and branches. From China, Chán spread south to Vietnam and became Vietnamese Thiền, northeast to Korea to become Seon Buddhism, and east to Japan, becoming Japanese Zen.[2]

Zen emphasizes meditation practice, direct insight into one's own true nature (見性, Ch. jiànxìng, Jp. kenshō), and the personal expression of this insight in daily life for the benefit of others.[3][4] Some Zen sources de-emphasize doctrinal study and traditional practices, favoring direct understanding through zazen and interaction with a master (Jp: rōshi, Ch: shīfu) who may be depicted as an iconoclastic and unconventional figure.[5][6][7][8][9][10] In spite of this, most Zen schools also promote traditional Buddhist practices like chanting, precepts, rituals, monasticism and scriptural study.[8][11]

With an emphasis on Buddha-nature thought, intrinsic enlightenment and sudden awakening, Zen teaching draws from numerous Buddhist sources, including Sarvāstivāda meditation, the Mahayana teachings on the bodhisattva, Yogachara and Tathāgatagarbha texts (like the Laṅkāvatāra), and the Huayan school.[12][13] The Prajñāpāramitā literature,[14] as well as Madhyamaka thought, have also been influential in the shaping of the apophatic and sometimes iconoclastic nature of Zen rhetoric.[15]

Furthermore, the Chan School was also influenced by Daoist philosophy, especially Neo-Daoist thought.[16]



The word Zen is derived from the Japanese pronunciation (kana: ぜん) of the Middle Chinese word 禪 (Middle Chinese: [dʑian]; pinyin: Chán), which in turn is derived from the Sanskrit word dhyāna (ध्यान),[17] which can be approximately translated as "contemplation", "absorption", or "meditative state".[18][note 2]

The actual Chinese term for the "Zen school" is 禪宗 (pinyin: Chánzōng), while "Chan" just refers to the practice of meditation itself (Chinese: 習禪; pinyin: xíchán) or the study of meditation (Chinese: 禪學; pinyin: chánxué) though it is often used as an abbreviated form of Chánzong.[19]

Zen is also called 佛心宗, fóxīnzōng (Chinese) or busshin-shū (Japanese),[1] the "Buddha-mind school,"[1][20][21] from fó-xīn, "Buddha-mind";[web 1] "this term can refer either to the (or a) Buddha's compassionate and enlightened mind, or to the originally clear and pure mind inherent in all beings to which they must awaken."[web 1][note 3] Busshin may also refer to Buddhakaya, the Buddha-body,[23][web 2] "an embodiment of awakened activity."[web 3]

"Zen" is traditionally a proper noun as it usually describes a particular Buddhist sect. In more recent times, the lowercase "zen" is used when discussing a worldview or attitude that is "peaceful and calm". It was officially added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary in 2018.[24]





The practice of meditation (Ch: chán, Skt: dhyāna), especially sitting meditation (坐禪,Chinese: zuòchán, Japanese: zazen / ざぜん) is a central part of Zen Buddhism.[25]

Meditation in Chinese Buddhism


The practice of Buddhist meditation originated in India and first entered China through the translations of An Shigao (fl. c. 148–180 CE), and Kumārajīva (334–413 CE). Both of these figures translated various Dhyāna sutras. These were influential meditation texts which were mostly based on the meditation teachings of the Kashmiri Sarvāstivāda school (circa 1st–4th centuries CE).[26] Among the most influential early Chinese meditation texts are the Anban Shouyi Jing (安般守意經, Sutra on ānāpānasmṛti), the Zuochan Sanmei Jing (坐禪三昧經,Sutra of sitting dhyāna samādhi) and the Damoduoluo Chan Jing (達摩多羅禪經,[27] Dharmatrata dhyāna sutra).[28]

These early Chinese meditation works continued to exert influence on Zen practice well into the modern era. For example, the 18th century Rinzai Zen master Tōrei Enji wrote a commentary on the Damoduoluo Chan Jing and used the Zuochan Sanmei Jing as a source in the writing of this commentary. Tōrei believed that the Damoduoluo Chan Jing had been authored by Bodhidharma.[29]

While dhyāna in a strict sense refers to the classic four dhyānas, in Chinese Buddhism, chán may refer to various kinds of meditation techniques and their preparatory practices, which are necessary to practice dhyāna.[30] The five main types of meditation in the Dhyāna sutras are ānāpānasmṛti (mindfulness of breathing); paṭikūlamanasikāra meditation (mindfulness of the impurities of the body); maitrī meditation (loving-kindness); the contemplation on the twelve links of pratītyasamutpāda; and contemplation on the Buddha.[31] According to the modern Chan master Sheng Yen, these practices are termed the "five methods for stilling or pacifying the mind" and serve to focus and purify the mind, and support the development of the stages of dhyana.[32] Chan Buddhists may also use other classic Buddhist practices like the four foundations of mindfulness and the Three Gates of Liberation (emptiness or śūnyatā, signlessness or animitta, and wishlessness or apraṇihita).[33]

Early Chan texts also teach forms of meditation that are unique to Mahāyāna Buddhism. For example, the Treatise on the Essentials of Cultivating the Mind, which depicts the teachings of the 7th-century East Mountain school, teaches a visualization of a sun disk, similar to that taught in the Contemplation Sutra.[34]

According to Charles Luk, there was no single fixed method in early Chan (Zen). All the various Buddhist meditation methods were simply skillful means which could lead a meditator to the buddha-mind within.[35]

Zen's sudden method


Modern scholars like Robert Sharf argue that early Chan, while having unique teachings and myths, also made use of classic Buddhist meditation methods, and this is why it is hard to find many uniquely "Chan" meditation instructions in some of the earliest sources.[36] However, Sharf also notes there was a unique kind of Chan meditation taught in some early sources which also tend to deprecate the traditional Buddhist meditations. This uniquely Zen approach goes by various names like “maintaining mind” (shouxin 守心), “maintaining unity” (shouyi 守一), “pacifying the mind” (anxin 安心), “discerning the mind” (guanxin 觀心), and “viewing the mind” (kanxin 看心).[36] A traditional phrase that describes this practice states that "Chán points directly to the human mind, to enable people to see their true nature and become buddhas."[37]

Likewise, John McRae notes that a major development in early Ch'an was the rejection of some of the traditional techniques in favor of a uniquely Zen direct approach.[38] Early Chan sources like the Bodhidharma Anthology, the Platform Sutra and the works of Shenhui criticize traditional meditation methods of concentration and mindfulness as not necessary and instead promote a more direct and sudden method. For example, the Bodhidharma Anthology states: "The man of sharp abilities hears of the path without producing a covetous mind. He does not even produce right mindfulness and right reflection" and "If mind is not produced, what need is there for cross-legged sitting dhyana?"[39] Similarly, the Platform Sutra criticizes the practice of sitting samādhi: “One is enlightened to the Way through the mind. How could it depend on sitting?", while Shenhui's four pronouncements criticize the "freezing", "stopping", "activating", and "concentrating" of the mind.[40][41]

According to McRae the "first explicit statement of the sudden and direct approach that was to become the hallmark of Ch'an religious practice" is associated with the East Mountain School.[42] It is a method named "maintaining the one without wavering" (守一不移, shǒu yī bù yí),[42] the one being the true nature of mind or Suchness, which is equated with buddha-nature.[43] Sharf writes that in this practice, one turns the attention from the objects of experience to "the nature of conscious awareness itself", the innately pure buddha-nature, which was compared to a clear mirror or to the sun (which is always shining but may be covered by clouds).[36] This type of meditation is based on classic Mahāyāna ideas which are not uniquely "Chan", but according to McRae it differs from traditional practice in that "no preparatory requirements, no moral prerequisites or preliminary exercises are given," and is "without steps or gradations. One concentrates, understands, and is enlightened, all in one undifferentiated practice."[42][note 4]

Zen sources also use the term "tracing back the radiance" or "turning one's light around" (Ch. fǎn zhào, 返照) to describe seeing the inherent radiant source of the mind itself, the "numinous awareness", luminosity, or buddha-nature.[45] The Platform Sutra mentions this term and connects it with seeing one's "original face".[46] The Record of Linji states that all that is needed to obtain the Dharma is to "turn your own light in upon yourselves and never seek elsewhere".[47] The Japanese Zen master Dōgen describes it as follows: “You should stop the intellectual practice of pursuing words and learn the ‘stepping back’ of ‘turning the light around and shining back’ (Jp: ekō henshō); mind and body will naturally ‘drop off,’ and the ‘original face’ will appear.”[48] Similarly, the Korean Seon master Yŏndam Yuil states: "to use one's own mind to trace the radiance back to the numinous awareness of one's own mind...It is like seeing the radiance of the sun's rays and following it back until you see the orb of the sun itself."[49]

Sharf also notes that this early notion of contemplating a pure Buddha "Mind" was tempered and balanced by other Zen sources with terms like "no-mind" (wuxin), and "no-mindfulness" (wunien), to avoid any metaphysical reification of mind, and any clinging to mind or language. This kind of negative Madhyamaka style dialectic is found in early Zen sources like the Treatise on No Mind (Wuxin lun)[50] and the Platform Sutra. These sources tend to emphasize emptiness, negation, and absence (wusuo 無所) as the main theme of contemplation.[51] These two contemplative themes (the buddha mind and no-mind, positive and the negative rhetoric) continued to shape the development of Zen theory and practice throughout its history.[51]

Later Chinese Chan Buddhists developed their own meditation ("chan") manuals which taught their unique method of direct and sudden contemplation. The earliest of these is the widely imitated and influential Zuòchán Yí (c. 11th century), which recommends a simple contemplative practice which is said to lead to the discovery of inherent wisdom already present in the mind. This work also shows the influence of the earlier meditation manuals composed by Tiantai patriarch Zhiyi.[52] However, other Zen sources de-emphasize traditional practices like sitting meditation, and instead focus on effortlessness and on ordinary daily activities. One example of this is found in the Record of Linji which states: "Followers of the Way, as to buddhadharma, no effort is necessary. You have only to be ordinary, with nothing to do—defecating, urinating, wearing clothes, eating food, and lying down when tired."[53] Similarly, some Zen sources also emphasize non-action or having no concerns (wu-shih 無事). For example, Chan master Huangbo states that nothing compares with non-seeking, describing the Zen adept as follows: "the person of the Way is the one who has nothing to do [wu-shih], who has no mind at all and no doctrine to preach. Having nothing to do, such a person lives at ease."[54]

Zen sources which focus on the sudden teaching can sometimes be quite radical in their rejection of the importance of traditional Buddhist ideas and practices. The Record of the Dharma-Jewel Through the Ages (Lidai Fabao Ji) for example states "better that one should destroy śīla [ethics], and not destroy true seeing. Śīla [causes] rebirth in Heaven, adding more [karmic] bonds, while true seeing attains nirvāṇa."[55] Similarly the Bloodstream Sermon states that it doesn't matter whether one is a butcher or not, if one sees one's true nature, then one will not be affected by karma.[56] The Bloodstream Sermon also rejects worshiping of buddhas and bodhisattvas, stating that "Those who hold onto appearances are devils. They fall from the Path. Why worship illusions born of the mind? Those who worship don't know, and those who know don't worship."[57] Similarly, the Lidai Fabao Ji states that "No-thought is none other than seeing the Buddha" and rejects the practice of worship and recitation.[58] Most famously, the Record of Linji has the master state that "if you meet a buddha, kill the buddha" (as well as patriarchs, arhats, parents, and kinfolk), further claiming that through this "you will gain emancipation, will not be entangled with things."[59]

Common contemporary meditation forms


Mindfulness of Breathing

Kodo Sawaki practicing zazen, his hands make the "cosmic mudra" (Jp: hokkaijoin), which is common in Japanese Soto Zen

During sitting meditation (坐禅, Ch. zuòchán, Jp. zazen, Ko. jwaseon), practitioners usually assume a sitting position such as the lotus position, half-lotus, Burmese, or seiza. Their hands often placed in a specific gesture or mudrā. Often, a square or round cushion placed on a padded mat is used to sit on; in some other cases, a chair may be used.

To regulate the mind, Zen students are often directed towards counting breaths. Either both exhalations and inhalations are counted, or one of them only. The count can be up to ten, and then this process is repeated until the mind is calmed.[60] Zen teachers like Omori Sogen teach a series of long and deep exhalations and inhalations as a way to prepare for regular breath meditation.[61] Attention is often placed on the energy center (dantian) below the navel.[62] Zen teachers often promote diaphragmatic breathing, stating that the breath must come from the lower abdomen (known as hara or tanden in Japanese), and that this part of the body should expand forward slightly as one breathes.[63] Over time the breathing should become smoother, deeper and slower.[64] When the counting becomes an encumbrance, the practice of simply following the natural rhythm of breathing with concentrated attention is recommended.[65][66]

Silent Illumination and Shikantaza

Venerable Hsuan Hua meditating in the lotus position, Hong Kong, 1953

A common form of sitting meditation is called "Silent illumination" (Ch. mòzhào, Jp. mokushō). This practice was traditionally promoted by the Caodong school of Chinese Chan and is associated with Hongzhi Zhengjue (1091—1157) who wrote various works on the practice.[67] This method derives from the Indian Buddhist practice of the union (Skt. yuganaddha) of śamatha and vipaśyanā.[68]

Hongzhi's practice of silent illumination does not depend on concentration on particular objects, "such as visual images, sounds, breathing, concepts, stories, or deities."[69] Instead, it is a non-dual "objectless" meditation, involving "withdrawal from exclusive focus on a particular sensory or mental object."[69] This practice allows the meditator to be aware of "all phenomena as a unified totality," without any conceptualizing, grasping, goal seeking, or subject-object duality. According to Leighton, this method "rests on the faith, verified in experience, that the field of vast brightness is ours from the outset."[69] This "vast luminous buddha field" is our immanent "inalienable endowment of wisdom" which cannot be cultivated or enhanced. Instead, one just has to recognize this radiant clarity without any interference.[70]

A similar practice is taught in the major schools of Japanese Zen, but is especially emphasized by Sōtō, where it is more widely known as Shikantaza (Ch. zhǐguǎn dǎzuò, "Just sitting"). This method is discussed in the works of the Japanese Sōtō Zen thinker Dōgen, especially in his Shōbōgenzō and his Fukanzazengi.[71][72] For Dōgen, shikantaza is characterized by hishiryō ("non-thinking", "without thinking", "beyond thinking"), which according to Kasulis is "a state of no-mind in which one is simply aware of things as they are, beyond thinking and not-thinking".[73]

While the Japanese and the Chinese forms of these simple methods are similar, they are considered distinct approaches.[74]

Huatou and Kōan Contemplation

Calligraphy of "Mu" (Hanyu Pinyin: ) by Torei Enji. It figures in the famous Zhaozhou's dog kōan

During the Song dynasty, gōng'àn (Jp. kōan) literature became popular. Literally meaning "public case", they were stories or dialogues describing teachings and interactions between Zen masters and their students. Kōans are meant to illustrate Zen's non-conceptual insight (prajña). During the Song, a new meditation method was developed by Linji school figures such as Dahui (1089–1163) called kanhua chan ("observing the phrase" meditation) which referred to contemplation on a single word or phrase (called the huatou, "critical phrase") of a gōng'àn.[75] Dahui famously criticised Caodong's "silent illumination."[76][77] While the two methods of Caodong and Linji are sometimes seen as competing with each other, Schlütter writes that Dahui himself "did not completely condemn quiet-sitting; in fact, he seems to have recommended it, at least to his monastic disciples."[76]

In Chinese Chan and Korean Seon, the practice of "observing the huatou" (hwadu in Korean) is a widely practiced method.[78] It was taught by Seon masters like Chinul (1158–1210) and Seongcheol (1912–1993), and modern Chinese masters like Sheng Yen and Xuyun.

In the Japanese Rinzai school, kōan introspection developed its own formalized style, with a standardized curriculum of kōans, which must be studied, meditated on and "passed" in sequence. Monks are instructed to "become one" with their koan by repeating the koan's question constantly. They are also advised not to attempt to answer it intellectually, since the goal of the practice is a non-conceptual insight into non-duality.[79] The Zen student's mastery of a given kōan is presented to the teacher in a private interview (referred to in Japanese as dokusan, daisan, or sanzen). The process includes standardized answers, "checking questions" (sassho) and common sets of "capping phrase" (jakugo) poetry, all which must be memorized by students.[80] While there are standardized answers to a kōan, practitioners are also expected to demonstrate their spiritual understanding through their responses. The teacher may approve or disapprove of the answer based on their behavior, and guide the student in the right direction. According to Hori, the traditional Japanese Rinzai koan curriculum can take 15 years to complete for a full time monk.[8] The interaction with a teacher is central in Zen, but also makes Zen practice vulnerable to misunderstanding and exploitation.[81]

Kōan-inquiry may be practiced during zazen (sitting meditation), kinhin (walking meditation), and throughout all the activities of daily life. The goal of the practice is often termed kensho (seeing one's true nature), and is to be followed by further practice to attain a natural, effortless, down-to-earth state of being, the "ultimate liberation", "knowing without any kind of defilement".[82] This style of kōan practice is particularly emphasized in modern Rinzai, but it also occurs in other schools or branches of Zen depending on the teaching line.[83]

In the Caodong and Soto traditions, koans were studied and commented on, for example Hongzhi published a collection of koans and Dogen discussed koans extensively. However, they were not traditionally used in sitting meditation.[84] Some Zen masters have also critiqued the practice of using koans for meditation. According to Haskel, Bankei called kōans "old wastepaper" and saw the kōan method as hopelessly contrived.[85] Similarly, the Song era master Foyan Qingyuan (1067-1120) rejected the use of koans (public cases) and similar stories, arguing that they did not exist during the time of Bodhidharma and that the true koan is "what is presently coming into being."[86]

Nianfo chan


Nianfo (Jp. nembutsu, from Skt. buddhānusmṛti "recollection of the Buddha") refers to the recitation of the Buddha's name, in most cases the Buddha Amitabha. In Chinese Chan, the Pure Land practice of nianfo based on the phrase Nāmó Āmítuófó (Homage to Amitabha) is a widely practiced form of Zen meditation which came to be known as "Nianfo Chan" (念佛禪). Nianfo was practiced and taught by early Chan masters, like Daoxin (580-651), who taught that one should "bind the mind to one buddha and exclusively invoke his name".[87] The practice is also taught in Shenxiu's Kuan-hsin lun (觀心論).[87] Likewise, the Ch’uan fa-pao chi (傳法寶紀, Taisho # 2838, ca. 713), one of the earliest Chan histories, shows this practice was widespread in the early Chan generation of Hung-jen, Fa-ju and Ta-tung who are said to have "invoked the name of the Buddha so as to purify the mind."[87]

Evidence for the practice of nianfo chan can also be found in Changlu Zongze's (died c. 1107) Chanyuan qinggui (The Rules of Purity in the Chan Monastery), perhaps the most influential Ch’an monastic code in East Asia.[87] Nianfo continued to be taught as a form of Chan meditation by later Chinese figures such as Yongming Yanshou, Zhongfen Mingben, and Tianru Weize. During the late Ming, the tradition of Nianfo Chan meditation was continued by figures such as Yunqi Zhuhong and Hanshan Deqing.[88] Chan figures like Yongming Yanshou generally advocated a view called "mind-only Pure Land" (wei-hsin ching-t’u), which held that the Buddha and the Pure Land are just mind.[87]

The practice of nianfo, as well as its adaptation into the "nembutsu kōan" is a major practice in the Japanese Ōbaku school of Zen.[89] The recitation of a Buddha's name was also practiced in the Soto school at different times throughout its history. During the Meiji period for example, both Shaka nembutsu (reciting the name of Shakyamuni Buddha: namu Shakamuni Butsu) and Amida nembutsu were promoted by Soto school priests as easy practices for laypersons.[90]

Nianfo chan is also widely practiced in Vietnamese Thien.

Bodhisattva virtues and vows

Victoria Zen Centre Jukai ceremony, January 2009

Since Zen is a form of Mahayana Buddhism, it is grounded on the schema of the bodhisattva path, which is based on the practice of the "transcendent virtues" or "perfections" (Skt. pāramitā, Ch. bōluómì, Jp. baramitsu) as well as the taking of the bodhisattva vows.[91][92] The most widely used list of six virtues is: generosity, moral training (incl. five precepts), patient endurance, energy or effort, meditation (dhyana), wisdom. An important source for these teachings is the Avatamsaka sutra, which also outlines the grounds (bhumis) or levels of the bodhisattva path.[93] The pāramitās are mentioned in early Chan works such as Bodhidharma's Two entrances and four practices and are seen as an important part of gradual cultivation (jianxiu) by later Chan figures like Zongmi.[94][95]

An important element of this practice is the formal and ceremonial taking of refuge in the three jewels, bodhisattva vows and precepts. Various sets of precepts are taken in Zen including the five precepts, "ten essential precepts", and the sixteen bodhisattva precepts.[96][97][98][99] This is commonly done in an initiation ritual (Ch. shòu jiè, Jp. Jukai, Ko. sugye, "receiving the precepts"), which is also undertaken by lay followers and marks a layperson as a formal Buddhist.[100]

The Chinese Buddhist practice of fasting (zhai), especially during the uposatha days (Ch. zhairi, "days of fasting") can also be an element of Chan training.[101] Chan masters may go on extended absolute fasts, as exemplified by master Hsuan Hua's 35 day fast, which he undertook during the Cuban missile crisis for the generation of merit.[102]


Bonzes dans un réfectoire à Canton (Monastics in a Cantonese dining hall), Félix Régamey, c. before 1888
Traditional map of Soto head temple Eihei-ji

Zen developed in a Buddhist monastic context and throughout its history, most Zen masters have been Buddhist monastics (bhiksus) ordained in the Buddhist monastic code (Vinaya) living in Buddhist monasteries.[103][104] East Asian Buddhist monasticism differs in various respects from traditional Buddhist monasticism however, emphasizing self-sufficiency. For example, Zen monks do not live by begging, but store and cook their own food in the monastery and may even farm and grow their own food.[105][106]

Zen Monastics in Japan are particularly exceptional in the Buddhist tradition because the monks and nuns can marry after receiving their ordination. This is because they follow the practice of ordaining under the bodhisattva vows instead of the traditional monastic Vinaya.[107]

Zen monasteries (伽藍, pinyin: qiélán, Jp: garan, Skt. saṃghārāma) will often rely on Zen monastic codes like the Rules of Purity in the Chan Monastery and Dogen's Pure Standards for the Zen Community (Eihei Shingi) which regulate life and behavior in the monastery.[108] Zen monasteries often have a specific building or hall for meditation, the zendō (禅堂, Chinese: chántáng), as well as a "buddha hall" (佛殿, Ch:, Jp: butsuden) used for ritual purposes which houses the "main object of veneration" (本尊, Ch: běnzūn, Jp: honzon), usually a Buddha image. Life in a Zen monastery is often guided by a daily schedule which includes periods of work, group meditation, rituals, and formal meals.[103]

Intensive group practice


Intensive group meditation may be practiced by serious Zen practitioners. In the Japanese language, this practice is called sesshin. While the daily routine may require monks to meditate for several hours each day, during the intensive period they devote themselves almost exclusively to zen practice. The numerous 30–50 minute long sitting meditation (zazen) periods are interwoven with rest breaks, ritualized formal meals (Jp. oryoki), and short periods of work (Jp. samu) that are to be performed with the same state of mindfulness. In modern Buddhist practice in Japan, Taiwan, and the West, lay students often attend these intensive practice sessions or retreats. These are held at many Zen centers or temples.

Chanting and rituals

Buddha hall at Trúc Lâm Monastery of Da Lat
Chanting the Buddhist Scriptures, by Taiwanese painter Li Mei-shu
Monks chanting the "Heart Sutra" in Sōji-ji Temple in Yokohama, Japan

Most Zen monasteries, temples and centers perform various rituals, services and ceremonies (such as initiation ceremonies and funerals), which are always accompanied by the chanting of verses, poems or sutras.[109] There are also ceremonies that are specifically for the purpose of sutra recitation (Ch. niansong, Jp. nenju) itself.[110] Zen schools may have an official sutra book that collects these writings (in Japanese, these are called kyohon).[109] Practitioners may chant major Mahayana sutras such as the Heart Sutra and chapter 25 of the Lotus Sutra (often called the "Avalokiteśvara Sutra"). Dhāraṇīs and Zen poems may also be part of a Zen temple liturgy, including texts like the Song of the Precious Mirror Samadhi, the Sandokai, the Nīlakaṇṭha Dhāraṇī, and the Uṣṇīṣa Vijaya Dhāraṇī Sūtra.

The butsudan is the altar in a monastery, temple or a lay person's home, where offerings are made to the images of the Buddha, bodhisattvas and deceased family members and ancestors. Rituals usually center on major Buddhas or bodhisattvas like Avalokiteśvara (see Guanyin), Kṣitigarbha and Manjushri. An important element in Zen ritual practice is the performance of ritual prostrations (Jp. raihai) or bows, usually done in front of a butsudan.[111]

A widely practiced ritual in Chinese Chan is the Tang era "Rite for releasing the hungry ghosts".[112] The Chinese holiday of the Ghost Festival might also be celebrated with similar rituals for the dead.[113][114][115] These ghost rituals are a source of contention in modern Chinese Chan, and masters such as Sheng Yen criticize the practice for not having "any basis in Buddhist teachings".[116] Funerals are also an important ritual and are a common point of contact between Zen monastics and the laity. Statistics published by the Sōtō school state that 80 percent of Sōtō laymen visit their temple only for reasons having to do with funerals and death. Seventeen percent visit for spiritual reasons and 3 percent visit a Zen priest at a time of personal trouble or crisis.[117]

Another important type of ritual practiced in Zen are various repentance or confession rituals (Jp. zange) that were widely practiced in all forms of Chinese Mahayana Buddhism. One popular Chan text on this is known as the Emperor Liang Repentance Ritual, composed by Chan master Baozhi.[118] Dogen also wrote a treatise on repentance, the Shushogi.[119]

Other rituals could include rites dealing with local deities (kami in Japan), and ceremonies on Buddhist holidays such as Buddha's Birthday.[120] Another popular form of ritual in Japanese Zen is Mizuko kuyō (Water child) ceremonies, which are performed for those who have had a miscarriage, stillbirth, or abortion. These ceremonies are also performed in American Zen Buddhism.[121]

Esoteric practices


Depending on the tradition, esoteric methods such as mantra and dhāraṇī may also be used for different purposes including meditation practice, protection from evil, invoking great compassion, invoking the power of certain bodhisattvas, and are chanted during ceremonies and rituals.[122][123] In the Kwan Um school of Zen for example, a mantra of Guanyin ("Kwanseum Bosal") may be used during sitting meditation.[124] The Heart Sutra Mantra is also another mantra that is used in Zen during various rituals.[125] Another example is the Mantra of Light (kōmyō shingon), which is common in Japanese Soto Zen and was derived from the Shingon sect.[126]

In Chinese Chan, the usage of esoteric mantras in Zen goes back to the Tang dynasty. There is evidence that Chan Buddhists adopted practices from Chinese Esoteric Buddhism in findings from Dunhuang.[127] According to Henrik Sørensen, several successors of Shenxiu (such as Jingxian and Yixing) were also students of the Zhenyan (Mantra) school.[128] Influential esoteric dhāraṇī, such as the Uṣṇīṣa Vijaya Dhāraṇī Sūtra and the Nīlakaṇṭha Dhāraṇī, also begin to be cited in the literature of the Baotang school during the Tang dynasty.[129] The eighth century Chan monks of Shaolin temple also performed esoteric practices such as mantra and dharani.[130] Many mantras have been preserved since the Tang period and continue to be practiced in modern monasteries. One common example is the Śūraṅgama Mantra, which is common in Japanese Zen and has been propagated by various moden Chan figures like Hsuan Hua.[131][132]

Chan repentance rituals, such as the Liberation Rite of Water and Land, also involve various esoteric aspects, including the invocation of esoteric deities such as the Five Wisdom Buddhas and the Ten Wisdom Kings.[133][134] Japanese Zen schools also adopted esoteric rites and continue to perform them. These include the ambrosia gate (kanro mon 甘露門) ghost festival ritual which includes esoteric elements, the secret Dharma transmission (shihō 嗣法) rituals and in some cases the homa ritual.[135]

During the Joseon dynasty, the Korean Zen (Seon) was highly inclusive and ecumenical. This extended to Esoteric Buddhist lore and rituals (that appear in Seon literature from the 15th century onwards). According to Sørensen, the writings of several Seon masters (such as Hyujeong) reveal they were esoteric adepts.[136] In Japanese Zen, the use of esoteric practices within Zen is sometimes termed "mixed Zen" (kenshū zen 兼修禪), and the influential Soto monk Keizan Jōkin (1264–1325) was major promoter of esoteric methods. Keizan was heavily influenced by Shingon and Shugendo, and is known for introducing numerous esoteric ritual forms into the Soto school.[137][138][139] Another influential Soto figure, Menzan Zuihō (1683-1769), was also a practitioner of Shingon, having received esoteric initiation under a Shingon figure named Kisan Biku 義燦比丘.[140] Similarly, numerous Rinzai figures were also esoteric practitioners, such as the Rinzai founder Myōan Eisai (1141–1215) and Enni Ben'en (1202–1280).[141] Under Enni Ben'en's abbotship, Fumon-in (the future Tōfuku-ji) held Shingon and Tendai rituals. He also lectured on the esoteric Mahavairocana sutra.[142]

The arts

Hakuin Ekaku, Hotei in a Boat, Yale University Art Gallery
The kare-sansui (dry landscape) zen garden at Ryōan-ji

Certain arts such as painting, calligraphy, poetry, gardening, flower arrangement, tea ceremony and others have also been used as part of zen training and practice. Classical Chinese arts like brush painting and calligraphy were used by Chan monk painters such as Guanxiu and Muqi Fachang to communicate their spiritual understanding in unique ways to their students.[143] Some Zen writes even argued that "devotion to an art" (Japanese: suki) could be a spiritual practice that leads to enlightenment, as the Japanese monk poet Chōmei writes in his Hosshinshū.[144]

Zen paintings are sometimes termed zenga in Japanese.[145] Hakuin is one Japanese Zen master who was known to create a large corpus of unique sumi-e (ink and wash paintings) and Japanese calligraphy to communicate zen in a visual way. His work and that of his disciples were widely influential in Japanese Zen.[146] Another example of Zen arts can be seen in the short lived Fuke sect of Japanese Zen, which practiced a unique form of "blowing zen" (suizen) by playing the shakuhachi bamboo flute.

Physical cultivation

Two grandmasters of the Shaolin Temple of Chinese Chan, Shi DeRu and Shi DeYang

Traditional martial arts, like Chinese martial arts, Japanese archery, other forms of Japanese budō have also been seen as forms of zen praxis by some Zen schools. In China, this trend goes back to the influential Shaolin Monastery in Henan, which developed the first institutionalized form of gōngfu.[147] By the late Ming, Shaolin gōngfu was very popular and widespread, as evidenced by mentions in various forms of Ming literature (featuring staff wielding fighting monks like Sun Wukong) and historical sources, which also speak of Shaolin's impressive monastic army that rendered military service to the state in return for patronage.[148]

These Shaolin practices, which began to develop around the 12th century, were also traditionally seen as a form of Chan Buddhist inner cultivation (today called wuchan, "martial chan"). The Shaolin arts also made use of Taoist physical exercises (daoyin) breathing and qi cultivation (qigong) practices.[149] They were seen as therapeutic practices, which improved "internal strength" (neili), health and longevity (lit. "nourishing life" yangsheng), as well as means to spiritual liberation.[150] The influence of these Taoist practices can be seen in the work of Wang Zuyuan (ca. 1820–after 1882), whose Illustrated Exposition of Internal Techniques (Neigong tushuo) shows how Shaolin monks drew on Taoist methods like those of the Yijin Jing and Eight pieces of brocade.[151] According to the modern Chan master Sheng Yen, Chinese Buddhism has adopted internal cultivation exercises from the Shaolin tradition as ways to "harmonize the body and develop concentration in the midst of activity." This is because, "techniques for harmonizing the vital energy are powerful assistants to the cultivation of samadhi and spiritual insight."[152] Korean Seon also has developed a similar form of active physical training, termed Sunmudo.

Bows and quivers at Engaku-ji temple, the temple also has a Dōjō for the practice of Kyūdō and the Zen priests practice this art here.[153]

In Japan, the classic combat arts (budō) and zen practice have been in contact since the embrace of Rinzai Zen by the Hōjō clan in the 13th century, who applied zen discipline to their martial practice.[154] One influential figure in this relationship was the Rinzai priest Takuan Sōhō who was well known for his writings on zen and budō addressed to the samurai class (especially his The Unfettered Mind) .[155]

The Rinzai school also adopted certain Chinese practices which work with qi (which are also common in Taoism). They were introduced by Hakuin (1686–1769) who learned various techniques from a hermit named Hakuyu who helped Hakuin cure his "Zen sickness" (a condition of physical and mental exhaustion).[156] These energetic practices, known as naikan, are based on focusing the mind and one's vital energy (ki) on the tanden (a spot slightly below the navel).[157][158]


A Dharma talk by Seon nun Daehaeng Kun Sunim, Hanmaum Seon Center, South Korea

Zen is grounded in the rich doctrinal background of East Asian Mahayana Buddhism.[159][160] Zen doctrinal teaching is thoroughly influenced by the Mahayana Buddhist teachings on the bodhisattva path, Chinese Madhyamaka (Sānlùn), Yogacara (Wéishí), the Prajñaparamita literature, and Buddha nature texts like the Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra and the Nirvana sutra.[161][162][163]

Some Zen traditions (especially Linji / Rinzai focused traditions) stress a narrative which sees Zen as a "special transmission outside scriptures", which does not "stand upon words".[159][164] Nevertheless, Mahayana Buddhist doctrine and East Asian Buddhist teachings remain an essential part of Zen Buddhism. Various Zen masters throughout the history of Zen, like Guifeng Zongmi, Jinul, and Yongming Yanshou, have instead promoted the "correspondence of the teachings and Zen", which argues for the unity of Zen and the Buddhist teachings.[165][166]

In Zen, doctrinal teaching is often compared to "the finger pointing at the moon".[167] While Zen doctrines point to the moon (awakening, the Dharma-realm, the originally enlightened mind), one should not mistake fixating on the finger (the teachings) to be Zen, instead one must look at the moon (reality).[168][169][170][171][172] As such, doctrinal teachings are just another skillful means (upaya) which can help one attain awakening.[173] They are not the goal of Zen, nor are they held as fixed dogmas to be attached to (since ultimate reality transcends all concepts), but are nevertheless seen as useful (as long as one does not reify them or cling to them).[174]

Buddha-nature and Innate enlightenment

Korean woodblock print of "The Sixth Patriarch's Dharma Jewel Platform Sutra" (c. 1310), a key Zen text which contains the basic doctrines of Zen. Bibliothèque Nationale de France.

The complex Mahayana Buddhist notion of Buddha-nature (Sanskrit: buddhadhātu, Chinese: 佛性 fóxìng) was a key idea in the doctrinal development of Zen and remains central to Zen Buddhism. In China, this doctrine developed to encompass the related teaching of original enlightenment (本覺, běnjué), which held that the awakened mind of a Buddha is already present in each sentient being and that enlightenment is "inherent from the outset" and "accessible in the present."[175][176][177]

Drawing on sources like the Lankavatara sutra, the buddha-nature sutras, the Awakening of Faith, and the Sutra of Perfect Enlightenment, Chan masters championed the view that the innately awakened buddha-mind was immanently present within all beings.[178][179][180] Following the view of the Awakening of Faith, this awakened buddha-nature is seen in Zen as the empty source of all things, the ultimate principle (li) out of which all phenomena (Ch: shi, i.e. all dharmas) arise.[179][181][182][183]

Thus, the Zen path is one of recognizing the inherently enlightened source that is already here. Indeed, the Zen insight and the Zen path are based on that very innate awakening.[184] By the time of the codification of the Platform Sutra (c. 8th to 13th century), the Zen scripture par excellence, original enlightenment had become a central teaching of the Zen tradition.[185]

Historically influential Chan schools like East Mountain and Hongzhou drew on the Awakening of Faith in its teachings on the buddha-mind, "the true mind as Suchness", which Hongzhou compared to a clear mirror.[186][187] Similarly, the Tang master Guifeng Zongmi draws on the Sutra of Perfect Enlightenment when he writes that "all sentient beings without exception have the intrinsically enlightened true mind", which is a "clear and bright ever-present awareness" that gets covered over by deluded thoughts.[188] The importance of the concept of the innately awakened mind for Zen is such that it even became an alternative name for Zen, the "Buddha-mind school".[1]

Emptiness, and negative dialectic

Calligraphy of no-mind 無心

The influence of Madhyamaka and Prajñaparamita on Zen can be discerned in the Zen stress on emptiness (空 kōng), non-conceptual wisdom (Skt: nirvikalpa-jñana), the teaching of no-mind, and the apophatic and sometimes paradoxical language of Zen literature.[182][161][189][190][note 5]

Zen masters and texts took great pains to avoid the reification of doctrinal concepts and terms, including important terms like buddha-nature and enlightenment. This is because Zen affirms the Mahayana view of emptiness, which states that all phenomena lack a fixed and independent essence (svabhava).[182] To avoid any reification which grasps at essences, Zen sources often make use of a negative dialectic influenced by Madhyamaka philosophy.[191][182] As Kasulis writes, since all things are empty, "the Zen student must learn not to think of linguistic distinctions as always referring to ontically distinct realities."[182] Indeed, all doctrines, distinctions and words are relative and deceptive in some way, and thus they must be transcended. This apophatic element of Zen teaching is sometimes described as Mu (無, Ch: , "no"), which appears in the famous Zhaozhou's Dog koan: A monk asked, "Does a dog have a Buddha-nature or not?"; The master said, "Not []!".[182]

Zen teachings also often include a seemingly paradoxical use of both negation and affirmation.[182][192][note 6] For example, the teachings of the influential Tang dynasty master Mazu Daoyi, founder of the Hongzhou school, could include affirmative phrases like "Mind is Buddha" as well as negative ones like "it is neither mind nor Buddha".[194][192] Since no concepts or differentiations can capture the true nature of things, Zen affirms the importance of the non-conceptual and non-differentiating perfection of wisdom (prajñaparamita), which transcends all relative and conventional language (even the language of negation itself). According to Kasulis, this is the basis of much apophatic rhetoric found in Zen which often seems paradoxical or contradictory.[182]

The importance of negation is also seen in the key Zen teaching of no-mind (無心, wuxin), which is considered to be a state of meditative clarity, free of concepts, defilements, and clinging, which is also associated with wisdom and a direct experience of the ultimate truth.[195][196]


Ensō calligraphy by Thích Nhất Hạnh. Hạnh's teaching of interbeing is one modern attempt to describe Zen non-duality.

Zen texts also stress the concept of non-duality (Skt: advaya, Ch: 不二), which is an important theme in Zen literature and is explained in various different ways.[197] One set of themes is the non-dual unity of the absolute and the relative truths (which derives from the classic Buddhist theme of the two truths). This can be found in Zen sources like the Five Ranks of Tozan, Faith in Mind, and the Harmony of Difference and Sameness. It is also an important theme in Mahayana sutras which are important to Zen, like the Vimalakīrtinirdeśa and the Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra.[198][199]

A related explanation of non-duality which is influential in Zen makes use of the Chinese Buddhist discourse of essence-function (Ch: tiyong), which is most famously taught in the influential Awakening of Faith. In this type of discourse, the essence refers to the inner nature of things, the absolute reality, while the functions refer to the more external, relative and secondary characteristics of things.[200][201] The Platform Sutra compares the essence to a lamp, while the function is its light.[202]

Another application of non-duality in Zen discourse is the idea that mundane reality (which includes the natural world) i.e. samsara (the world of suffering) and nirvana (the ultimate, enlightened reality) are not separate. This is a view found in Indian Mahayana sources like Nagarjuna's Root Verses on Madhyamaka.[203] As such, Buddhas and sentient beings as well as Buddhahood and the natural world, are also considered to be non-dual in Zen. This idea influenced Zen attitudes on social harmony and harmony (he, 和) with the natural world.[204]

A further meaning of non-duality in Zen is as the absence of a duality between the perceiving subject and the perceived object.[205][206][207] This understanding of non-duality is derived from the Indian Yogachara school.[208] The philosophy of the Huayan school also had an influence on Chinese Chan's conception of the non-dual ultimate truth and its understanding of essence-function. One example is the Huayan doctrine of the interpenetration of phenomena or "perfect interfusion" (yuanrong, 圓融), which also makes use of native Chinese philosophical concepts such as principle (li) and phenomena (shi).[209] The influence of the related Huayan theory of the Fourfold Dharmadhatu can be seen in the Five Ranks of Dongshan Liangjie (806–869), the founder of the Caodong lineage of Chan.[210]

Sudden enlightenment and seeing the nature

Seeing the ox, a metaphor for an initial stage in the practice of Zen. Ox-herding picture on an outdoor wall in Bongeunsa, South Korea.

The idea of the immanent character of Buddha-nature influenced Zen's characteristic emphasis on a direct insight.[211][212] As such, a central topic of discussion in Zen is "seeing the nature" (見性, pinyin: jiànxìng, Jp: kenshō).[213] Zen teachings use this term to refer to an insight which can occur to a Zen practitioner suddenly, and often equate it with a kind of enlightenment.[213][214] The "nature" here is the buddha-nature, the originally enlightened mind. As such, this experience provides one with a glimpse of the ultimate truth. The term jiànxìng occurs in the classic Zen phrase "seeing one's nature, becoming Buddha", which is held to encapsulate the meaning of Zen.[215] Zen schools have disagreed with each other on how to achieve "seeing nature" (the Linji school's huatou practice vs Caodong's silent illumination) as well as how to relate to, cultivate, express, and deepen one's relationship with the experience.[204] This remains a major topic of debate and discussion among contemporary Zen traditions.

Oxherding picture depicting the insight into the ultimate truth, Bongeunsa.

Traditionally, Zen considers that its practices aim at a sudden insight into the true nature of things. This idea of sudden enlightenment or instant awakening (頓悟; dùnwù), which is closely related to "seeing the nature", is another important theme in Zen. Zen sources often argue that its "sudden" method is more direct and superior to the "gradual" paths, which take place in a step by step fashion.[216][217][218][219] Such methods can be found in some of the earliest Zen traditions, like the East Mountain school's teaching of "maintaining the one," a direct contemplation on buddha-nature that was not dependent on preliminary practices or step by step instructions.[220]

The sudden teaching was further emphasized by patriarch Shenhui and it became canonized as a key Zen teaching in the Platform Sutra.[221] In spite of the rhetorical emphasis on sudden awakening and the critique of "gradual" methods found in various Zen sources, Zen traditions do not reject gradual practices (such as taking precepts, scriptural study, ritual practice and the six paramitas). Instead, Zen schools generally incorporate these practices within a schema grounded in sudden enlightenment thought.[222][192][223][note 7] As such, many Zen sources which emphasize sudden awakening, like the Platform Sutra, also refer to traditional Mahayana practices.[211][223]

This means that the Zen path does not end at "seeing the nature", since further practice and cultivation is considered necessary to deepen one's insight, remove the traces of the defilements (attachments, aversions, etc), and to learn to express buddha-nature in daily life.[225][226][227] Zen masters like Zongmi described this method as "sudden enlightenment followed by gradual cultivation", holding that the sudden and gradual teachings point to the same truth.[228] Zongmi argued that even though sudden awakening reveals the truth directly and instantly, the Zen practitioner still has deeply rooted defilements (Skt: kleśa, Ch: fánnǎo) which cloud the mind and can only be removed through further training.[229]

This sudden-gradual schema became a standard view of Zen practice in China after the time of Zongmi.[164] It is found in Zen sources like Dongshan's Five Ranks, the works of Jinul, the Four Ways of Knowing of Hakuin,[230] Torei's Undying Lamp of Zen, and the Ten Ox-Herding Pictures, which depict a gradual set of steps on the Zen path while also including the idea of a sudden awakening to an immanent innate pure nature.[231][232]


Japanese Sōtō monk on an alms round (takuhatsu) sitting zazen.

Today, there are two major traditions or groupings of Zen schools, along with numerous other smaller lineages, orders and schools. The two main lineages are the Caodong tradition traced back to Dongshan Liangjie (807–869) and the Linji school which is traced to Linji Yixuan (died 866 CE). During the Song dynasty, the Caodong lineage became closely associated with the teaching of "silent illumination" (Ch: mozhao) as formulated by Hongzhi Zhengjue (1091—1157).[233][234][235] The competing Linji school meanwhile became associated with the contemplation method of Dahui Zonggao (1089–1163) which focuses on meditating on the huatou (critical phrase) of a koan.[236] Some traditions and organizations include both lineages, so these categories should not be seen as mutually exclusive.

Both the Linji school and the Caodong school were transmitted outside of China to Japan, Korea and Vietnam. Sōtō is the Japanese line of Caodong and it was founded by Dōgen (1200–1253), who emphasized the practice of shikantaza (nothing but just sitting). The Sōtō school has de-emphasized kōans since Gentō Sokuchū (circa 1800).[237] A Vietnamese Caodong lineage (Tào Động) was founded by 17th-century Chan master Thông Giác Đạo Nam.[238] Recently, the Caodong silent illumination method was revived in the Sinosphere by Sheng Yen and his Dharma Drum Mountain association.

Jogyesa Temple in Seoul
Jogyesa Temple Seon temple in Seoul
Tenryū-ji, the head temple of the Tenryū-ji branch of Rinzai.

Regarding Linji, it is known in Japan as the Rinzai school. This tradition emphasizes meditation on kōans mediated through master disciple meetings (sanzen) as the essential method to attain kenshō (seeing one's true nature).[239] Most traditions in Korean Seon are also generally in the Linji lineage, and focus on huatou practice, though the exact methods and teachings on this differ. There are also Vietnamese lineages of Linji, such as the Lâm Tế and the Liễu Quán schools. These lineages also mix Zen practice with Pure Land elements.[240][241]

Monks of the Trúc Lâm school, Tây Thiên Monastery

Besides the two major families or traditions of Zen, there are several smaller schools. These include:

  • Ōbaku-shū (黄檗宗), a school established in the 17th century. It includes classic Chan teachings and also Pure Land methods.
  • Fuke-shū (普化宗), a small Japanese sect. A unique feature of this sect is the use of flute music as a meditation.
  • Sanbo Kyodan, a modern Japanese school which draws on both Rinzai and Sōtō methods.[226]
  • Trúc Lâm, a unique native sect of Vietnamese Zen which is known for attempting to harmonize the "Three teachings" of Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism.
  • The Plum Village (Làng Mai) Tradition, a new modern tradition founded by the influential Vietnamese teacher and activist Thích Nhất Hạnh (1926–2022)
  • The Kwan Um School of Zen, a new modern tradition founded by Zen Master Seung Sahn
  • Schools of Zen recently founded in America, such as Ordinary Mind Zen School and White Plum Asanga.

Organization and institutions


Zen practice, like that of all religions, is supported by collective endeavors.[242] Though some Zen sources sometimes emphasize individual experience and antinomianism, Zen traditions are maintained and transferred by mostly hierarchical temple based institutions focused around a core of ordained clergy.[243][244] These Zen masters or teachers (Ch: shīfu 師父; Jp: rōshi or oshō) may or may not be celibate monastics (bhiksus who follow the Vinaya, the traditional Buddhist monastic code) depending on the tradition.

Some important Zen organizations include the Japanese Sōtō school, the Soto Zen Buddhist Association of America, the various independent branches of Japanese Rinzai, the Korean Jogye and Taego orders, and the Chinese Dharma Drum Mountain and Fo Guang Shan organizations. In Japan, modernity led to criticism of traditional Zen institutions and new lay-oriented Zen-schools such as the Sanbo Kyodan[245] and the Ningen Zen Kyodan emerged in response.[246] Some modern challenges for contemporary Zen include how to organize the continuity of the Zen-tradition, constraining charismatic authority (with the risk of abuse of power it brings) on the one hand,[247][248][81] and maintaining the legitimacy of traditional authorities by limiting the number of authorized teachers on the other hand.[242]

Dharma transmission

Soto Zen priest Myozan Kodo, right, receives Dharma Transmission from his teacher Taigu Turlur, Paris, 2014.

An important feature of traditional Zen institutions is the use of dharma transmission (Chinese: 傳法 chuán fǎ) from master to disciple to pass on Zen lineages to the next generation. The procedure of dharma transmission, particularly the act of "authorization" or "confirmation" (印可, Ch: yìn kě, Jp: inka, K: inga), is considered to establish a Zen teacher as a direct successor of their master and to link them to a lineage which is traditionally believed to go back to the ancient Chinese patriarchs and to the Buddha himself.[249][250][251] These transmissions are sometimes seen esoterically as the "mind to mind" transmission of the light of awakening from master to disciple.[252] Scholars like William Bodiford and John Jorgensen have argued that this "ancestral" dimension of Zen which sees the school as an extended family is influenced by Confucian values, and that it is part of what allowed Zen to become such an influential form of Buddhism in East Asia.[253]

Zen lineages often maintain Zen lineage charts which list all the teachers in their transmission lineage, establishing institutional legitimacy by claiming a direct link from the Buddha to the present.[254] Indeed, according to Michel Mohr, the traditional view is that "it is through the transmission process that the identity and integrity of the lineage is preserved."[255] Zen lineage narratives were further supported by "transmission of the lamp" texts (e.g. Jǐngdé Chuándēnglù), which contained stories of the past masters and legitimized Zen lineages. These texts could often be sectarian, favoring a specific lineage or school and they sometimes even led to conflict among the Zen schools.[255] Furthermore, these Zen transmission narratives were often not historically accurate and contain mythological material developed over centuries in China. Their historicity has been recently critiqued by modern scholars.[256][257][254]

The formal practice of dharma transmission is generally understood in two main ways by Zen traditions. It can be seen as a formal recognition of a disciple's deep spiritual realization, which is separate from clerical ordination.[258] It could also be understood as an institutional procedure which ensures the transmission of a temple lineage.[258][259][255]

Daehaeng, a modern Korean Sŏn nun who attained awakening without the guidance of a Zen master, a phenomenon termed "wisdom without a teacher".[260]

The institutions of Dharma transmission have come under criticism in various times throughout Zen history. Zen masters like Linji and Ikkyū "were said to have refused to receive transmission certificates", seeing the procedure as corrupt and institutionalized.[261] During the Ming dynasty, important masters like Hanshan Deqing, Zibo Zhenke, and Yunqi Zhuhong did not belong to any formal lineage.[262][263] According to Jiang Wu, these eminent Ming Chan monks emphasized self-cultivation while criticizing formulaic instructions and nominal recognition. Wu writes that at this time "eminent monks, who practiced meditation and asceticism but without proper dharma transmission, were acclaimed as acquiring 'wisdom without teachers' (wushizhi)."[263] Hanshan's writings indicate that he seriously questioned the value of dharma transmission, seeing personal enlightenment as what truly mattered in Zen.[263]

In a similar fashion, several important medieval Japanese masters like Takuan Sōhō eschewed formal transmission and did not believe it was necessary since the Dharma was always available to be discovered within.[264] Some of these figures were even considered "self-enlightened and self-certified" (jigo jishō), since they claimed to have achieved "wisdom without a teacher" (無師智, pinyin: wúshīzhì; Japanese: 無師独悟, mushi-dokugo). They include Suzuki Shōsan, and Myōshin-ji figures like Daigu, Ungo and Isshi.[264] Modern Chinese Buddhists like Tanxu, Taixu and Yinshun also criticized dharma transmission, seeing it as a Chinese invention that was not taught by the Buddha. Taixu held that the practice led to sectarianism, and Tanxu wrote that it contributed to the decline of Zen.[265] Yinshun believed that the Dharma was not something that could belong to anyone and thus it could not be "transmitted" in a lineage.[265]


Tablets of the Tripiṭaka Koreana, an early edition of the Chinese Buddhist canon, in Haeinsa, the head temple of the Seon Jogye order, South Korea

The role of scripture in Zen


Zen is deeply rooted in the teachings and doctrines of Mahāyāna Buddhism.[266][161][162] Classic Zen texts, such as the Platform sutra, contain numerous references to Mahāyāna sutras.[267] According to Sharf, Zen monastics "are expected to become familiar with the classics of the Zen canon".[268] A review of the early historical literature of early Zen clearly reveals that their authors were well versed in numerous Mahāyāna sūtras,[6][6] as well as Mahayana Buddhist philosophy such as Madhyamaka.[161]

Nevertheless, Zen masters are sometimes pictured as iconoclastically anti-intellectual and dismissive of scriptural study, or at least as weary of scripture.[266] Early Chan sources contain numerous statements which see scriptural study as unecessary. The Bodhidharma Anthology for example states "don't use knowledge of the sutras and treatises" and instead states one should return to the ultimate principle, "firmly abiding without shifting, in no way following after the written teachings".[269] The Bloodstream Sermon states: "The true Way is sublime. It can't be expressed in language. Of what use are scriptures? But someone who sees his own nature finds the Way, even if he can't read a word."[270]

Liang Kai, The Sixth Patriarch Tearing a Sutra, Song dynasty (960–1279 AD)

This radical antinomian view of Zen became more pronounced during a period between the late Tang and the Song Dynasty (960–1297), when Chán (especially the Hongzhou school) became the dominant in China, and gained great popularity among the literary classes who were attracted to the idea that true sages did not depend on texts and language.[271][272][273][274] Several famous phrases from this period defined Zen as "not established on words and letters" and as "a special transmission outside the scriptures" (statements which were anachronistically attributed to Bodhidharma).[275][276] The Record of Linji is even more radical, stating that the Buddhist scriptures are "all so much old toilet paper to wipe away filth".[277] Another example of this attitute is found in the story of Deshan Xuanjian, who is known for having burned all his scriptural commentaries.[278]

However, scholars like Welter and Hori write that these rhetorical statements were not a complete denial of the importance of study and scripture, but a warning to those who mistake the teachings for the direct insight into truth itself.[279][8] Indeed, Chan masters of this period continue to cite and refer to Buddhist sutra passages.[note 8][note 9][note 10] Furthermore, not all masters made use of this kind of "rhetorical" Chan which was popular in the Chinese Linji school and emphasized a direct "mind to mind" transmission of the truth from master to disciple while de-emphasizing sutra study. Another contrasting style of Chinese Chan was a more moderate "literary Chan" (wenzi chan, 文字禪) associated with figures like Nanyang Huizhong, Zongmi, and Yongming Yanshou.[282] This type of Chan continued to actively promote doctrinal study as a part of Chan practice with the slogan of "the correspondence of the teachings and Chan" (chiao-ch'an i-chih).[283][284] Even Mazu Daoyi, often depicted as a great iconoclast, alludes to and quotes numerous Mahayana sutras (as do other Hongzhou school masters). He also stated in his sermons that Bodhidharma "used the Lankāvatāra Scripture to seal the sentient beings' mind-ground".[285]

Zongmi's perspective was that "the scriptures are like a marking line to be used as a standard to determine true and false....those who transmit Ch'an must use the scriptures and treatises as a standard."[165] Juefan Huihong (1071–1128) coined the term "literary chan" and wrote on the importance of studying the sutras in his Zhizheng zhuan (Commentary on wisdom and enlightenment). Later figures like Zibo Zhenke and Hanyue Fazang (1573–1635) promoted the view of Chan practice which makes use of the sutras based on the Zhizheng zhuan.[282] Similarly, the Japanese Rinzai master Hakuin writes that the Zen path begins with studying all the classic Buddhist sutras and commentaries, citing one of the four vows which states: "the Dharma teachings are infinite, I vow to study them all."[note 11]

As such, while the various Zen traditions today emphasize that enlightenment arises from a direct non-conceptual insight, they also generally accept that study and understanding of the Buddhist teachings support and guide one's practice.[287][288][note 12][289] Hori writes that modern Rinzai Zen teachers "do not teach that intellectual understanding has nothing to do with Zen; instead they teach the quite opposite lesson that Zen requires intellectual understanding and literary study".[8] Since the emphasis is generally on a balanced approach to study and practice, the extremes which reject either pole are seen as problematic by most Zen traditions. As Hori writes (referring to the attitude of the modern Rinzai school): "the intellectual understanding of Zen and the experience itself are presented as standing in a complementary, both/and relationship."[79] As such, it is said that the master of Zen uses two swords, the study of the teaching (kyoso) and the experience of the way (doriki).[79]

Important scriptures

Reading a Sutra by Moonlight, by Ōbaku Zen monk Sokuhi Nyoitsu (1616–1671).

The early Buddhist schools in China were each based on a specific sutra. At the beginning of the Tang dynasty, by the time of the Fifth Patriarch Hongren (601–674), the Zen school became established as a separate school of Buddhism and began to develop its doctrinal position based on the scriptures.[211][290] Various sutras were used by the early Zen tradition, even before the time of Hongren. They include the Śrīmālādevī Sūtra (Huike),[291] Awakening of Faith (Daoxin),[291] the Lankavatara Sutra (East Mountain School),[291][6] the Diamond Sutra[292] (Shenhui),[291] and the Platform Sutra (a Chinese composition).[6][292]

The Chan tradition drew inspiration from a variety of scriptural sources and did not follow any single scripture over the others.[293] Subsequently, the Zen tradition produced a rich corpus of written literature, which has become a part of its practice and teaching. Other influential sutras in Zen are the Vimalakirti Sutra,[294][295][296] Avatamsaka Sutra,[297] the Shurangama Sutra,[298] and the Mahaparinirvana Sutra.[299] Important apocryphal sutras composed in China include the Sutra of Perfect Enlightenment and the Vajrasamadhi sutra.

In his analysis of the works of the influential Tang dynasty Hongzhou school, Mario Poceski notes that they cite the following Mahayana sutras often: the Lotus Sutra, the Huayan, the Nirvana, the Laṅkāvatāra, the Prajñāpāramitā sutras, the Mahāratnakūta, the Mahāsamnipāta, and the Vimalakīrti.[285]


Reproduction of the Tenpuku version of Dogen's Fukanzazengi, originally produced in 1233

Zen developed a rich textual tradition, based on original Zen writings, such as poems, dialogues, histories, and the recorded sayings of Zen masters. Important Zen texts and genres include:



Chinese Chán

Huike Offering His Arm to Bodhidharma, Sesshū Tōyō (1496).

The history of Chán in China is divided into various periods by different scholars, who generally distinguish a classical phase and a post-classical period. Each period had different schools of Zen, some of which remained influential while others vanished.[211]

Ferguson distinguishes three periods from the 5th century into the 13th century: the Legendary period of the six patriarchs (5th century to the 760s BCE); the Classical period of the Hongzhou masters (760s to 950); and the Literary period (950-1250) of Song dynasty Chan which saw the compilation of the gongan-collections and the rise of Linji and Caodong.[304][211]

McRae distinguishes four rough phases in the history of Chán (though he notes this is only an expedient device and the reality was much more complicated):[305]

  1. Proto-Chán (c. 500–600) (Southern and Northern dynasties (420 to 589) and Sui dynasty (589–618 CE)). In this phase, Chán developed in multiple locations in northern China. It was based on the practice of meditation as taught by figures likeBodhidharma and Huike. A key source from this period is the Two Entrances and Four Practices, attributed to Bodhidharma.[306]
  2. Early Chán (c. 600–900, Tang dynasty c. 618–907 CE). In this phase Chán took its first clear contours. Prime figures are the fifth patriarch Daman Hongren (601–674), his dharma-heir Yuquan Shenxiu (606?–706), the sixth patriarch Huineng (638–713), protagonist of the quintessential Platform Sutra, and Shenhui (670–762), whose propaganda elevated Huineng to the status of sixth patriarch. Major schools are the Northern School, Southern School and Oxhead school.[307]
  3. Middle Chán (c. 750–1000, from An Lushan Rebellion c. 755–763 to the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period (907–960/979)). Major schools include the Hongzhou school, the Heze school, and the Hubei faction[note 13] Some key figures include Mazu, Shitou, Huangbo, Linji, Xuefeng Yicun, Zongmi and Yongming Yanshou. A key text from this period is the Anthology of the Patriarchal Hall (952), which includes many "encounter stories", as well as the traditional genealogy of the Chán-school.[310]
  4. Song Dynasty Chán (c. 950–1300). This period saw the development of the traditional Zen narrative as well as the rise of the Linji school and the Caodong school. The key figures are Dahui Zonggao (1089–1163), who introduced the Hua Tou practice, and Hongzhi Zhengjue (1091–1157) who emphasized Shikantaza. This era saw the composition of the classic koan-collections (e.g. Blue Cliff Record) which reflect the influence of the literati class on the development of Chán.[10][275][311] In this phase Chán is transported to Japan, and exerts a great influence on Korean Seon via Jinul (1158–1210).

Neither Ferguson nor McRae give a periodisation for Chinese Chán following the Song-dynasty, though McRae mentions "at least a post-classical phase or perhaps multiple phases".[312] David McMahan discusses the later Ming (1368–1644) and Qing (1644–1912) era of Chan, which saw increasing syncretism with other traditions, and a later modern phase (19th century onwards) during which Chan adapted western ideas and attempted to modernize in response to the pressure of foreign imperialism.[313]



Before the arrival of the "founder" of Chan, Bodhidharma, various Buddhist masters of meditation or dhyana (Ch: channa) had taught in China, including An Shigao and Buddhabhadra. These figures also brought with them various meditation texts, called the Dhyāna sutras which mainly drew from the teachings of the Sarvāstivāda.[26][314][315][316] These early meditation texts laid the groundwork for the practices of Chan Buddhism.[317] The translation work of Kumārajīva (especially his Prajñāpāramitā translations and his Vimalakirti Sutra), Buddhabhadra (Avatamsaka Sutra) and Gunabhadra (Lankāvatāra sūtra) were also key formative influences on Chan and remained key sources for later Chan masters.[318] Indeed, in some early Chan texts (like the Masters of the Lankāvatāra), it is Gunabhadra, not Bodhidharma, which is seen as the first patriarch who transmits the Chan lineage (here seen as synonymous with the Lankāvatāra tradition) from India.[319] The meditation works of the fourth Tiantai patriarch Zhiyi, such as his monumental Mohezhiguan, were also influential on later Chan meditation manuals, like the Tso-chan-i.[320]

A further possible influence on the origin of Chan Buddhism is Taoism. Some of the earliest Chinese Buddhists were influenced by Daoist thought and terminology and this has led some scholars to see a Taoist influence on Chan.[321][322][323][324][325] Two Chinese disciples of Kumārajīva, Sengzhao and Tao Sheng were influenced by Taoist works like the Laozi and Zhuangzi.[324] These Sanlun figures in turn had an influence on some early Chan masters.[326]


Bodhidharma, stone carving in Shaolin Temple.

Proto-Chán (c. 500–600) encompasses the Southern and Northern dynasties period (420 to 589) and Sui dynasty (589–618 CE). This is the time of the first "patriarchs" of Chan, like Bodhidharma, Seng-fu and Huike. There is little actual historical information about these early figures and most legendary stories about their life come from later, mostly Tang sources. What is known is that they were considered Mahayana meditation masters (chanshi).[327][211]

An important text from this period is the Two Entrances and Four Practices, found in Dunhuang, and attributed to Bodhidharma.[306] Later sources mention that these figures taught using the Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra though there is no direct evidence of this from the earliest sources.[328][329] According to John McRae, the earliest Chan sources on these masters show considerable influence from Madhyamaka thought, while the influence from the Laṅkāvatāra is actually much less pronounced. As such, it is questionable if it was there at all with regards to the earliest figures like Bodhidharma and Huike.[327]

Early Chán

Hóngrěn, the fifth patriarch of Zen

Early Chán refers to early Tang dynasty (618–750) Chán. The fifth patriarch Daman Hongren (601–674), and his dharma-heir Yuquan Shenxiu (606?–706) were influential in founding the first Chan institution in Chinese history, known as the "East Mountain school".[330] Hongren emphasized the meditation practice of "maintaining (guarding) the mind," which focuses on "an awareness of True Mind or Buddha-nature within".[331] Shenxiu was the most influential and charismatic student of Hongren and was considered to be the sixth patriarch by his followers. He was even invited to the Imperial Court by Empress Wu.[332]

Shenxiu also became the target of much criticism by Shenhui (670–762), for his supposedly "gradualist" teachings. Shenhui instead promoted the "sudden" teachings attributed to his teacher Huineng (638–713).[333] Shenhui's propaganda campaign eventually succeeded when he became a key figure in the royal court, elevating Huineng to the status of sixth patriarch of Chinese Chán.[334][211]

This sudden vs. gradual debate came to define later forms of Chan discourse.[335] This early period also saw the composition of the Platform Sutra, which would become one of the most influential Chan texts of all time. The sutra purports to contain the teachings of the sixth Patriarch Huineng, but modern scholars like Yanagida Seizan now believe that it was redacted over a period of time within the Oxhead school.[300] According to McRae, the text attempts to reconcile the so called "sudden" teachings with the "gradual" teachings of the Northern school.[336]

Middle Chán

Mazu Daoyi

The Middle Chán (c. 750–1000) phase runs from the An Lushan Rebellion (755–763) to the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period (907–960/979). This period saw the rise of Chan schools in rural southern China. The most prominent among them was the Hongzhou school of Mazu Daoyi (709–788), which arose in Hunan and Jiangxi.[300]

Other important Hongzhou masters include Shitou, Baizhang, and Huangbo. This school is sometimes seen as the archetypal expression of Chán, with its emphasis on the personal expression of the buddha-mind in everyday life activities, its use of slang and Chinese vernacular as opposed to classical Chinese, as well as the importance it placed on spontaneous and unconventional "questions and answers during an encounter" (linji wenda) between master and disciple.[300] This period also sees the first Chan monastic code, the Pure Rules of Baizhang.[300]

Some sources depict these masters as highly antinomian and iconoclastic people, who make paradoxical or nonsensical statements, shout at and beat their students to shock them into realization.[162][337][338] However, modern scholars have seen much of the literature that presents these "iconoclastic" encounters as being later revisions during the Song era. The Hongzhou masters may not have been as radical as the Song sources depict them to be and they seem to have promoted traditional Buddhist practices like keeping precepts, accumulating good karma and practicing meditation.[337]

There were other important schools of Zen in this period as well, such as the Jìngzhòng school of Zhishen (609–702) and Kim Hwasang which was based in Sichuan, the Baotang school (also in Sichuan), and the more moderate and intellectual Heze lineage of Guifeng Zongmi (780–841).[300] Zongmi, who was also a Huayan patriarch, is known for his critique of the Hongzhou tradition, his sutra commentaries, and for his extensive writings on Chan.[339][300]

The Great Anti-Buddhist Persecution in 845 was devastating for all schools of metropolitan Chinese Buddhism, but the Chan tradition survived in the rural areas and in the outlying regions.[300] Chan was thus in a position to take a leading role in the later eras of Chinese Buddhism.[340]

During the subsequent Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms era, the Hongzhou school gradually split into several regional traditions led by various masters. These eventually became known as the Five Houses of Chán: Guīyǎng, Cáodòng, Línjì, Fǎyǎn and Yúnmén.[300] Some schools of this period, particularly that of Linji Yixuan (d. 866), promoted an iconoclastic and often absurd style, with masters often hitting and shouting at students.[300][338] This period also saw the development of encounter dialogue literature, some of which were retroactively attributed to past Chan masters.[338] An important encounter dialogue text from this period is the Anthology of the Patriarchal Hall (952), which also establishes a genealogy of the Chán school.[310][300]

Song Dynasty Chán

Dahui introduced the method of kan huatou, or "inspecting the critical phrase", of a kōan story. This method was called the "Chan of kōan introspection" (Kanhua Chan).[341]

During Song Dynasty Chán (c. 950–1300), Chán Buddhism became a dominant force. Chán became the largest sect of Chinese Buddhism and had strong ties to the imperial government, which led to the development of a highly organized system of temple rank and administration.[342] The development of printing technology advanced during this era, and Chan works were widely printed and distributed.[300] Furthermore, during this period, Chan literati developed their own idealized history, seeing the Tang era as a "golden age" of Chan.[9] In spite of the popularity of Chan at this time, it was also under increased attack by Neo-Confucian scholars who wrote critiques of Buddhism, and dominated the imperial examination system.[300]

The dominant form of Song Chán was the Linji school. This was due to extensive support from the scholar-officials and the imperial court.[343] The Linji school developed the study of gong'an ("public case", Jp: kōan) literature, which depicted stories of master-student encounters that were seen as demonstrations of the awakened mind. Most kōan stories depicted the idealized encounters of past Chan masters, particularly from the Tang era, and show the influence of the Chinese literati class.[344][9][10][275] Some influential kōan texts are the Blue Cliff Record, the Book of Equanimity and The Gateless Gate.[311]

During the 12th century, a rivalry emerged between the Linji and the Caodong schools for the support of Chinese elites. Hongzhi Zhengjue (1091–1157) of the Caodong school emphasized silent illumination or serene reflection (mòzhào) as a means for solitary practice, which could be undertaken by lay-followers. The Linji school's Dahui Zonggao (1089–1163) meanwhile, introduced k'an-hua chan ("observing the word-head" chan), which involved meditation on the crucial phrase or "punch line" (hua-tou) of a gong'an.[345][346]

The Song also saw the syncretism of Chán and Pure Land Buddhism by figures like Yongming Yanshou (904–975), a practice that would become very popular.[347] Yongming also echoed Zongmi's work in indicating that the values of Taoism and Confucianism could also be embraced and integrated into Buddhism. Chán also influenced Neo-Confucianism as well as certain forms of Taoism, such as the Quanzhen school.[348][349]

During the Song, Chán was also transmitted to Japan by figures Myōan Eisai and Nanpo Shōmyō who studied in China. It also exerted a great influence on Korean Seon via figures like Jinul.

Post-Classical Chán


Some scholars see the post-classical phase as an "age of syncretism."[350] The post-classical period saw the increasing popularity of the dual practice of Chán and Pure Land Buddhism (known as nianfo Chan), as seen in the teachings of Zhongfeng Mingben (1263–1323), Hanshan Deqing (1546–1623) and Ouyi Zhixu (1599–1655).[300][351] This became a widespread phenomenon and in time much of the distinction between them was lost, with many monasteries teaching both Chán meditation and the Pure Land practice of nianfo.[352][353][88] The Ming dynasty also saw the efforts of figures such as Yunqi Zhuhong (1535–1615) and Daguan Zhenke (1543–1603) to revive and reconcile Chan Buddhism with the practice of Buddhist scriptural study and writing.[350] This non-sectarian and syncretic style of Chan Buddhism which drew on all facets of Chinese Buddhism was so dominant at this time, that all Chinese monks were affiliated a Chan school during the Ming.[354]

In the beginning of the Qing dynasty, the highly influential teacher Miyun Yuanwu (1566–1642) began a revival of the Linji school style.[355] Miyun's students had a broad impact on Qing Chan, as well as on Japanese and Vietnamese Zen.[356]

Modern era

Chan masters Xuyun and Laiguo. Xuyun was one of the most influential Chán Buddhists of the 19th and 20th centuries.[357]

After further centuries of decline during the Qing dynasty (1644–1912), Chán activity was revived again in the 19th and 20th centuries by a flurry of modernist activity. This period saw the rise of worldly Chan activism, what is sometimes called Humanistic Buddhism (or more literally "Buddhism for human life", rensheng fojiao), promoted by figures like Jing'an (1851–1912), Yuanying (1878–1953), Taixu (1890–1947), Xuyun (1840–1959) and Yinshun (1906–2005). These figures promoted social activism to address issues such as poverty and social injustice, as well as participation in political movements. They also promoted modern science and scholarship, including the use of the methods of modern critical scholarship to study the history of Chan.[358]

Many Chán teachers today trace their lineage back to Xuyun, including Sheng-yen and Hsuan Hua, who have propagated Chán in the West where it has grown steadily through the 20th and 21st centuries. Chán Buddhism was repressed in China during the 1960s in the Cultural Revolution, but in the subsequent reform and opening up period in the 1970s, a revival of Chinese Buddhism has been taking place on the mainland, while Buddhism has a significant following in Taiwan and Hong Kong as well as among Overseas Chinese.

Spread outside of China


Vietnamese Thiền

Thích Nhất Hạnh leading a namo avalokiteshvaraya chanting session with monastics from his Order of Interbeing, Germany 2010

Chan was introduced to Vietnam during the early Chinese occupation periods (111 BCE to 939 CE) as Thiền. During the (1009–1225) and Trần (1225 to 1400) dynasties, Thiền rose to prominence among the elites and the royal court and a new native tradition was founded, the Trúc Lâm ("Bamboo Grove") school, which also contained Confucian and Taoist influences. In the 17th century, the Linji school was brought to Vietnam as the Lâm Tế, which also mixed Chan and Pure land. Lâm Tế remains the largest monastic order in the country today.[359]

Modern Vietnamese Thiền is influenced by Buddhist modernism.[360] Important figures include Thiền master Thích Thanh Từ (1924–), the activist and popularizer Thích Nhất Hạnh (1926–2022) and the philosopher Thích Thiên-Ân. Vietnamese Thiền is eclectic and inclusive, bringing in many practices such as breath meditation, nianfo, mantra, Theravada influences, chanting, sutra recitation and engaged Buddhism activism.

Korean Seon

Jogyesa is the headquarters of the Jogye Order. The temple was first established in 1395, at the dawn of the Joseon dynasty.

Seon (선) was gradually transmitted into Korea during the late Silla period (7th through 9th centuries) as Korean monks travelled to China and returned home to establish the initial Seon schools of Korea, which were known as the "nine mountain schools". Seon received its most significant impetus and consolidation from the Goryeo monk Jinul (1158–1210), who is considered the most influential figure in the formation of the mature Seon school. Jinul founded the Jogye Order, which remains the largest Seon tradition in Korea today, as well as the important Songgwangsa temple. Jinul also wrote extensive works on Seon, developing a comprehensive system of thought and practice.

Buddhism was mostly suppressed during the strictly Confucian Joseon dynasty (1392–1910), and the number of monasteries and clergy sharply declined. The period of Japanese occupation also brought numerous modernist ideas and changes to Korean Seon. Some monks began to adopt the Japanese practice of marrying and having families, while others such as Yongseong, worked to resist the Japanese occupation. Today, the largest Seon school, the Jogye, enforces celibacy, while the second largest, the Taego Order, allows for married priests. Important modernist figures that influenced contemporary Seon include Seongcheol and Gyeongheo. Seon has also been transmitted to West, with new traditions such as the Kwan Um School of Zen.

Japanese Zen

Sojiji Temple, of the Soto Zen school, Tsurumi-ku, Yokohama, Japan

Zen was not introduced as a separate school until the 12th century, when Myōan Eisai traveled to China and returned to establish a Linji lineage, which eventually perished.[361] Decades later, Nanpo Shōmyō (1235–1308) also studied Linji teachings in China before founding the Japanese Otokan lineage, the most influential and only surviving lineage of Rinzai in Japan.[361] In 1215, Dōgen, a younger contemporary of Eisai's, journeyed to China himself, where he became a disciple of the Caodong master Tiantong Rujing. After his return, Dōgen established the Sōtō school, the Japanese branch of Caodong.

The three traditional schools of Zen in contemporary Japan are the Sōtō (曹洞), Rinzai (臨済), and Ōbaku (黃檗). The schools are further divided into subschools by head temple, with two head temples for Sōtō (Sōji-ji and Eihei-ji), fourteen head temples for Rinzai, and one head temple (Manpuku-ji) for Ōbaku. Besides these traditional organizations, there are newer modern Zen organizations that have especially attracted Western lay followers, namely the Sanbo Kyodan and the FAS Society.

Zen in the West


Various Zen traditions were transmitted to the West in the 20th century. Important Asian figures in this transmission include Soyen Shaku, D. T. Suzuki, Nyogen Senzaki, Sokei-an, Shunryu Suzuki, Taizan Maezumi, Hsuan Hua, Sheng-yen, Seung Sahn, Thích Thiên-Ân and Thích Nhất Hạnh. Zen became more popular in the 50s and 60s, when Western authors wrote on and promoted Zen. Western popularizers include: Eugen Herrigel, Philip Kapleau, Ruth Fuller Sasaki, Erich Fromm, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Gary Snyder, Robert Pirsig and Alan Watts.[362][363][364][365] There are currently numerous Zen centers from various traditions in the Western world, including Rinzai, Soto, Plum Village, Chinese Chan, and Kwan Um.



The Chán of the Tang dynasty, especially that of Mazu and Linji with its antinomian saying and emphasis on "shock techniques", was retrospectively seen as a "golden age" of Chán by later Chan authors.[211] As Mario Poceski writes, Song dynasty texts like the Record of the Transmission of the Lamp (c. 1004) depict the past masters as iconoclastic sages who embraced radical and transgressive practices like shouting, beating their students and making paradoxical statements. However, these iconoclastic stories cannot be traced back to Tang era sources, and a such, they should be seen as apocryphal lore.[366] This traditional Zen narrative became dominant during the Song, when Chán became dominant form of Buddhism in China, due to support from the Imperial Court and the scholar-official class.[211]

Another important element of the traditional Zen narrative is that Zen is an unbroken lineage that has transmitted the enlightened Buddha-mind from the time of the Shakyamuni Buddha to the present. This narrative is traditionally supported through Zen histories and Zen lineage charts, which developed in China throughout several centuries until they became canonized in the Song.[257]

The traditional picture of the ancient iconoclastic Zen masters has gained great popularity in the West in the 20th century, especially due to the influence of D.T. Suzuki,[313] and Hakuun Yasutani.[367] This traditional narrative has been challenged, and complemented, since the 1970s by modern academic research on Zen history and pre-Song sources.[211][368][369][370][371][372]

Modern scientific research on the history of Zen discerns three main narratives concerning Zen, its history and its teachings: Traditional Zen Narrative (TZN),[373][374] Buddhist Modernism (BM),[313] Historical and Cultural Criticism (HCC).[373] An external narrative is Nondualism, which claims Zen to be a token of a universal nondualist essence of religions.[375][376]

See also



  1. ^ In this article, the English term "Zen", while derived from Japanese, is used to refer to the school of Buddhism as a whole.
  2. ^ Dumoulin writes in his preface to Zen. A History. Part One: India and China: "Zen (Chin. Ch'an, an abbreviation of ch'an-na, which transliterates the Sanskrit Dhyāna (Devanagari: ध्यान) or its Pali cognate Jhāna (Sanskrit; Pāli झान), terms meaning "meditation") is the name of a Mahāyāna Buddhist school of meditation originating in China. It is characterized by the practice of meditation in the lotus position (Jpn., zazen; Chin., tso-ch'an and the use of the koan (Chin., kung-an) as well as by the enlightenment experience of satori[17]
  3. ^ Harold Stewart, "Awakening to One's True Personality": "In Buddhist terminology this all-decisive moment is known as the Awakening of the Buddha-Mind, or Bodaishin, when the third, or frontal, eye of prajna, the intellectual intuition, first opens. There are three practically synonymous terms in the Mahayana for this: Bodaishin (Sanskrit: Bodhicitta); Busshin, literally 'Buddha-Heart' of Great Compassion (Sanskrit: Tathagatagarbha, or the latent possibility of Buddhahood inherent in all beings); and Bussho (Sanskrit: Buddhata), or the Buddha-nature.

    Compare "Buddha's compassion, Buddha's heart,"[22] and "The term “buddha-mind” also functions in certain cases as a synonym for Buddhadatū (foxing) or tathagatagarbha."[1]
  4. ^ It first appears in a Chinese text named the Ju-tao an-hsin yao-fang-pien fa-men (JTFM, Instructions on essential expedients for calming the mind and accessing the path), itself a part of the Leng Ch'ieh Shih Tzu Chi (Records of the Masters of the Lankavatara).[42] The Records of the Masters of the Lankavatara is associated with the early Chan tradition known as the "East Mountain School" and has been dated to around 713.[44]
  5. ^ According to Kalupahana, the influence of Yogacara is stronger in the ts'ao-tung school and the tradition of silent meditation, while the influence of Madhyamaka is clear in the koan-tradition and its stress on insight and the use of paradoxical language.[190]
  6. ^ Compare Mazu's "Mind is Buddha" versus "No mind, no Buddha": "When Ch'an Master Fa-ch'ang of Ta-mei Mountain went to see the Patriarch for the first time, he asked, "What is Buddha?"
    The Patriarch replied, "Mind is Buddha." [On hearing this] Fa-ch'ang had great awakening.
    Later he went to live on Ta-mei mountain. When the Patriarch heard that he was residing on the mountain, he sent one of his monks to go there and ask Fa-ch'ang, "What did the Venerable obtain when he saw Ma-tsu, so that he has come to live on this mountain?"
    Fach'ang said, "Ma-tsu told me that mind is Buddha; so I came to live here."
    The monk said, "Ma-tsu's teaching has changed recently."
    Fa-ch'ang asked, "What is the difference?"
    The monk said, "Nowadays he also says, 'Neither mind nor Buddha."'
    Fa-ch'ang said, "That old man still hasn't stopped confusing people. You can have 'neither mind nor Buddha,' I only care for 'mind is Buddha."'
    The monk returned to the Patriarch and reported what has happened. "The plum is ripe." said the Patriarch."[193]
  7. ^ For example, the Platform Sutra attempts to reconcile Shenhui's rhetoric of sudden awakening and rejection of gradualism with actual Buddhist practices and training methods, just like later Chan writers like Zongmi did.[224]
  8. ^ Sasaki's translation of the Linji yulu contains an extensive biography of 62 pages, listing influential Chinese Buddhist texts that played a role in Song dynasty Chán.[280]
  9. ^ Albert Low: "It is evident that the masters were well versed in the sutras. Zen master Tokusan, for example, knew the Diamond Sutra well and, before meeting with his own Zen master, lectured upon it extensively; the founder of the Zen sect, Bodhidharma, the very one who preached selfrealization outside the scriptures, nevertheless advocated the Lankavatara Sutra; Zen master Hogen knew the Avatamsaka Sutra well, and koan twenty-six in the Mumonkan, in which Hogen is involved, comes out of the teaching of that sutra. Other koans, too, make reference directly or indirectly to the sutras. The autobiography of yet another Zen master, Hui Neng, subsequently became the Platform Sutra, one of those sutras so condemned by those who reject intellectual and sutra studies"[281]
  10. ^ Poceski: "Direct references to specific scriptures are relatively rare in the records of Mazu and his disciples, but that does not mean that they rejected the canon or repudiated its authority. On the contrary, one of the striking features of their records is that they are filled with scriptural quotations and allusions, even though the full extent of their usage of canonical sources is not immediately obvious and its discernment requires familiarity with Buddhist literature." See source for a full-length example from "one of Mazu's sermons", in which can be found references to the Vimalakīrti Scripture, the Huayan Scripture, the Mahāsamnipata-sūtra, the Foshuo Foming Scripture 佛說佛名經, the Lankāvatāra scripture and the Faju jing.[6]
  11. ^ "[A] person [...] must first gain wide-ranging knowledge, accumulate a treasure-store of wisdom by studying all the Buddhist sutras and commentaries, reading through all the classic works Buddhist and non-Buddhist and perusing the writings of the wise men of other traditions. It is for that reason the vow states "the Dharma teachings are infinite, I vow to study them all.""[286]
  12. ^ Hakuin goes as far as to state that the buddhat path even starts with study: "[A] person [...] must first gain wide-ranging knowledge, accumulate a treasure-store of wisdom by studying all the Buddhist sutras and commentaries, reading through all the classic works Buddhist and nonBuddhist and perusing the writings of the wise men of other traditions. It is for that reason the vow states "the Dharma teachings are infinite, I vow to study them all.""[286]
  13. ^ McRae gives no further information on this "Hubei faction". It may be the continuation of Shenxiu's "Northern School". See Nadeau 2012 p.89.[308] Hebei was also the place where the Linji branch of chán arose.[309]


  1. ^ a b c d e Buswell & Lopez (2014), p. "foxin zong".
  2. ^ Harvey 1995, p. 159–169.
  3. ^ Yoshizawa 2009, p. 41.
  4. ^ Sekida 1989.
  5. ^ Yampolski 2003a, p. 3.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Poceski n.d.
  7. ^ Borup 2008, p. 8.
  8. ^ a b c d e Hori 2000, p. 280-312.
  9. ^ a b c McRae 2003, pp. 119–120.
  10. ^ a b c Gimello 1994.
  11. ^ McRae 2003, pp. 60, 119–120.
  12. ^ Dumoulin 2005a, p. 48.
  13. ^ Lievens 1981, p. 52–53.
  14. ^ Dumoulin 2005a, pp. 41–45.
  15. ^ Andre van der Braak (2011), Self Overcoming Without a Self, p.117
  16. ^ Wang 2017, p. 79.
  17. ^ a b Dumoulin 2005a, p. xvii.
  18. ^ Kasulis 2003, p. 24.
  19. ^ Wang 2017, p. 58.
  20. ^ Moore (1982), p. 42.
  21. ^ Waddell (2010a), p. "the Buddha mind school [Zen]".
  22. ^ Hisao Inagaki (1995), 真宗用語英訳グロッサリー, p.7;
  23. ^ Buswell & Lopez (2014), p. "buddhakāya".
  24. ^ Zimmer, Ben (28 September 2018). "Zen and the Art of Scrabble Dictionary Maintenance". Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 23 January 2021. Retrieved 3 January 2021 – via www.wsj.com.
  25. ^ Schlütter 2008, p. 169.
  26. ^ a b Deleanu, Florin (1992); Mindfulness of Breathing in the Dhyāna Sūtras Archived 19 May 2015 at the Wayback Machine. Transactions of the International Conference of Orientalists in Japan (TICOJ) 37, 42–57.
  27. ^ Buswell, Robert E. Jr.; Lopez, Donald S. Jr. (24 November 2013). The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-15786-3. Archived from the original on 14 January 2023. Retrieved 4 November 2020.
  28. ^ Wang 2017, p. 59.
  29. ^ Mohr, Michel. 2006. Imagining Indian Zen: Tōrei's Commentary on the Ta-Mo-to-Lo Ch'an Ching and the Rediscovery of Early Meditation Techniques During the Tokugawa Era. In Zen Classics: Formative Texts in the History of Zen Buddhism, edited by Steven Heine, and Dale S. Wright. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 215–246.
  30. ^ Fischer-Schreiber, Ehrhard & Diener 2008, p. 103.
  31. ^ Ven. Dr. Yuanci, A Study of the Meditation Methods in the DESM and Other Early Chinese Texts Archived 8 May 2013 at the Wayback Machine, The Buddhist Academy of China.
  32. ^ Zhang & Stevenson 2002, pp. 27–28.
  33. ^ Zhang & Stevenson 2002, pp. 29–30.
  34. ^ McRae 2003, p. 39.
  35. ^ Luk, Charles. The Secrets of Chinese Meditation. 1964. p. 44
  36. ^ a b c Sharf 2014, p. 939.
  37. ^ Nan, Huai-Chin. Basic Buddhism: Exploring Buddhism and Zen. 1997. p. 92
  38. ^ McRae 1986, p. 115-116.
  39. ^ Broughton, Jeffrey L. (1999), The Bodhidharma Anthology: The Earliest Records of Zen, pp. 26 and 51. Berkeley: University of California Press, ISBN 0-520-21972-4
  40. ^ McRae, John (2000), The Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch. Translated from the Chinese of Zongbao, p. 79. Berkeley: Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research.
  41. ^ McRae, John R., Robson, James, Sharf, Robert H., Vries, Fedde de and Buswell, Robert E.. Zen Evangelist: Shenhui, Sudden Enlightenment, and the Southern School of Chan Buddhism, p. 28, Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2023. https://doi.org/10.1515/9780824896461
  42. ^ a b c d McRae 1986, p. 143.
  43. ^ Sharf 2014, p. 939, 951.
  44. ^ Robert E. Buswell Jr. (2017). The Formation of Ch'an Ideology in China and Korea: The Vajrasamadhi-Sutra, a Buddhist Apocryphon. Princeton University Press, p. 141.
  45. ^ Buswell 2014, p. 296.
  46. ^ McRae 2008, p. 25.
  47. ^ Sasaki, Ruth Fuller. The Record of Linji, p. 28. University of Hawaii Press, Oct 31, 2008.
  48. ^ Cleary, Thomas. Shōbōgenzo: Zen Essays by Dōgenp, p. 9. University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu, 1986.
  49. ^ Buswell, Robert E.. Numinous Awareness Is Never Dark: The Korean Buddhist Master Chinul’s Excerpts on Zen Practice, p. 33. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2016. https://doi.org/10.1515/9780824867423
  50. ^ App, Urs. "TRANSLATION Treatise on No-Mind: A Chan Text from Dunhuang". The Eastern Buddhist New Series (in Japanese). 28 (1): 70–107. ISSN 0012-8708.
  51. ^ a b Sharf 2014, p. 945-950.
  52. ^ Gregory, Peter N. (1986). "Ch 'ang-lu Tsung-tse and Zen Meditation". Traditions of Meditation in Chinese Buddhism. University of Hawaii Press.
  53. ^ Sasaki, Ruth Fuller. The Record of Linji, p. 11. University of Hawaii Press, Oct 31, 2008.
  54. ^ Sasaki, Ruth Fuller. The Record of Linji, p. 159. University of Hawaii Press, Oct 31, 2008.
  55. ^ Adamek, Wendi L. The Teachings of Master Wuzhu: Zen and Religion of No-Religion, p. 148. Columbia University Press, 2011. JSTOR, https://doi.org/10.7312/adam15022. Accessed 18 May 2024.
  56. ^ Pine, Red. The Zen Teaching of Bodhidharma, pp. 39-41. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Nov 1, 2009.
  57. ^ Pine, Red. The Zen Teaching of Bodhidharma, p. 25. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Nov 1, 2009.
  58. ^ Adamek, Wendi L. The Teachings of Master Wuzhu: Zen and Religion of No-Religion, p. 109. Columbia University Press, 2011. JSTOR, https://doi.org/10.7312/adam15022. Accessed 18 May 2024.
  59. ^ Watson, Burton. The Zen Teachings of Master Lin-chi: A Translation of the Lin-chi Lu, p. 52. Columbia University Press, 1999.
  60. ^ Katsuki Sekida, Zen Training: Methods and Philosophy, Shambhala Publications, 2005, p. 60.
  61. ^ Omori Sogen, Introduction To Zen Training, Routledge, 2012, p. 49.
  62. ^ Sheng, Yen. "Fundamentals of Meditation". Archived from the original on 17 April 2012. Retrieved 18 December 2011.
  63. ^ Katsuki Sekida, Zen Training: Methods and Philosophy, Shambhala Publications, 2005, p. 61.
  64. ^ Taizan Maezumi, Bernie Glassman (editors) On Zen Practice: Body, Breath, and Mind, pp. 41–42.
  65. ^ Katsuki Sekida, Zen Training: Methods and Philosophy, Shambhala Publications, 2005, p. 64.
  66. ^ Kapleau, P. The Three Pillars of Zen, 2013, p. 12.
  67. ^ Leighton 2000, p. 17.
  68. ^ Sheng Yen, John Hurrell Crook, Shengyan, Illuminating Silence: The Practice of Chinese Zen, Watkins Publishing,, 2002, p. 93.
  69. ^ a b c Leighton 2000, p. 1–2.
  70. ^ Leighton 2000, p. 2–3.
  71. ^ Sōtō Zen Text Project. "Zazengi translation". Stanford University. Archived from the original on 17 November 2015. Retrieved 15 November 2015.
  72. ^ Sōtō Zen Text Project. "Fukan Zazengi". Stanford University. Archived from the original on 29 April 2008. Retrieved 26 March 2008.
  73. ^ Kasulis, Thomas P. Zen Action / Zen Person, pp. 70-71. University of Hawaii Press, May 25, 2021.
  74. ^ Zhang & Stevenson 2002, p. 152.
  75. ^ Blyth 1966.
  76. ^ a b Schlütter 2008, p. 116.
  77. ^ McRae 2003, p. 125.
  78. ^ Buswell, Robert E. (1991). Tracing Back the Radiance: Chinul's Korean Way of Zen (Classics in East Asian Buddhism). University of Hawaii Press. pp. 68–69. ISBN 0-8248-1427-4.
  79. ^ a b c Hori 2000, p. 297.
  80. ^ Bodiford 2006, p. 94.
  81. ^ a b Lachs 2006.
  82. ^ Low 2006, p. 37-39.
  83. ^ Loori 2006, p. [page needed].
  84. ^ Leighton, Taigen Daniel; Okumura, Shohaku. Dogen's Pure Standards for the Zen Community: A Translation of Eihei Shingi, p. 13-14. SUNY Press, Jan 1, 1996.
  85. ^ Haskel 1984, p. xxxv, 23.
  86. ^ Cleary, Thomas. Instant Zen: Waking Up in the Present, pp. 6-7, 13, 39. North Atlantic Books, 1994.
  87. ^ a b c d e Sharf, Robert H. On Pure Land Buddhism and Ch'an/Pure Land Syncretism in Medieval China. T'oung Pao Second Series, Vol. 88, Fasc. 4/5 (2002), pp. 282-331, Brill.
  88. ^ a b Wang 2017, p. 35.
  89. ^ Baroni, Helen Josephine (2006). Iron Eyes: The Life and Teachings of the Ōbaku Zen master Tetsugen Dōko, pp 5-6. State University of New York Press. ISBN 0-7914-6891-7.
  90. ^ LoBreglio, John S. Orthodox, Heterodox, Heretical: Defining Doctrinal Boundaries in Meiji-period Sōtō Zen, BJOAF Bd. 33, 2009. Oxford Brookes University.
  91. ^ Aitken, Robert, The Practice of Perfection: The Paramitas from a Zen Buddhist Perspective, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2012.
  92. ^ Shohaku Okumura 2012, p. 15.
  93. ^ Sheng Yen, Shengyan, Dharma Drum: The Life and Heart of Chan Practice, Shambhala Publications, 2006.
  94. ^ McRae 2004, p. 32.
  95. ^ Jeffrey Lyle Broughton, Zongmi on Chan, p. 171.
  96. ^ "The ten essential precepts". San Francisco Zen Center. Archived from the original on 14 February 2019. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  97. ^ Kenji Matsuo, A History of Japanese Buddhism, Global Oriental, 2007, p. 32.
  98. ^ Baroni, Helen J. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Zen Buddhism, p. 93.
  99. ^ Borup 2008, p. 247.
  100. ^ Ling, Haicheng (2004). Buddhism in China. Chinese Intercontinental Press, p. 184.
  101. ^ Zhang & Stevenson 2002, p. 56.
  102. ^ Asian American Religious Cultures [2 volumes], edited by Jonathan H. X. Lee, Fumitaka Matsuoka, Edmond Yee, Ronald Y. Nakasone, ABC-CLIO, 2015, p. 470.
  103. ^ a b Buswell Jr., Robert E. The Zen Monastic Experience: Buddhist Practice in Contemporary Korea, pp. 1-9. Princeton University Press, Jul 21, 2020.
  104. ^ Leighton, Taigen Daniel; Okumura, Shohaku. Dogen's Pure Standards for the Zen Community: A Translation of Eihei Shingi, p. 18. SUNY Press, Jan 1, 1996.
  105. ^ Heine, Steven; Wright, Dale (editors), Zen Masters, Oxford University Press, 2010, pp. 10-16.
  106. ^ Leighton, Taigen Daniel; Okumura, Shohaku. Dogen's Pure Standards for the Zen Community: A Translation of Eihei Shingi, p. 7. SUNY Press, Jan 1, 1996.
  107. ^ Jaffe, Richard (1998). "Meiji Religious Policy, Soto Zen and the Clerical Marriage Problem". Japanese Journal of Religious Studies. 24 (1–2): 46. Archived from the original on 19 November 2014.
  108. ^ Leighton, Taigen Daniel; Okumura, Shohaku. Dogen's Pure Standards for the Zen Community: A Translation of Eihei Shingi, pp. 20-21. SUNY Press, Jan 1, 1996.
  109. ^ a b Shohaku Okumura 2012, p. 1.
  110. ^ Heine & Wright 2008, p. 127.
  111. ^ Kapleau, Phillip (1989a). The Three Pillars of Zen: Teaching, Practice and Enlightenment. NY: Anchor Books, p. 21.
  112. ^ Jiang Wu, Enlightenment in Dispute: The Reinvention of Chan Buddhism in Seventeenth-Century China, Oxford University Press, USA, 2011, pp. 145–147.
  113. ^ Orzech, Sørensen & Payne 2011, p. [page needed].
  114. ^ Orzech, Charles D. (November 1989). "Seeing Chen-Yen Buddhism: Traditional Scholarship and the Vajrayāna in China". History of Religions. 29 (2): 87–114. doi:10.1086/463182. ISSN 0018-2710. S2CID 162235701. Archived from the original on 14 January 2023. Retrieved 11 September 2021.
  115. ^ Lye, Hun Yeow (2003). Feeding Ghosts: A Study of the Yuqie Yankou Rite (Thesis). University of Virginia. doi:10.18130/v3s82z. Archived from the original on 14 January 2023. Retrieved 11 September 2021.
  116. ^ Sheng Yen, Shengyan, Orthodox Chinese Buddhism: A Contemporary Chan Master's Answers to Common Questions, North Atlantic Books, 2007, p. 76.
  117. ^ Bodiford 1992.
  118. ^ Repentance Ritual of the Emperor of Liang: A complete translation of Repentance Dharma of Kindness and Compassion in the Bodhimanda, Buddhist Text Translation Society, 2017.
  119. ^ Dumoulin, Heinrich, Zen Enlightenment: Origins and Meaning, Shambhala Publications, 2007, p. 136.
  120. ^ Heine & Wright 2008, pp. 124–125.
  121. ^ Wilson, Jeff, Mourning the Unborn Dead: A Buddhist Ritual Comes to America
  122. ^ Baroni, Helen J. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Zen Buddhism, The Rosen Publishing Group, 2002, p. 215.
  123. ^ Orzech, Sørensen & Payne 2011, p. 926.
  124. ^ "How to Practice Sitting Meditation". Kwan Um School of Zen. Archived from the original on 18 February 2019. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
  125. ^ Borup 2008, pp. 218, 241.
  126. ^ Unno, Mark, Shingon Refractions: Myoe and the Mantra of Light, Ch. 1.
  127. ^ Meinert 2015, pp. 277–278.
  128. ^ Orzech, Sørensen & Payne 2011, pp. 298–299.
  129. ^ Meinert 2015, p. 300.
  130. ^ Orzech, Sørensen & Payne 2011, p. 589.
  131. ^ Keyworth, George A. (2016). "Zen and the "Hero's March Spell" of the Shoulengyan jing". The Eastern Buddhist. 47 (1): 81–120. ISSN 0012-8708. JSTOR 26799795. Archived from the original on 11 September 2021. Retrieved 11 September 2021.
  132. ^ Orzech, Sørensen & Payne 2011, p. 927.
  133. ^ Bloom, Phillip Emmanual (2013). Descent of the Deities: The Water-Land Retreat and the Transformation of the Visual Culture of Song-Dynasty (960–1279) Buddhism (Thesis). Harvard University. Archived from the original on 29 August 2021. Retrieved 28 August 2021 – via ProQuest.
  134. ^ Hong, Tsai-Hsia (2007). The Water-Land Dharma Function Platform ritual and the Great Compassion Repentance ritual (Thesis). University of the West. Archived from the original on 29 August 2021. Retrieved 28 August 2021 – via ProQuest.
  135. ^ Orzech, Sørensen & Payne 2011, p. 931.
  136. ^ Orzech, Sørensen & Payne 2011, pp. 617, 635–639.
  137. ^ Orzech, Sørensen & Payne 2011, pp. 924–925.
  138. ^ D. T. Suzuki discusses what he calls "the Shingon elements of Chinese Zen" in his Manual of Zen Buddhism (1960, 21) and "the Chinese Shingon element" in The Training of the Zen Buddhist Monk (1965, 80).
  139. ^ Leighton, Taigen Dan; Okumura, Shohaku (1996). Dogen's Pure Standards for the Zen Community, p. 23. SUNY Press.
  140. ^ Rigg, David E. "The Life of Menzan Zuiho, Founder of Dogen Zen", Japan Review, 2004, 16:67-100
  141. ^ Orzech, Sørensen & Payne 2011, pp. 827–829.
  142. ^ Heinrich Dumoulin (2005). Zen Buddhism: Japan, p. 26. World Wisdom, Inc.
  143. ^ Addiss & Loori, p. 1.
  144. ^ Pandey, Rajyashree. Writing and Renunciation in Medieval Japan: The Works of the Poet-Priest Kamo no Chomei. University of Michigan Press, 2020. Project MUSE, https://doi.org/10.1353/book.77661.
  145. ^ Addiss & Loori, p. 4.
  146. ^ Addiss & Loori, p. 15.
  147. ^ Christensen, Matthew B. A Geek in China: Discovering the Land of Alibaba, Bullet Trains and Dim Sum. Tuttle Publishing. p. 40. ISBN 1-4629-1836-0.
  148. ^ Shahar 2008, pp. 55, 80.
  149. ^ Shahar 2008, pp. 2, 80, 144.
  150. ^ Shahar 2008, p. 147.
  151. ^ Shahar 2008, pp. 138, 173.
  152. ^ Zhang & Stevenson 2002, p. 34–35.
  153. ^ Hideharu Onuma, Dan DeProspero, Jackie DeProspero (1993) "Kyudo: The Essence and Practice of Japanese Archery," p. ix, Kodansha International.
  154. ^ Mann, Jeffrey, When Buddhists Attack: The Curious Relationship Between Zen and the Martial Arts, p. 61.
  155. ^ Takuan Soho, The Unfettered Mind: Writings from a Zen Master to a Master Swordsman, p. xv.
  156. ^ Waddell, Norman (ed. & trans.), Hakuin's Precious Mirror Cave: A Zen Miscellany, 2009, p. 83.
  157. ^ Julian Daizan Skinner (2017), "Practical Zen: Meditation and Beyond," pp. 203–204. Singing Dragon
  158. ^ Hakuin Ekaku (2010), "Wild Ivy: The Spiritual Autobiography of Zen Master Hakuin", p. 150. Shambhala Publications
  159. ^ a b Dumoulin 2005a, pp. 85–94.
  160. ^ Lai 1985, p. 17-18.
  161. ^ a b c d Cheng 1981.
  162. ^ a b c Lai 1985.
  163. ^ Newland 2001, p. 137.
  164. ^ a b Broughton 2009, p. 60-61.
  165. ^ a b Gregory 2002, p. 227.
  166. ^ Broughton 2009, p. 51.
  167. ^ Suzuki 1997, p. 154.
  168. ^ Buswell 1993, p. 245.
  169. ^ Abe & Heine 1996, p. 19.
  170. ^ "Pointing at the moon". Khandro.net. Archived from the original on 3 December 2012. Retrieved 4 February 2013.
  171. ^ "Lankavatara Sutra". Translated by Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki. Lirs.ru. 16 June 2008. chapter LXXXII, p.192, p.223 (224). Archived from the original on 4 February 2012. Retrieved 4 February 2013.
  172. ^ The Surangama Sutra (PDF), translated by Luk, Charles, Buddha Dharma Education Association, pp. 59–60, archived from the original (PDF) on 23 October 2013
  173. ^ Kasulis, Thomas P. "Ch'an Spirituality." In: Buddhist Spirituality. Later China, Korea, Japan and the Modern World. pp. 24-33. Edited by Takeuchi Yoshinori, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass 2003.
  174. ^ Poceski 2007, p. 164-165.
  175. ^ Buswell 1991, p. 324.
  176. ^ Schlütter 2008, p. 3.
  177. ^ Stone, Jacqueline (1 May 1995). "Medieval Tendai hongaku thought and the new Kamakura Buddhism: A reconsideration". Japanese Journal of Religious Studies. 22 (1–2). doi:10.18874/jjrs.22.1-2.1995.17-48.
  178. ^ Broughton 2009, p. 39.
  179. ^ a b Suzuki 1932, p. 60.
  180. ^ Hsing Yun 1999, p. 152–153.
  181. ^ Gregory 2002, p. 242.
  182. ^ a b c d e f g h Kasulis 2021, p. 12-17, 26-27.
  183. ^ Muller, Charles. "Innate Enlightenment and No-thought: A Response to the Critical Buddhist Position on Zen". Toyo Gakuen University, A paper delivered to the International Conference on Sôn at Paekyang-sa, Kwangju, Korea, August 22, 1998.
  184. ^ Gregory 1991, p. 58.
  185. ^ Yampolsky 1967, p. 143.
  186. ^ Poceski 2007, p. 70.
  187. ^ Zeuschner, Robert B. (1978). "The Understanding of Mind in the Northern Line of Ch'an (Zen)." Philosophy East and West, Volume 28, Number 1 (January 1978). Hawaii, USA: University of Hawaii Press, pp. 69-79
  188. ^ Gregory 2002, p. 165.
  189. ^ "Madhyamaka Buddhist Philosophy | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy". Archived from the original on 19 July 2017. Retrieved 11 July 2021.
  190. ^ a b Kalupahana 1994, p. 228-236.
  191. ^ Poceski 2007, p. 128.
  192. ^ a b c Sharf 2014.
  193. ^ Cheng Chien Bhikshu 1992.
  194. ^ Poceski 2007, p. 177-180.
  195. ^ Muller, Charles. "Innate Enlightenment and No-thought: A Response to the Critical Buddhist Position on Zen". Toyo Gakuen University, A paper delivered to the International Conference on Sôn at Paekyang-sa, Kwangju, Korea, August 22, 1998.
  196. ^ Nishihira Tadashi. The Philosophy of No-Mind - Experience without Self (Bloomsbury Introductions to World Philosophies), pp. 44-45, 61. Bloomsbury Academic (2022).
  197. ^ Hori 2000, pp. 289–290, 310, note 14.
  198. ^ McCagney, Nancy, Nāgārjuna and the Philosophy of Openness, Rowman & Littlefield, 1 January 1997, p. 129.
  199. ^ Watson, Burton, The Vimalakirti Sutra, Columbia University Press, 1997, pp. 104–106.
  200. ^ Muller, Charles. "Innate Enlightenment and No-thought: A Response to the Critical Buddhist Position on Zen". Toyo Gakuen University, A paper delivered to the International Conference on Sôn at Paekyang-sa, Kwangju, Korea, August 22, 1998.
  201. ^ Park, Sung-bae (2009). One Korean's approach to Buddhism: the mom/momjit paradigm. SUNY series in Korean studies: SUNY Press. ISBN 0-7914-7697-9, ISBN 978-0-7914-7697-0. Source: [1] (accessed: Saturday 8 May 2010), p. 11
  202. ^ Lai, Whalen (1979). "Ch'an Metaphors: waves, water, mirror, lamp". Philosophy East & West; Vol. 29, no.3, July, 1979, pp. 245–253. Source: [2] (accessed: Saturday 8 May 2010)
  203. ^ Loy 1988, p. 184.
  204. ^ a b Kasulis 2003.
  205. ^ Hori 1994, pp. 30–31.
  206. ^ Hori 2000, pp. 289–290.
  207. ^ Hori 2000, p. 310, note 14.
  208. ^ Gold, Jonathan C. (27 April 2015). "Vasubandhu". In Zalta, Edward N. (ed.). The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2018 ed.). Retrieved 5 September 2019.
  209. ^ Gregory 2002, p. 7.
  210. ^ Payne, Richard Karl; Leighton, Taigen Dan, eds. (2006). Discourse and Ideology in Medieval Japanese Buddhism. Critical Studies in Buddhism. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-35917-7.
  211. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k McRae 2003, p. [page needed].
  212. ^ Buswell 1991.
  213. ^ a b Hori 2000, p. 287.
  214. ^ Fischer-Schreiber, Ehrhard & Diener 1991, p. 115.
  215. ^ Muller n.d.
  216. ^ McRae 1991.
  217. ^ Stein 1991, p. 43.
  218. ^ McRae 2004, pp. 57, 63.
  219. ^ Lachs 2012, p. 4.
  220. ^ McRae, John R. (1986). The Northern School and the Formation of Early Chʻan Buddhism, University of Hawaii Press, p. 143.
  221. ^ Faure, Bernard (1986), "The Concept of One-Practice Samadhi in Early Ch'an in Traditions of Meditation in Chinese Buddhism", in Gregory, Peter (ed.), Studies in East Asian Buddhism, vol. 4, Honolulu: The Kuroda Institute, University of Hawaii Press
  222. ^ Buswell 1991, p. 328-330 335-336.
  223. ^ a b Cheng Chien Bhikshu 1992, p. 24-25.
  224. ^ McRae 2004, p. 60.
  225. ^ Sekida 1996.
  226. ^ a b Kapleau 1989.
  227. ^ Maezumi & Glassman 2007, pp. 54, 140.
  228. ^ Gregory 2002, p. 149.
  229. ^ Gregory 1995, p. 150.
  230. ^ Low 2006.
  231. ^ Mumon 2004.
  232. ^ Torei Enji; Cleary, Thomas (trans.). The Undying Lamp of Zen: The Testament of Zen Master Torei, ch. 6 "progressive transcendence". Shambhala Publications, Oct 26, 2010.
  233. ^ Buswell, Robert E.; Lopez, Donald S. (2014), The Princeton dictionary of Buddhism, p. 166. Honolulu: Princeton University Press, ISBN 978-1-299-95108-2
  234. ^ "Soto Zen". The Soto Zen Buddhist Association. Archived from the original on 1 July 2017. Retrieved 19 February 2013.
  235. ^ Leighton (2000), p. xii.
  236. ^ Schlütter, Morten (2008), How Zen became Zen. The Dispute over Enlightenment and the Formation of Chan Buddhism in Song-Dynasty China, Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, ISBN 978-0-8248-3508-8
  237. ^ Heine & Wright 2000, p. 245.
  238. ^ "Thiền Sư THỦY NGUYỆT hiệu THÔNG GIÁC". Thiền Viện Thường Chiếu (in Vietnamese). Archived from the original on 18 August 2019. Retrieved 17 August 2019.
  239. ^ Dumoulin 2005b, p. 380.
  240. ^ Johnston, William M. (editor), Encyclopedia of Monasticism, p. 276.
  241. ^ Powers, John, A Concise Encyclopedia of Buddhism, Oneworld Publications, 2013 , p.238
  242. ^ a b Koné 2000.
  243. ^ Borup 2008, p. [page needed].
  244. ^ Hori 1994.
  245. ^ Sharf 1995c.
  246. ^ "Start your Zen meditation practice with an authentic Zen Master of Ningen Zen Kyodan". Ningen Zen Meditation Center. Archived from the original on 16 March 2013. Retrieved 4 February 2013.
  247. ^ Bell 2002.
  248. ^ Lachs 1999.
  249. ^ Haskel, Peter (2001). Letting Go: The Story of Zen Master Tōsui, p. 2. University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 0-8248-2440-7.
  250. ^ Bodiford, William M. (2008), Dharma Transmission in Theory and Practice. In: Zen Ritual: Studies of Zen Buddhist Theory in Practice (PDF), Oxford University Press.
  251. ^ Nguyen, T.T.D. (Re-)invented Chan Lineage, Unique Vietnamese Meditation School, or Both? Thích Thanh Từ’s “Revived” Trúc Lâm Tradition of Thiền Tông. Religions 2024, 15, 352. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel15030352
  252. ^ Borup, Jørn. Japanese Rinzai Zen Buddhism: Myōshinji, a Living Religion, p. 9. Brill, 2008.
  253. ^ Bodiford, William M., ' Dharma Transmission in Theory and Practice', in Steven Heine, and Dale S. Wright (eds), Zen Ritual: Studies of Zen Theory in Practice (New York, 2007; online edn, Oxford Academic, 1 Jan. 2008), https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195304671.003.0010, accessed 20 May 2024.
  254. ^ a b Borup, Jørn. Japanese Rinzai Zen Buddhism: Myōshinji, a Living Religion, p. 10. Brill, 2008.
  255. ^ a b c Mohr, Michel. “Zen Buddhism during the Tokugawa Period: The Challenge to Go beyond Sectarian Consciousness.” Japanese Journal of Religious Studies, vol. 21, no. 4, 1994, pp. 341–72. JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/30234140. Accessed 17 May 2024.
  256. ^ Yampolski, Philip (2003), Chan. A Historical Sketch. In: Buddhist Spirituality. Later China, Korea, Japan and the Modern World, pp. 5-6; edited by Takeuchi Yoshinori, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass
  257. ^ a b McRae 2003, p. 4.
  258. ^ a b Ford, James Ishmael (2006). Zen Master Who?: A Guide to the People and Stories of Zen, pp. 53-56. Wisdom Publications. ISBN 0-86171-509-8.
  259. ^ Borup, Jørn. Japanese Rinzai Zen Buddhism: Myōshinji, a Living Religion, p. 12-13. Brill, 2008.
  260. ^ Park, Pori (2017). "Uplifting Spiritual Cultivation for Lay People: Bhikuṇī Master Daehaeng (1927–2012) of the Hanmaum Seonwon (One Mind Sŏn Center) in South Korea". Contemporary Buddhism. 18 (2): 419–436. doi:10.1080/14639947.2017.1377336.
  261. ^ Borup, Jørn. Japanese Rinzai Zen Buddhism: Myōshinji, a Living Religion, p. 10. Brill, 2008.
  262. ^ Cleary, J.C. Zibo, The Last Great Zen Master of China, p. 59. Asian Humanities Press, Berkeley, California, 1989.
  263. ^ a b c Wu, Jiang. Enlightenment in Dispute: The Reinvention of Chan Buddhism in Seventeenth-Century China, p, 41. Oxford University Press, 2008.
  264. ^ a b Haskel, Peter. Letting Go: The Story of Zen Master Tosui, pp. 20-26. University of Hawaii Press, May 1, 2001
  265. ^ a b Travagnin, Stefania. “The Madhyamika dimension of Yinshun : A restatement of the School of Nagarjuna in 20th century Chinese Buddhism,” pp. 220-223. (2009).
  266. ^ a b Low 2000.
  267. ^ Yampolski 1967, p. 112–114.
  268. ^ Sharf 1995c, p. 427.
  269. ^ Broughton, Jeffrey L. (1999). The Bodhidharma Anthology: The Earliest Records of Zen, pp. 9, 40-41. Berkeley: University of California Press, ISBN 0-520-21972-4
  270. ^ Pine, Red. The Zen Teaching of Bodhidharma, p. 29. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Nov 1, 2009.
  271. ^ McRae 2003, p. 18-21.
  272. ^ Poceski 2007, p. 10-11.
  273. ^ Schlutter, Morten. How Zen became Zen: The dispute over enlightenment and the formation of Chan Buddhism in Song-Dynasty China. University of Hawaii Press, 2010.
  274. ^ Cole, Alan. Fathering Your Father: The Zen of Fabrication in Tang Buddhism. Univ of California Press, 2009.
  275. ^ a b c Welter 2000.
  276. ^ Broughton 2009, p. 43.
  277. ^ Watson, Burton. The Zen Teachings of Master Lin-chi: A Translation of the Lin-chi Lu, p. 47. Columbia University Press, 1999.
  278. ^ Sasaki, Ruth Fuller. The Record of Linji, p. 92, note 10. University of Hawaii Press, Oct 31, 2008.
  279. ^ Welter 2000, p. 94.
  280. ^ Sasaki 2009.
  281. ^ Low 2000, p. 4.
  282. ^ a b Yi-hsun Huang. "Chan Master Hanyue’s Attitude toward Sutra Teachings in the Ming Yi-hsun Huang." Journal of the Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies 2018 (15): 28-54.
  283. ^ Broughton 2009, p. 42.
  284. ^ Welter, Albert (2011), Yongming Yanshou's Conception of Chan in the Zongjing Lu: A Special Transmission Within the Scriptures, Oxford University Press, pp. 77–79, ISBN 978-0-19-976031-2
  285. ^ a b Poceski, Mario. "Attitudes Towards Canonicity and Religious Authority in Tang Chan". www.thezensite.com. Archived from the original on 14 April 2012. Retrieved 23 December 2022.
  286. ^ a b Yoshizawa 2009, p. 42.
  287. ^ Yanagida 2009, p. 62.
  288. ^ Hori 2000, p. 295-297.
  289. ^ Hori 2000, p. 296.
  290. ^ Ferguson 2000, p. 17.
  291. ^ a b c d Lai 2003, p. 17.
  292. ^ a b McRae 2003, p. 62.
  293. ^ Lai 2003, p. 18.
  294. ^ Dumoulin 2005a, pp. 49–51.
  295. ^ Snelling 1987, p. 157-158.
  296. ^ Low 2000, p. 83-112.
  297. ^ Dumoulin 2005a, pp. 45–49.
  298. ^ Low 2000, p. 135-154.
  299. ^ Lai 2003.
  300. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Yampolski, Philip. "Chan. A Historical Sketch." In: Buddhist Spirituality. Later China, Korea, Japan and the Modern World; edited by Takeuchi Yoshinori, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 2003.
  301. ^ Welter 2000, p. 82-86.
  302. ^ Welter 2000, p. 83.
  303. ^ Chappell 1993, p. 192.
  304. ^ Ferguson 2000, p. 3.
  305. ^ McRae 2003, p. 11-21.
  306. ^ a b McRae 2003, p. 13, 15–17.
  307. ^ McRae 2003, p. 13, 17–18.
  308. ^ Nadeau 2012, p. 89.
  309. ^ Yanagida 2009, p. 63.
  310. ^ a b McRae 2003, p. 13, 18–19.
  311. ^ a b McRae 2003, p. 13, 19–21.
  312. ^ McRae 2003, p. 13.
  313. ^ a b c McMahan 2008.
  314. ^ Phra Kiattisak Ponampon Kittipanyo (2014), Mission, Meditation and Miracles: An Shigao in Chinese Tradition, MA thesis, Dunedin, NZ: University of Otago.
  315. ^ Yuanci. "A Study of the Meditation Methods in the DESM and Other Early Chinese Texts" (PDF). The Buddhist Academy of China. Archived (PDF) from the original on 8 May 2013.
  316. ^ Chan, Yiu-wing (2013). An English translation of the Dharmatrta-Dhyna Sutra (PDF) (PhD). University of Hongkong. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 May 2015.
  318. ^ Dumoulin 2005a, pp. 50–55, 66, 68–69.
  319. ^ van Schaik, Sam (2019). The Spirit of Zen, p. 55. Yale University Press.
  320. ^ Gregory, Peter N. (1986). "Ch 'ang-lu Tsung-tse and Zen Meditation". Traditions of Meditation in Chinese Buddhism. University of Hawaii Press.
  321. ^ Verstappen 2004, p. 5.
  322. ^ Fowler 2005, p. 79.
  323. ^ Grigg 1994.
  324. ^ a b Dumoulin 2005a, pp. 70 & 74.
  325. ^ Dumoulin 2005a, pp. xx, 65, 68, 148, 167–168, 190.
  326. ^ Dumoulin 2005a, pp. 71–77.
  327. ^ a b McRae 1986, pp. 19–29.
  328. ^ Yampolski 1967, p. 29, note 87.
  329. ^ Wang 2017, p. 4.
  330. ^ Wang 2017, p. 5.
  331. ^ Cheng Chien Bhikshu 1992, p. 9.
  332. ^ Wang 2017, p. 6-7.
  333. ^ Wang 2017, p. 7-9.
  334. ^ Dumoulin 2005a, p. [page needed].
  335. ^ Ray, Gary L. The Northern Ch'an School And Sudden Versus Gradual Enlightenment Debates In China And Tibet, Institute Of Buddhist Studies Berkeley.
  336. ^ McRae 2003, p. 60-69.
  337. ^ a b Wang 2017, p. 13.
  338. ^ a b c Wang 2017, p. 20.
  339. ^ Wang 2017, p. 14.
  340. ^ Yampolski 2003a, p. 15.
  341. ^ Yu, Chun-Fang, 1979, Ta-hui Tsung-kao and Kung-an Ch'an, Journal of Chinese Philosophy, v. 6, p. 211-235
  342. ^ Yampolski 2003b, p. 266.
  343. ^ Welter 2006.
  344. ^ Wang 2017, p. 23, 27.
  345. ^ Schlütter 2008.
  346. ^ Wang 2017, p. 29.
  347. ^ Heng-Ching Shih (1987). Yung-Ming's Syncretism of Pure Land and Chan, The Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies 10 (1), p. 117
  348. ^ Wang 2017, p. 31.
  349. ^ Littlejohn, Ronnie. "Daoist Philosophy". The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. ISSN 2161-0002. Archived from the original on 31 May 2020. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  350. ^ a b Wang 2017, p. 34.
  351. ^ McGuire, Beverley, "Ouyi Zhixu", Brill's Encyclopedia of Buddhism Online, Brill, retrieved 6 January 2023
  352. ^ Sharf 2002.
  353. ^ Keown, Damien. A Dictionary of Buddhism. 2003. p. 104
  354. ^ Stanley Weinstein, "The Schools of Chinese Buddhism," in Kitagawa & Cummings (eds.), Buddhism and Asian History (New York: Macmillan 1987) pp. 257–265, 264.
  355. ^ Meng-Tat Chia 2011.
  356. ^ Wu, Jiang (2006). "Building a Dharma Transmission Monastery" (PDF). East Asian History. 31: 47.
  357. ^ Buswell, Robert Jr; Lopez, Donald S. Jr., eds. (2013). "Xuyun", in Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. p. 1017. ISBN 978-0-691-15786-3.
  358. ^ Wang 2017, p. 38-39.
  359. ^ Powers, John, A Concise Encyclopedia of Buddhism, Oneworld Publications, 2013, p.238
  360. ^ Borup, Jørn; Qvortrup Fibiger, Marianne; Eastspirit: Transnational Spirituality and Religious Circulation in East and West, BRILL, 2017, p. 168.
  361. ^ a b "Rinzai-Obaku Zen – What is Zen? – History". Zen.rinnou.net. Archived from the original on 8 October 2017. Retrieved 4 February 2013.
  362. ^ Aitken 1994.
  363. ^ Josephine Nock-Hee Park, Apparitions of Asia: modernist form and Asian American poetics, p. 63
  364. ^ Watts, Alan W. (1958). "Beat Zen, Square Zen, and Zen". Chicago Review. Vol. 12, no. 2. pp. 3–11. JSTOR 25293448.
  365. ^ Fromm, Erich (1960). Psychoanalysis and Zen Buddhism. George Allen & Unwin. ISBN 0-04-616029-9.
  366. ^ Poceski 2007, p. 9-11.
  367. ^ Sharf 1995b.
  368. ^ Sharf 1993.
  369. ^ Sharf 1995a.
  370. ^ McRae 2005.
  371. ^ Heine 2007.
  372. ^ Jorgensen 1991.
  373. ^ a b Heine 2008, p. 6.
  374. ^ "Andre van de Braak, ZEN SPIRITUALITY IN A SECULAR AGE. Charles Taylor and Zen Buddhism in the West". Archived from the original on 24 May 2013. Retrieved 4 February 2013.
  375. ^ Wolfe 2009, p. iii.
  376. ^ Katz 2007.



Printed sources


Web sources

  1. ^ a b "Busshin". A Dictionary of Buddhism. Oxford University Press. 2004. ISBN 978-0-19-860560-7.
  2. ^ Japanese Dictionary, busshin
  3. ^ Thich Nhat Hanh, The Three Gems, TriCycle

Further reading

Modern popular works
  • D.T. Suzuki, Essays in Zen Buddhism, First Series (1927), Second Series (1933), Third Series (1934)
  • R. H. Blyth, Zen and Zen Classics, 5 volumes (1960–1970; reprints of works from 1942 into the 1960s)
  • Alan Watts, The Way of Zen (1957)
  • Lu K'uan Yu (Charles Luk), Ch'an and Zen Teachings, 3 vols (1960, 1971, 1974), The Transmission of the Mind: Outside the Teaching (1974)
  • Paul Reps & Nyogen Senzaki, Zen Flesh, Zen Bones (1957)
  • Philip Kapleau, The Three Pillars of Zen (1966)
  • Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind (1970)
  • Katsuki Sekida, Zen Training: Methods & Philosophy (1975)
Classic historiography
  • Dumoulin, Heinrich (2005), Zen Buddhism: A History. Volume 1: India and China. World Wisdom Books.ISBN 978-0-941532-89-1
  • Dumoulin, Heinrich (2005), Zen Buddhism: A History. Volume 2: Japan. World Wisdom Books.ISBN 978-0-941532-90-7
Critical historiography


Formation of Chán in Tang & Song China

  • McRae, John (2004), The Sutra of Queen Śrīmālā of the Lion's Roar and the Vimalakīrti Sutra (PDF), Berkeley, CA: Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, ISBN 1-886439-31-1, archived from the original (PDF) on 12 September 2014
  • Welter, Albert (2000), "Mahakasyapa's smile. Silent Transmission and the Kung-an (Koan) Tradition", in Steven Heine; Dale S. Wright (eds.), The Koan: Texts and Contexts in Zen Buddhism, Oxford: Oxford University Press
  • Schlütter, Morten (2008), How Zen became Zen. The Dispute over Enlightenment and the Formation of Chan Buddhism in Song-Dynasty China, Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, ISBN 978-0-8248-3508-8


Modern times

  • Victoria, Brian Daizen (2006), Zen at war (Second ed.), Lanham e.a.: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.

Orientalism and East-West interchange

Contemporary practice