Thursday, May 13, 2010

Zen Buddhism

Zen Buddhism is about learning by doing. So perhaps the best way to learn about Zen is to visit a Zen Center or sitting group near you. Here is one directory of such groups.

The focus of Zen Buddhism is sitting Zazen, or a special form of meditation. The historical Buddha sat meditating under the Bodhi tree for a long time to reach enlightenment. Zen believes in emulating the Buddha, you learn about life by focusing on the moment, you learn to do that by sitting meditation, zazen.

Here is a basic introduction to zazen. There’s more than one type of zazen, Soto Zen emphasizes shikan-taza, or just sitting, while Rinzai Zen emphasizes koans, mental puzzles designed to bring a person to enlightenment.

Here are some Zen texts you may want to view. More here.

I visited the Rochester Zen Center years ago for a brief training session and it was a great experience. If you’re interested in Zen, just do it.

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