History of Zen Buddhism: Paradox and Tension - Deepstash

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History of Zen Buddhism: Paradox and Tension

History of Zen Buddhism: Paradox and Tension

Doug's Dharma

The Flower Sermon & Beginning of Zen

The history of Zen starts with myths and legends. The starting legend for Zen is the flower sermon:

"Toward the end of his life, the Buddha took his disciples to a quiet pond for instruction. But Buddha had no words. He instead he held a flower silently before them.

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Bodhidharma, the father of Zen

Bodhidharma was a semi-legendary Buddhist monk who lived during the 5th or 6th century. He was of Indian origin, but moved to China, where he is said to have been meditating for 9yrs straight. 

Some of stories involving him are similar to more modern koans. 

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The beginnings of Zen can be traced to India in the 3rd century when we have a school called Buddha Nature, which claimed that Buddha's emptiness is a gift we all share. That Buddha's nature is a connecting force between all that exists. 

The practice found a lot of tractio...

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2 Entrences to Zen

Zen builds upon core Buddhist philosophy. One reaches Zen in 2 ways:

  • through principle: understanding that we are all of Buddha-nature, underneath the world ignorance. The problem is conceptual: our ideas and thoughts are mediated by ignorance. 
  • through

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