The History Of Zen Buddhism

2014 Words 9 Pages
Although modern society could be considered secular to a certain extent, there was a time when religion and its ideologies played a vital role in daily life. This is especially true for life in Japan following the introduction of what is now known as ‘Buddhism’. Once the teachings of Buddha were infused into Japanese society, it effected everything from art, to values, and culture within the society.
The inception of Buddhism came into practice at approximately 500 BCE in India, but did not make its way to Japan until 552 BCE. It is considered to be a path to spiritual discovery. It was founded by a man named Siddhartha Gautama, who believed that within the human condition there was disease, decay, and death. Gautama felt that within the human
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But when it came to Japan during the 12th and 13th centuries, it was known as Zen. The intent of Zen Buddhism was to reach enlightenment through meditation. It was believed that through meditation of this nature, an individual could reach an enlightened state of being in one lifetime. There were two main schools of Zen Buddhism. The first was Rinzai, which was founded by Eisai, who claimed that it “outwardly favored discipline over doctrine, inwardly it brought the highest inner wisdom” (Wangu 64). The second school of Zen Buddhism was the Soto, founded by Dogen. In this school of Zen, a practice known as zazen meditation was used. Zazen was a form of sitting …show more content…
All people want to know the answers of existence and find a means of ending suffering. This concept goes beyond time and down to the core issues of the human condition. The concepts within this teaching are masterpiece ideas that all individuals ponder and hope to find solace in. As Zen Buddhism offers a means of achieving this, through harmonious living, it is easy to understand how it came to impact society and culture of not only Japan but the East in general in such a significant way.

Wangu’s book on Buddhism helped me to gain a more thorough understanding of the religion. It provided a background and insight into the development of the religion as well as its origins. Along with the information provided in the encyclopedia of Buddhism, I had felt that I had a clearer understanding of not only Buddhism as a whole, but also the different sects of Buddhism and the differences between them, but after further research I am left with more questions regarding the third eye, enlightenment and more. Perhaps this assignment has led to a more in depth search for the nature of my own true

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