The History Of Zen Buddhism

Superior Essays
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
…show more content…
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

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    According to (http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/buddha/ (2012) the title “Buddha” means awakened, which is an individual who finds the path to nirvana, the end of suffering, and spreads that knowledge so others may discover the path to nirvana as well. One of Buddhism’s biggest worries was freedom from dukkha (unease) and the path to that final freedom involves an ethical action/karma, meditation and understanding the realm of reality. A repetitive thesis in Buddhist philosophy has been the formation of ideas and reverting back to the Buddhist Middle Way (a term Gautama used to describe the character of the Noble Eightfold Path that he discovered leads to liberation). The goal of Buddhist philosophy was to reach nirvana and to achieve it one must reach the state that is beyond craving and suffering. According to (http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/5minbud.htm (2015) the Buddha was not considered a God, nor did he claim to be one, he was simply a man who used his own experiences to teach others how to reach the path to enlightenment.…

    • 1112 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Dalai Lama Impact

    • 1172 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Through the Dalai Lama and his preachings of the history and teachings of Buddha we can learn and interpret the true meaning of buddhism. Also through his work the spreading of the Buddhist faith was able to occur which lead to the impacting on more lives around the globe. Temple Puja was able to impact on the lives of Buddhist adherents by providing them with a place to seek guidance in their lives. By welcoming people into these temples they can feel more open and faithful towards Buddhism. Buddhist teachings relating to bioethics are seen as guidance for Buddhist adherents.…

    • 1172 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Both branches aim to become enlightened or awakened, but their religious goals actually differ greatly when looked at closely. While the Theravada funnel most of their energy into meditation in order to obtain becoming an awakened one, the Mahayana broaden their focus to include not only meditation, but other ways to bring themselves closer to becoming enlightened. For the Mahayana, their main religious goal is “Becoming a Buddha, hence fulfilling the destiny of a Bodhisattva, enlightenment, and inner peace.”1 In contrast, for the Theravada, their main religious goal is to have deliverance of the mind and to become an Arahant by freeing themselves from bondage, namely samsara. Samsara is the repeating cycle of birth, life, and death, including one 's actions and the consequences of those actions in the past, present, and…

    • 2067 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Therefore as a whole the quest that was religious Hindus is to start the search for the soul and Brahman. Close to Buddhism, although perhaps not emphasized as strongly, as the Upanishad provides Hindus with meditational ways…

    • 1288 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    ZenBuddhism is emphasizes on the enlightenment that can be obtained by each individual just as The Buddha did himself. It is one of the mostwell known schools of Buddhism in America and is rapidly growing in the West. Some of the primary characteristics of Zen Buddhism is theirrare use of scriptures, something completely different from other sects in this religion. This is done in order to focus more on the meditationthan anything else in order to achieve the highest enlightenment. In Japan, there are subgroups of Zen and with each a school is…

    • 450 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Humans, according to the Buddha, can escape the cycles of reincarnation by renouncing their earthly desires and seeking a life of meditation and self-discipline. The ultimate objective of Buddhism is to attain Nirvana, which is a state of total spiritual bliss – satisfaction (Humanosophy 1). Like Hinduism, Buddhism allows religious divergence. Unlike it, though, Buddhism rejects ritual and the caste system. Buddhism acknowledges the same teachings (doctrine) of Buddha, namely the purification of consciousness through the Four Noble Truths: 1.)…

    • 1034 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    According to Theravada Buddhism, one must live ethically, meditate, and seek wisdom. These teachings come from the sacred texts of Buddhism, known as the Tripitaka. In following the Tripitaka, a person will achieve the ultimate Buddhist goal of nirvana, which is enlightenment and freedom from the cycle of death and rebirth. With its focus on nirvana and its adherence to the oldest…

    • 558 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Buddhism is a religion that provides freedom from the root of suffering. Siddhartha Gautama; who later was called buddha due to his enlightenment around 528 BCE devoted his life to teaching the way to overcome suffering. Buddhists believe that suffering is inevitable whether from the beginning or to the end of one’s life. Buddhism requires to end suffering one must realize no-self, which is attained through enlightenment. Buddhism has a way to end that suffering by following the teaching of the Four Noble Truths and reaching enlightenment.…

    • 1169 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Introduction Buddhism is a religion which is considered to have been founded by the doctrine of discipline which is still followed by the people who practice this religion. The Dharma provides is the basis upon which Buddha seeks to provide a supportive social structure to enable its practice within the society. There are certain doctrines which are important in the religion and which govern the practice of the religion. Through their inclusion within the religion individuals are able to pursue happiness through the religion. Thevarda Buddhism is a branch of the religion which utilises the teaching of Buddha as they have been preserved in the original language of Pali.…

    • 1015 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    People come with questions about the afterlife and this is attached to the precepts and with this over time a religious model gets traditional. That being said but the in beginning was two main teachings, and a few followers but did not speak of a religion. The teachings were basic and practical the stress and the end of stress. The only way its possible is Buddhism is not based on a belief. The core tool in Buddhism is dharma which can be explained as truth.…

    • 795 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays