The Importance Of Zen Enlightenment

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“Enlightenment” is a broad term that is entirely dependent on the context of the religion, and or philosophy, that used it. In general, Enlightenment is a state of peace derived through understanding. The actual particularities of this understanding is what is disputed amongst the different Eastern philosophies and religions, such as Theravada Buddhism, Zen Buddhism, and Hinduism. I will focus on Zen Enlightenment, but to do so, it’s necessary to explain Theravada Buddhism and Daoism, in order to understand the relevant topics.
I. The Essential Lessons of Relevant Philosophies Theravada Buddhism was born out of a rejection of the contemporary Hindu religion, as explained by Kupperman: “If the central thesis of the Upanishads is easy to summarize (atman is Brahman), so also is the central claim of early Buddhist philosophy. It is anatman: there is no atman, The Dhammapada centers a picture of what we are like, and of what the world is like, on this claim” 22). So, while Hinduism’s understanding is that there is a central self, atman, and that it pertains to the God, Brahman, Theravada Buddhism rejects this notion, claiming that there is no inner atman, or self. This is the essential Theravada understanding that will lead to states of Enlightenment. Daoism was an ancient Chinese school of philosophy. When the lessons of Theravada came to
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While nature and the cosmos are keenly in harmony with this force, humans are antagonized by it, and contradict its way. To align with the Dao requires wuwei, meaning actionless action. Wuwei is a way of doing, where an action is performed in response to a natural stimuli, without the influence of intelligence or emotion; it is action without action. It is a return to mankind’s natural state, free of intelligence. Wuwei is similar in nature to Buddha’s “Middle Way”. The Middle Way includes the Eightfold path, which is a Buddhist approach to living without an

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