The Essential Nature of
A special transmission outside the
Nondependence on sacred writings
Direct pointing to the human heart
Realization of one's own nature and becoming a
Zen Is Both a Practical and Spiritual
Key Ideas of Zen
enlightenment comes suddenly. Special preparations may be
necessary, but it' actually comes through experience.
Action can be achieved by
inaction, where the result is achieved by "Not-Me"
Enlightenment and experience are
closely connected, while books, texts and theory don't open the way
True wizard lives in every person
and every thing. The man does not need to seek recluse or to be an
ascetic to achieve enlightenment
Zen Way of Thinking
"When an ordinary man gains knowledge, he is a
sage; when a sage gains understanding, he is an ordinary man." ~
Zen way of thinking about the world is based
first of all on clarity and preciseness of images, as opposed to the Western
approach based on formal logics. The secret of Zen philosophy is that it can
be expressed not only through words and writings, but also through arts,
paintings, calligraphy, customs, and ceremonies (e.g. tea ceremony is also
some kind of philosophy).
The Circle of Continuous Perfection
Zen, the circle represents the process of continuous perfection, leading to a
self with a difference. This process has no beginning and no end. The
practitioner following a long pathway around the circumference of a circle,
which eventually leads back to the starting point, but now he or she has had the
experience of the journey and is changed from the person he or she once was.
"The self is thus both the reason for the journey and the goal of the journey,
both the path and the fruit of the path, both the question and the answer. And
by "self" Zen means self-knowing, the recognition of our essential nature, which
is ultimately identified with "emptiness", the infinite potential, from which
all things arise."1
Can Zen Be Defined?
When asked "What is Zen?" a Zen master replied,
"Your ordinary, everyday life." Zen, like life, defies exact definition, but
its essence in the experience, moment by moment, of your own existence - a
natural, spontaneous encounter, unclouded by the suppositions and
expectations that come between you and reality. Zen is a paring down of life
until you see it as it really is, free from your illusions; it is a mental
divestment of yourself until you recognize your true nature.1
Your Wise and Compassionate
Because it is refreshingly free from dogma, Zen
can help you to lead richer, less anxious, more compassionate and ultimately
more effective life. It teaches you to acknowledge your emotions, lay
negativity to rest, and answer fundamental questions about your own being,
and about life, death and what lies beyond. "Zen is like a wise a
compassionate friend: humorous and enigmatic, challenging yet supportive,
old as the hills yet young as a new day, even present around us yet located
deep inside ourselves. That wise and compassionate friend is none other than
our own true nature."1
"In Zen even the most
mundane objects are things of wonder,
if we stop to look at them, and the fact
that we are alive is the biggest wonder of all." ~
Zen artists try to see the 'catness' in the
cat, the 'dogness' in the dog, and the 'treeness' in the tree.
Zen is a school of Mahayana
Buddhism, which developed in China in the 6th and 7th centuries from the
meeting of Dhyana Buddhism and
Zen is a set of teachings and
practices directed towards self-realization and finally to complete
awakening (enlightenment). More than any other school, Zen stresses the
prime importance of the enlightenment experience and the uselessness of
ritual religious practices and intellectual analysis of doctrine for the
attainment of liberation (enlightenment).
In the global supermarket of ideas, faiths,
practices, theories and ideologies, Zen stands out as a voice of sanity. "It
represents a different way of seeing the world, one based upon the
rediscovery of who we really are and have always been, though revealing to
us our true nature."1
If someone is determined to
enlightenment, what is the most essential method he can practice?
‘The most essential method, which includes all
other methods, is beholding the mind.
But how can one method include all others?...