Meditation-based school of Mahāyāna Buddhism / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Zen (Chinese: ; pinyin: Chán; Japanese: , romanized: zen; Korean: , romanized: Seon; Vietnamese: Thiền) is a school of Mahayana Buddhism that originated in China during the Tang dynasty as the Chan School (Chánzong 禪宗, "meditation school") or the Buddha-mind school (foxin zong),"[1] and later developed into various sub-schools and branches. From China, Chán spread south to Vietnam and became Vietnamese Thiền, northeast to Korea to become Seon Buddhism, and east to Japan, becoming Japanese Zen[2]

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Chinese name
Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese
Vietnamese name
Vietnamese alphabetThiền
Chữ Hán
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The term Zen is derived from the Japanese pronunciation of the Middle Chinese word 禪 (chán), an abbreviation of 禪那 (chánnà), which is a Chinese transliteration of the Sanskrit word ध्यान dhyāna ("meditation").[note 1] Zen emphasizes rigorous self-restraint, meditation-practice and insight (見性, Ch. jiànxìng, Jp. kensho), "perceiving the true nature" of oneself as Buddha-mind (bodhicitta and Buddha-nature), and the personal expression of this insight in daily life for the benefit of others.[4][5] As such, it de-emphasizes knowledge alone of sutras and doctrine,[6][7] and favors direct understanding through spiritual practice and interaction with an accomplished teacher[8] or Master.

Zen teaching draws from numerous sources of Sarvastivada meditation practice and Mahāyāna thought, especially Yogachara, the Tathāgatagarbha sūtras, the Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra, and the Huayan school, with their emphasis on Buddha-nature, totality, and the Bodhisattva-ideal.[9][10] The Prajñāpāramitā literature,[11] as well as Madhyamaka thought, have also been influential in the shaping of the apophatic and sometimes iconoclastic nature of Zen rhetoric.[12]

Furthermore, the Chan School was also influenced by Taoist philosophy, especially Neo-Daoist thought.[13]

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