What is Zen Buddhism?

The Japanese Zen Buddhism (known as Chan Buddhism in Chinese), is the Mahayana school of Buddhism. To say something about Buddhism first we have to go back to the mid 500BC. The religion derives its name from Gautama Buddha who was born as Prince Siddhartha Gautama in the Sakya tribe of Nepal but was destined to be “the Enlightened One”.

He left his life of luxury and went in search of Truth. After six years of yogic training he got enlightened under the Bodhi tree of Gaya. This is how Buddhism comes to being.

Zen is a Japanese adaptation of the Mahayana Buddhism which in turn is based on the earliest teachings of Buddha. More than a religion Zen Buddhism or Zen is a philosophy which preaches that there is nothing called the “I” or the self. All human sufferings are a result of the false ego of an individual and only if one is able to free himself from this false notion he will be emancipated and attain nirvana.

Therefore, Zen Buddhism is the means through which one extracts the meaning of life. The followers of this sect do not worship a God. Meditation and contemplation are the key practises in Zen Buddhism. The practitioners rather than followers of Zen are concentrated mostly in China, Japan, Korea and Vietnam.

The western world is fast getting aware of Zen practises for it shows an alternative path of non-violence, peace and calm which one badly needs in the present world of sadism, brutality and aggression.

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