Zen (禅)


Zen (禅)was imported to Japan in the 13th century, and it spread across the citizens at that time, especially for Bushi (≒ Samurai).

Today, I will explain the simple and basic concepts of Zen.

  • What is Zen?
  • The influence of Zen on modern Japanese

Knowing Zen may help you understand the Japanese cultures, especially when you visit to Japanese old architectures.

What is Zen?

Zen is one of the branches of Buddhism.
Zen was developed in India, and transferred to China, and then imported to Japan in 13th century.

The basic concept of Zen is “No dependence on words and letters(不立文字)”.
Zen emphases the importance of experiencing spiritual awakening through intuitive discernment.

Japanese people consider a stone garden in Zen temple as a symbol of Zen Buddhism.

The influenza of Zen Buddhism on Modern Japan

The important parts in the practice of Zen are considered as

  • Silence
  • Simplicity
  • Empty

Japanese inspired by Zen still value these parts.

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