Home Discussion Forum what are some of the teachings and beliefs of zen buddhism?

what are some of the teachings and beliefs of zen buddhism?

I am asking because I have been studying tibetan buddhism and the only temple around me are zen so I need to know the teachings.how is it different from tibetan buddhism.do zen buddhists believe in enlightenment.what is the point of enlightenment in zen buddhism.how do I get it.why do I see 2 different zen meditations.one I see is zazen and I do that when meditate(rarely) and the other is when you think about zen saying or riddle like “live everyday like your hair is on fire” or “what is the sound of one hand clapping


  1. Zen is a school of Mahāyāna Buddhism, translated from the Chinese word 禅 Chán to Japanese. This word is in turn derived from the Sanskrit dhyāna, which means “meditation”.
    Zen emphasizes experiential prajñā, particularly as realized in the form of meditation, in the attainment of enlightenment. As such, it de-emphasizes theoretical knowledge in favor of direct, experiential realization through meditation and dharma practice.
    The establishment of Zen is traditionally credited to be in China, the Shaolin Temple, by the South Indian Pallava prince-turned-monk Bodhidharma, who came to China to teach a “special transmission outside scriptures” which “did not stand upon words”. The emergence of Zen as a distinct school of Buddhism was first documented in China in the 7th century AD. It is thought to have developed as an amalgam of various currents in Mahāyāna Buddhist thought–among them the Yogācāra and Mādhyamaka philosophies and the Prajñāpāramitā literature–and of local traditions in China, particularly Taoism and Huáyán Buddhism. From China Zen subsequently spread south to Vietnam, and east to Korea and Japan.

  2. Zen Buddhism and Tibetan Buddhism are both Mahayana traditions… seeking enlightenment for the sake of all sentient beings and not just for yourself alone.
    Koans are utilized in Zen Buddhism, like riddles or mind twisters, as a form of developing clear mind and finding ultimate truth. Debate in Tibetan Buddhism can be compared… or forms of meditation also.
    The goal is the same. The bells and whistles and the “outside” can seem different, but in truth are not different.
    So, what appeals to you most, which tradition resonates with your own heart and mind is the point. It is not a matter of “better” or “worse” …it’s a matter of choice.
    I have been a student of Tibetan Buddhism and my Tibetan teachers have encouraged me to pursue and study Korean Zen Buddhism as I have had opportunities to do so… their advice, “…and don’t think of it being different.”


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