Japanese Zen Buddhist Philosophy
1. The Meaning of the Term Zen The designation of this school of the Buddha-Way as Zen, which means sitting meditation, is derived from a transliteration of the Chinese word Chán. Because the Chinese term is in turn a transliteration of the Sanskrit term dhyāna, however, Zen owes its historical origin to early Indian Buddhism, where a deepened state of meditation, called samādhi, was singled out as one of the three components of study a Buddhist was required to master, the other two being an observation of ethical precepts (sīla) and an embodiment of nondiscriminatory wisdom (prajñā). The reason that meditation was singled out for the designation of this school is based on the fact that the historical Buddha achieved enlightenment (nirvāna) through the practice of meditation. 2. 3. When one engages in Zen meditation, Zen recommends that its practitioner follow a three-step procedure: adjusting body, breathing and mind. 3.1 The Adjustment of the Body 3.2 The Adjustment of Breathing 4. 5.
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