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). 2. There are basically two methods utilized in meditation practice in Zen Buddhism to assist the practitioner to reach the above-mentioned goals, together with a simple breathing exercise known as “observation of breath count” (Jpn., sūsokukan); one is the kōan method and the other is called “just sitting” (Jpn., shikan taza), a form of “single act samādhi.” 3. 3.1 The Adjustment of the Body 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.