Category:Zen Buddhist terminology
Pages in category "Zen Buddhist terminology"
The following 75 pages are in this category, out of 75 total. This list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
The following 75 pages are in this category, out of 75 total. This list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
1. Zen – Zen is a school of Mahayana Buddhism that originated in China during the Tang dynasty as Chan Buddhism. Zen school was influenced by Taoism and developed as a distinguished school of Chinese Buddhism. From China, Chan Buddhism spread south to Vietnam, northeast to Korea and east to Japan, the term Zen is derived from the Japanese pronunciation of the Middle Chinese word 禪 which traces its roots to the Indian practice of Dhyana. Zen emphasizes rigorous self-control, meditation-practice, insight into Buddha-nature, as such, it de-emphasizes mere knowledge of sutras and doctrine and favors direct understanding through zazen and interaction with an accomplished teacher. The Prajñāpāramitā literature and, to an extent, Madhyamaka have also been influential in the shaping of the paradoxical language of the Zen-tradition. Central to Zen is the practice of dhyana or meditation, during sitting meditation, practitioners usually assume a position such as the lotus position, half-lotus, Burmese, or seiza postures, using the dhyāna mudrā. To regulate the mind, awareness is directed towards counting or watching the breath or by bringing that awareness to the center below the navel. Often, a square or round cushion placed on a mat is used to sit on, in some other cases. This practice may simply be called sitting dhyāna, which is zuòchán in Chinese, in the Sōtō school of Zen, meditation with no objects, anchors, or content, is the primary form of practice. The meditator strives to be aware of the stream of thoughts, allowing them to arise, in the Japanese language, this practice is called Shikantaza. Intensive group meditation may be practiced occasionally in some temples, in the Japanese language, this practice is called Sesshin. While the daily routine may require monks to meditate for hours each day. In modern Buddhist practice in Japan, Taiwan, and the West, lay students often attend these intensive practice sessions and these are held at many Zen centers, especially in commemoration of the Buddhas attainment of Anuttarā Samyaksaṃbodhi. One distinctive aspect of Zen meditation in groups is the use of a kyosaku, at the beginning of the Sòng dynasty, practice with the kōan method became popular, whereas others practiced silent illumination. This became the source of differences in practice between the Línjì and Cáodòng schools. A kōan, literally public case, is a story or dialogue and these anecdotes give a demonstration of the masters insight. Koans emphasize the non-conceptional insight that the Buddhist teachings are pointing to, koans can be used to provoke the great doubt, and test a students progress in Zen practice. Kōan-inquiry may be practiced during zazen, kinhin, and throughout all the activities of daily life, kōan practice is particularly emphasized by the Japanese Rinzai school, but it also occurs in other schools or branches of Zen depending on the teaching line
2. Japanese rock garden – Classical zen gardens were created at temples of Zen Buddhism in Kyoto during the Muromachi period. They were intended to imitate the intimate essence of nature, not its actual appearance, rock gardens existed in Japan at least since the Heian period. These early gardens were described in the first manual of Japanese gardens, Sakuteiki, the Sakuteiki described exactly how rocks should be placed. In one passage, he wrote, In a place there is neither a lake or a stream, one can put in place what is called a kare-sansui. This kind of garden featured either rocks placed upright like mountains, or laid out in a landscape of hills and ravines. He described several other styles of garden, which usually included a stream or pond, including the great river style, the mountain river style. The ocean style featured rocks that appeared to have been eroded by waves, surrounded by a bank of white sand, white sand and gravel had long been a feature of Japanese gardens. In the Shinto religion, it was used to symbolize purity, and was used around shrines, temples, in zen gardens, it represents water, or, like the white space in Japanese paintings, emptiness and distance. It saw the beginning of Noh theater, the Japanese tea ceremony, the style of Japanese architecture. The gardens of the early zen temples in Japan resembled Chinese gardens of the time, with lakes, but in Kyoto in the 14th and 15th century, a new kind of garden appeared at the important zen temples. These zen gardens were designed to stimulate meditation, nature, if you made it expressive by reducing it to its abstract forms, could transmit the most profound thoughts by its simple presence, Michel Baridon wrote. The Buddhist monk and zen master Musō Kokushi transformed a Buddhist temple into a zen monastery in 1334, the lower garden of Saihō-ji is in the traditional Heian Period style, a pond with several rock compositions representing islands. The upper garden is a dry rock garden which features three rock islands, the first, called Kameshima, the island of the turtle, resembles a turtle swimming in a lake of moss. The second, Zazen-seki, is a flat rock, which is believed to radiate calm and silence, and the third is the kare-taki. Muso Kokushi built another garden at Tenryū-ji, the Temple of the Celestial Dragon. This garden appears to have strongly influenced by Chinese landscape painting of the Song Dynasty which feature mountains rising in the mist. The garden at Tenryū-ji has a pond with water and a dry waterfall of rocks looking like a Chinese landscape. Saihō-ji and Tenryū-ji show the transition from the Heian style garden toward a more abstract, the gardens of Ginkaku-ji, also known as the Silver Pavilion, are also attributed to Muso Kokushi
3. Kasa (hat) – A kasa is any of several sorts of traditional hats of Japan. Some of the hats are Amigasa, Jingasa, Sugegasa, Takuhatsugasa and Sandogasa. Amigasa is a straw hat used in some Japanese folk dances. When preceded by a word specifying the type of hat, the word becomes gasa as in the due to rendaku. One kind of kasa for Buddhist monks is made overlarge, in a bowl or mushroom shape and is made from rice straw. It does not come to a point like a rice farmers hat and it is just a big hat covering the upper half to two thirds of the face. Thus, it helps mask the identity of the monk and allows him to travel undistracted by sights around him on his journey. The samurai class of feudal Japan as well as their retainers and footsoldiers used several types of jingasa made from iron, copper, wood, paper, kasa shares its etymology with the Japanese word for umbrella. Here is a list of types of kasa, Yatarō gasa
4. Daruma doll – The Daruma doll, also known as a Dharma doll, is a hollow, round, Japanese traditional doll modeled after Bodhidharma, the founder of the Zen sect of Buddhism. These dolls, though red and depicting a bearded man, vary greatly in color and design depending on region. Though considered an omocha, meaning toy, by some, Daruma has a design that is rich in symbolism and is regarded more as a talisman of luck to the Japanese. Daruma dolls are seen as a symbol of perseverance and good luck, the doll has also been commercialized by many Buddhist temples to use alongside goal setting. When purchased, the eyes are white so a person can decide on a goal or wish, once the goal is achieved, the second eye is filled in. Bodhidharma was a Buddhist monk who lived during the 5th/6th century AD and he is traditionally credited as the transmitter of Chan to China. Little contemporary biographical information on Bodhidharma is extant, and subsequent accounts became layered with legend, according to one tradition, Bodhidharma gained a reputation for, among other things, his practice of wall-gazing. Legend claims that he sat facing a wall in meditation for a period of nine years without moving, another popular legend is that after falling asleep during his nine-year meditation he became angry with himself and cut off his eyelids to avoid ever falling asleep again. The current popular symbolism associated with Daruma as a luck charm in part originated with the Daruma-dera in the city of Takasaki. Josef Kyburz, author of Omocha, Things to Play with, the parishioners would keep these charms to bring happiness and prosperity and ward off accidents and misfortune. It is believed that the Daruma figurine then originated from this region when the ninth priest, Togaku, the charms were always given with an effectiveness of one year, so the people required new ones every year. He solved this by entrusting them with the making of their own Daruma charms near the beginning of the Meiwa period, the temple made wooden block molds for the people to use. The peasants then used these molds to make three-dimensional papier-mâché charms, Kyburz notes that though it is unknown when the Daruma figurine combined with the tumbler doll, the two were well recognized as synonymous by the mid-19th century. The doll quickly grew in popularity, becoming a mascot of the region and this was due greatly in part to fact that the majority of the families were silk farmers, a crop which requires a great deal of luck for success. There is an annual Daruma Doll Festival held by the city of Takasaki in celebration of being the birthplace of the Daruma doll. The celebration is held at the Shorinzan, the name of Takasakis Daruma-Dera, according to the Takasaki city website, Over 400,000 people from all over the Kanto Plain come to buy new good-luck dolls for the year. Takasaki produces 80% of Japans Daruma dolls, the festival also features a 24-hour reading of sutras by the Shorinzan monks for world peace. Daruma’s design, particularly the shape, color, eyes and facial hair, each have its own history and symbolic meaning
5. Shakuhachi – The shakuhachi is a Japanese end-blown flute. It was originally introduced from China into Japan in the 6th century, the shakuhachi is traditionally made of bamboo, but versions now exist in ABS and hardwoods. It was used by the monks of the Fuke school of Zen Buddhism in the practice of suizen, the instrument is tuned to the minor pentatonic scale. The name shakuhachi means 1.8 shaku, referring to its size and it is a compound of two words, shaku is an archaic unit of length equal to 30.3 centimeters and subdivided in ten subunits. Hachi means eight, here eight sun, or tenths of a shaku, thus, shaku-hachi means one shaku eight sun, the standard length of a shakuhachi. Other shakuhachi vary in length from about 1.3 shaku up to 3.3 shaku, although the sizes differ, all are still referred to generically as shakuhachi. Shakuhachi are usually made from the end of a bamboo culm and are extremely versatile instruments. Much of the shakuhachis subtlety lies in its rich tone colouring, different fingerings, embouchures and amounts of meri can produce notes of the same pitch, but with subtle or dramatic differences in the tone colouring. Holes can be covered partially and pitch varied subtly or substantially by changing the blowing angle, the honkyoku pieces rely heavily on this aspect of the instrument to enhance their subtlety and depth. Pitches may also be lowered by shading or partially covering finger holes, since most pitches can be achieved via several different fingering or blowing techniques on the shakuhachi, the timbre of each possibility is taken into account when composing or playing. The shakuhachi has a range of two octaves and a partial third octave. The various octaves are produced using subtle variations of breath and embouchure, a 1.8 shakuhachi produces D4 as its fundamental—the lowest note it produces with all five finger holes covered, and a normal blowing angle. In contrast, a 2.4 shakuhachi has a fundamental of A3, as the length increases, the spacing of the finger holes also increases, stretching both fingers and technique. Longer flutes often have offset finger holes, and very long flutes are almost always made to suit individual players. Some honkyoku, in particular those of the Nezasaha school are intended to be played on these longer flutes. Due to the required, the time involved, and the range of quality in materials to craft bamboo shakuhachi. Specimens of extremely high quality, with inlays, or of historical significance can fetch US$10,000 or more. Shakuhachi made of wood are also available, typically costing less than bamboo, nearly all players, however, prefer bamboo, citing tonal qualities, aesthetics, and tradition
6. Dharma transmission – The dharma lineage reflects the importance of family-structures in ancient China, and forms a symbolic and ritual recreation of this system for the monastical family. There are only about fifty to eighty of such inka shōmei-bearers in Japan, in Soto-Zen, dharma transmission provides access to only a relatively low grade. It is listed as a requirement for the very lowest ecclesiastical status, the notion and practice of Dharma Transmission developed early in the history of Chán, as a means to gain credibility and to foster institutional ties among the members of the Chán-community. Charts of dharma-lineages were developed, which represented the continuity of the Buddhist dharma, originally these lineages only included the Chinese Patriarchs, but they were later extended to twenty-eight Indian Patriarchs and seven Buddhas. The Chán-tradition developed from the tradition of Canonical Buddhism, which remained normative for all later Chinese Buddhism. It was established by the end of the century, as a result of the Chinese developing understanding of Buddhism in the previous centuries. One of the inventions of this Canonical Buddhism were transmission lists, the concept of dharma transmission took shape during the Tang period, when establishing the right teachings became important, to safeguard the authority of specific schools. The emerging Zen-tradition developed the Transmission of the Lamp-genre, in which lineages from Shakyamuni Buddha up to their own times were described, another literary device for establishing those traditions was given by the Kao-seng-chuan, compiled around 530. The Chán-tradition developed its own corpus in this genre, with such as Anthology of the Patriarchal Hall. McRae considers Dumoulins A History of Zen to be an example of this genre. The Chán-lineages picture the Indian monk Bodhidharma as the patriarch who brought Chán to China, only scarce historical information is available about him, but his hagiography developed when the Chan tradition grew stronger and gained prominence in the early 8th century. By this time a lineage of the six founders of Chán in China was developed. In the late 8th century, under the influence of Huinengs student Shenhui, the dramatic story of Huinengs life tells that there was a controversy over his claim to the title of patriarch. After being chosen by Hongren, the ancestral founder, Huineng had to flee by night to Nanhua Temple in the south to avoid the wrath of Hongrens jealous senior disciples. Modern scholarship, however, has questioned this narrative, historic research reveals that this story was created around the middle of the 8th century, beginning in 731 by Shenhui, a successor to Huineng, to win influence at the Imperial Court. He claimed Huineng to be the successor of Hongrens, instead of the publicly recognized successor Shenxiu. In 745 Shen-hui was invited to take up residence in the Ho-tse temple in Lo-yang, in 753 he fell out of grace, and had to leave the capital to go into exile. Doctrinally the Southern School is associated with the teaching that enlightenment is sudden and this was a polemical exaggeration, since both schools were derived from the same tradition, and the so-called Southern School incorporated many teachings of the more influential Northern School
7. Dharma combat – It is used by both students and teachers to test and sharpen their understanding. Practice is primarily seen in Zen traditions, particularly Rinzai Zen, in both, it is a key component in the Dharma transmission process. Zen practitioners will often have a sanzen, where the student has a face to face interview with their master and this is also called nishitsu, which literally means entering the room and refers to the student entering the room for private dharma combat. An exchange is initiated when a master issues a challenge to members either individually or as a group, the master will use confrontation as an emotionally charged tool to push a student into immediate realization. The Dharma combat usually appears to be in the form of a debate, with questions and these encounters may involve dialogues with non verbal elements as well as verbal. An exchange between combatants will often show disjointed comments, shouting and even slapping and these encounters, where the students flaws in understanding or practice of dharma are exposed, have left students with a reluctance to enter the room used for combat. As Peter D. Hershock asserts, the term itself provides insight into the risks of the encounter between student and master, traditionally, Buddhism is known for helping others to attain peace and freedom from affliction. The usage of a term to describe enlightenment, he attests. The student is in danger of losing the ability to maintain their prior chosen heading, the first known recorded examples of Dharma combat occurred during the “Classical” period of Zen history. Stretching roughly from 765 to 950 C. E. this period saw the rise of many Zen masters whose work is widely studied in modern Zen Buddhism today. One of these masters was Línjì Yìxuán, Linji died in 866 and was the founder of the Linji school of Zen Buddhism during the Tang Dynasty in China. Many examples of combat can be found in the collection of sayings by. Those who have not yet recognized him, look out, look out, a monk came forward and asked, What is the True Man of no Status. The master descended from the cushion, grabbed and said. The master released him and said, What a shit-stick this True Man of no Status is, then he withdrew to his quarters. In another example, he recounts a question from Ma-yu, Of the eyes of the bodhisattva of compassion. Línjì repeats the question, adding Answer me, then, Ma-yu dragged the Master down from the lecture seat and sat in it himself. The illustrated encyclopedia of Zen Buddhism, zens Chinese heritage, the masters and their teachings
8. Dharma talk – A Dharma talk or Dhamma talk or Dharma sermon is a public discourse on Buddhism by a Buddhist teacher. In some Zen traditions a Dharma talk may be referred to as a teisho, however, according to Taizan Maezumi and Bernard Glassman, a teisho is a formal commentary by a Zen master on a koan or Zen text. In its strictest sense, teisho is non-dualistic and is distinguished from a Dharma talk. In this sense, a teisho is thus a formal Dharma talk, if it only corresponds perfectly with the teachings but does not meet the needs of the listeners, its not a good Dharma talk, its not appropriate
9. Dojo – Dojo is a Japanese term which literally means place of the way. Initially, dōjōs were adjunct to temples, the term can also refer to a formal training place for any of the Japanese arts ending in do, meaning way. A proper Japanese martial arts dōjō is considered special and is cared for by its users. Shoes are not worn in a dōjō, in many styles it is traditional to conduct a ritual cleaning of the dōjō at the beginning and/or end of each training session. This attitude has become lost in many modern dōjō that are founded, in fact, it is not uncommon that in traditional schools, dōjō are rarely used for training at all, instead being reserved for more symbolic or formal occasions. The actual training is conducted typically outdoors or in a formal area. Many traditional dōjō follow a pattern with shomen and various entrances that are used based on student. Typically students will enter in the corner of the dōjō with instructors in the upper right corner. Shomen typically contains a Shintō shrine with a sculpture, flower arrangement, the term kamiza means place of honor and a related term, kamidana refers to the shrine itself. Other artifacts may be displayed throughout the dōjō, such as kanban that authorize the school in a style or strategy and it is not uncommon to find the name of the dōjō and the dōjō kun displayed prominently at shomen as well. Visitors may have a place reserved, depending on their rank. Weapons and other training gear will normally be found on the back wall, a hombu dōjō is the central training facility and administrative headquarters of a particular martial arts style. The alternative term zendo is more specific, and more widely used, european Sōtō Zen groups affiliated with the International Zen Association prefer to use dōjō instead of zendo to describe their meditation halls as did their founding master, Taisen Deshimaru