The establishment of Zen is credited to the monk Bodhidharma (500 C), who came to China
to teach "special transmission outside of Buddhist scriptures which did not rely on words, but direct pointing
into ones own nature”
Zen believes in acquiring wisdom by practical experience rather than by scriptures. Zen Meditation is about building awareness and self observation.
Za Zen or Seated meditation is is without any objects,
chanting or content and is simply an effortless observation of ones mind and stream of thoughts.
Koans or puzzles are used to point to the truth and realize ‘Satori’ or momentary Liberation
or realization. Examples of Koans are
“Does a dog have Buddha nature?”
“Show me your original face before your mother & father were born”
“How do you clap with one hand?”
Sometimes Monks used techniques to shock their students like a Loud shout or even striking with
a light stick, to make the student let go of his traditional habituations and free his mind.
Satori or Awakening was the always the final goal of Zen. Satori can be found in every moment of
life, it is wrapped in all daily activities. Zen has the goal to unwrap them to see Satori.
Zen, as understood today, is a completely non traditional way of Self Realization or awakening. It is today widely practised all over the world since it is practical, non controversial
and downright realistic.