Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

To begin, "Zen" originally derives from a Sanskrit word, "dhyana," and denotes deep meditation. Buddhism is a practice or path to the ultimate state of enlightenment.

Zen Buddhism was brought from India to China in the sixth century; from there, it spread to Korea and Japan. It eventually made its way to the West.

The practice seeks to remove logical and rational constructs from thinking and adherence to religious dogma to enable practitioners to become aware of their own inner Buddha nature. To practice Zen Buddhism is to let go of thoughts and yet to be aware; this is the essence of the meditative practice.

An aim of Zen Buddhist practice is to become aware of what is and shed one's perceptions (thinking and feeling) about what is.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Zen Buddhism is a branch of the Buddhist religion that first developed during the seventh century in China. It quickly spread to southeast Asia, Korea, and Japan, where it developed distinct regional practices.

Zen Buddhism focuses on reaching enlightenment through focus, self-discipline, and daily practices. Zen Buddhism places focus on self-reliance and obtaining enlightenment with meditative practices. To reach enlightenment, Zen Buddhists meditate for hours every day and strive to live an exemplary moral life. Zen Buddhism is a departure from most other forms of Buddhism in that its adherents believe that enlightenment can be achieved in this life. To do so requires extreme levels of introspection and self-awakening that few actually achieve.

Zen Buddhism differs from many other religions in that it does not include any particular dogma or mythological structure. Instead, it is about self-discipline, self-awareness, and the practice of Zen meditation.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial