What is Zen?
Many people are confused because they are unaware that the term 'Zen' has a few meanings. Basically, the word 'Zen' means meditation. Sometimes it may refer to a transcendental glimpse of cosmic reality, or even the transcendental reality itself. Often Zen is used as a short form for Zen Buddhism. The following examples illustrate the use of 'Zen' in these four meanings:
1. I sat cross-legged on a hard pillow, closed my eyes gently and practised Zen.
2. My teacher came in and hit my head to test if I had a Zen experience.
3. I was shocked when he said he did not hit me, but years later I realized my kind teacher was trying to make me aware that there was no hitting, and no nothing, in Zen.
4. Lacking a deep understanding, many people may think Zen masters are mad.
Zen Buddhist websites, news, and discussion
Saturday, August 06, 2005
Another approach to the question "what is Zen" from this interesting Zen/Kungfu site: