Zen Buddhisim and Japan Essay

Zen Buddhisim and Japan Essay

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                Zen Buddhism and Japan



     Japan and the development of Zen Buddhism went hand in hand towards the beginning of the sixth century. Buddhism was in full bloom in India and the Chinese were adapting it to there Lifestyle when several Japanese clans began picking it up. Zen Buddhism
     Zen Buddhism is a combination of Indian and Chinese thought process revolving around the world as it is and the discipline of finding enlightenment. The idea of enlightenment or Satori as the Japanese called it was the central point of Buddhism The Chinese had several ways of looking at the things that were contradicted by Indian lifestyles and thus you have the creation of Zen Buddhism. The Chinese weren’t as philosophically minded as their Indian counterparts, rather looking at things in a very practical way. The Chinese were always devoted to world affairs, but always kept touch of reality. The Chinese weren’t looking for God, or answers from a higher source, looking within for the answers. This is one way the Zen Buddhism was greatly different from most other religions was its emphasis on asking questions and seeking answers thought the use of meditation. The monks that followed Zen Buddhists weren’t asked to recite group prayer or any other deeds of piety, but rather just ask questions and seek answers. The basis of Zen Buddhism also puts an unprecedented emphasis on community. A monk of any level, or the master of of a Monastery all have the same role in community and work together on all levels. No matter how mundane the work might be, the group emphasis rules above all thus creating every man equal. Zen teachings believe in handling a thing rather than an abstraction and this is an example of this. Rather than asking a god figure, or waiting for god’s intervention, Buddhist monks believe in asking the question to themselves or to a higher monk where they can get a grounded answer, although it was usually cryptic.
     These cryptic answers however relate to one way one achieves enlightenment, through the use of Zen verbalism. This verbalism is very characteristic of the Chinese way, as the answer is always grounded in something very real. Most Zen teachings that are written down are reflective of thi...


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...d that they will find enlightenment through their determination to die. If left alive these warriors will feel as though they have failed, and are cowardly, thus they fight with an urgency unlike most others. Their desire to obtain complete master of Bushido is unfortunately only obtainable by their demise. This method of training and preparing soldiers is unlike most other and is highly effective in creating the perfect soldier, one that fights with an awareness like none other, and another who trains with the sole purpose of ending up in a fatal situation.
     Zen Buddhism has had a tremendous impact on Japan and China, influencing the way everything is today. Today Zen is a commonly used term and is widespread about the world. Many Zen centers have been set up, and a greater focus on meditation is quite popular. The Zen boom is just that though, to many people cannot commit themselves to fully dedicating themselves to its teachings and apply it, but if Japan is any measure its success is very positive. Japan has firmly set itself up as a premier country, with a deep history and a very rich culture of which are developed with the help of Zen Buddhism.

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