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Does Zen Buddhism have canonical texts?

Zen Buddhism is part of East Asian Buddhism in general and accepts the entire Chinese Canon, although they don't find a lot of it to be relavent to their practice. Zen Buddhism has always been based ...
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13 votes
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What's the meaning of the Buddhist boy's message to Neo in the movie The Matrix?

It means that so-called reality is actually our interpretation. When our perspective changes our experienced reality changes. This is why the boy says, don't try to change reality (bend the spoon). ...
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12 votes
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Is Satori the same as Enlightenment?

No, satori is not complete enlightenment, it is an a-ha moment when the practitioner finally realizes "how things are": Seeing his own original nature, he discovers that the ground of this nature ...
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11 votes

Is zazen practised for its own sake, or as a means to end suffering? Experts seem to say different things

Actually, the answer is very simple: meditation is practiced to achieve tathata (suchness), which is a state of realization of the Third Noble Truth. Because tathata involves cessation of aversion to ...
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10 votes
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Does Zen have a concept similar to stream entry?

I'm not sure if it corresponds in every respect with stream entry but in Japanese Zen they generally distinguish Kenshō, the initial seeing of one's nature, from full Buddhahood so I think it is at ...
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10 votes

What is the meaning of the Zen quote: "Before Enlightenment chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment chop wood, carry water"?

I am not sure about the origin of this quote but possibly as it used as a Zen message it may have come from Bodhidharma. I am sure about its meaning however. It relates both to Enlightenment and ...
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9 votes

Does Zen Buddhism have canonical texts?

The Gateless Gate. The Heart Sutra. The Diamond Sutra. The Shōbōgenzō. These are the first ones that come to my mind as a Zen Buddhist. Here is more information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
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9 votes
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Modern vs traditional Zen

Someone else will answer this better than me, but I'll get the ball rolling. Chan is the form of Buddhism that came to dominate Buddhist life in China up to the time of the communist revolution. It ...
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8 votes
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What is the purpose of using a wand to hit a monk in Zen meditation?

Supposedly it is used to help meditator fight drowsiness. It is said that drowsiness comes from stiffness, from meditator trying to artificially restrict their micro-movements and to severely narrow ...
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8 votes
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Why is Zen/Chan thought to be more related to Buddhism than to Taoism?

the relative simplicity of Zen and the baroque belief systems of the other Mahayana traditions Are we talking about style? Yes, the records of the Zen masters resemble the style of the Zhuangzi ...
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8 votes

Philosophical and Doctrinal Differences between Theravada and Zen, and its effects

It's, in a way, like comparing apples and oranges. Theravada means teaching of the elders; all it means is taking the Pali tipitaka and commentaries as more or less orthodox, and denying any teaching ...
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8 votes
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Returning to the marketplace - examples

Does the Theravada canon have such ideas anywhere at all? This is a far-fetched example which barely answer your question but IMO the Buddha himself kind of returned to the market-place: not as a ...
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8 votes
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What is the meaning of the Zen quote: "Before Enlightenment chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment chop wood, carry water"?

Before Enlightenment, you hate your life. You chop wood and carry water, but secretly wish to get out of it all. You bear with these activities through habit and out of hopelessness, but you really ...
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8 votes

What is the Buddhist view in Socratic questioning?

This meta-topic mentioned the Pañha Sutta, which includes, There are these four ways of answering questions. Which four? There are questions that should be answered categorically [straightforwardly ...
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8 votes

Does Shikantaza lead towards attaining Jhana, if not, is there any progression?

Of course you can. Think of the etymology - zen -> chan -> dhyana -> jhana. It's the same word bastardized and modified over the course of four languages. Zen is absorption practice. It's ...
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7 votes

Losing my religion, and shikantaza

Shikantaza means "just sitting" or "single-minded sitting". It is a state of being where you are present here and now, no matter on what you experience, in body or mind. About losing your religion: ...
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7 votes

What is the meaning of the Zen quote: "Before Enlightenment chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment chop wood, carry water"?

"Chop wood and carry water" This was first told to me as a story. Here is an abbreviated version. A young boy became a monk. He dreamed of enlightenment and of learning great things. When he got to ...
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Good is not different from Bad?

From a Theravada perspective, there is absolute good and absolute bad. The 2 can exist mutually exclusively. Suffering is absolutely bad and the mind states that lead to suffering are absolutely bad. ...
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6 votes
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Has Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance got anything to do with Zen?

The main idea is pretty Zen yes. The premise of the book is that Western philosophy made a wrong turn at Aristotle, who placed (conceptual) Truth at the top of the hierarchy of all knowable, thereby ...
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6 votes

So many Buddhist schools!

Buddhism changes as it goes into different cultures and adapts and is influenced by local and preexisting culture. It changed when it went from Indian into China and again into Japan and again into ...
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6 votes
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Which canon and traditions does the Flower Sermon text belong to?

Here is some information about it: The origin of the Zen school is traditionally traced to Mahakassapa, who was said to have received a direct transmission outside the scriptures. This ...
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6 votes
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"Anyone can be enlightened"

Buddhist philosophy, or even philosophy in general makes words difficult to use consistently. The concept of everyone is one of those words. Which makes the answer yes and no to the question: Can ...
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6 votes

Are the movie Fight Club, and Project Mayhem in it, buddhist?

I don't think so. it predicates detachment from material possessions That's not enough to call it Buddhist. Buddhism might be known for what it is, rather than for what it isn't. Maybe Buddhism isn'...
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6 votes

What is the meaning of the Zen quote: "Before Enlightenment chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment chop wood, carry water"?

It means your liabilities are before and after the enlightenment the same ones. You have to live a life, to meet responsibility and to master challenges. You still have to follow the Path. Edit I ...
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6 votes
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Why don't teachers just tell us the answers?

Because the question is supposed to "point directly at your mind" like the finger pointing at the moon. The answer could not do better. In fact, you learn more from trying to solve an apparent ...
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6 votes

What is the difference between right thinking and right view?

Samma Sankappa (right thinking) is the result of right view (Samma Ditthi). If you have the wrong view your thinking will be wrong thinking. (Mittcha Sankappa) Generally, right view is the forerunner ...
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