Ideally, you should be completing the Buddhism chapter in Huston Smith's The World's Religions.
The pages that contain today's information on Zen Buddhism are 128
We ended yesterday with showing you the Buddhism excerpt from Huston Smith's Wisdom of Faith series... It shares his personal experience with Zen Buddhism. I think it is a good starting point.
Basics of Zen Buddhism:
Defining terms: Zen, ch'an, "Flower Sermon", Bodhidharma, zazen, koan, kensho, sanzen, satori
* zazen- "seated meditation"
* koan- problems or questions designed to agitate the mind
* sanzen- interplay between master and student
* kensho- "True Thusness"- bursts of enlightenment
* satori- enlightenment, unity of all existence
Frequently Asked Questions from alt.zen is a nice, basic introduction to Zen. Several basic questions are asked and answered.
ZenGuide claims to be the "Ultimate On-Line Resource" on Zen Buddhism. You can browse their resources and judge for yourself...
Since Zen stresses EXPERIENCE as the only path to knowledge, today's lesson will minimize lecture and maximize experience. It is your job to give things a try and participate.
Daily Zen: You can get a daily Zen quote here. You can also access previous examples and even send someone a Zen greeting card... DO THIS: Send someone not in this class a "Zencard."
The Ten Oxherding Pictures is a classic collection of Zen art. DO THIS: View the collection of the ten pictures. See if you can figure out what the artist is trying to convey by reading the verses and studying the pictures. Who is the boy representing? What is the ox symbolizing?
DO THIS: Attempt to replicate the basics of Zen mediation by trying "How to Sit Zazen." It might help to try this with a partner or two who can take turns reading the instructions. DO THIS: An early Zen exercise it to simply count ten breath cycles. The trick is that you must return to 1 if any other thought enters your mind during that time. (Don't cheat. It takes most monks months to perfect this.) Try it a couple times.
The Gateless Gate is a collection of more than 30 koan. DO THIS: Browse through the collection reading at least a half dozen examples. Read and consider the commentaries provided. DO THIS: Try writing a koan of your own. Share it with the class.
Next, I've got a handful of articles looking at Buddhism in a number of countries around the world. We'll have you look at one of them and share some impressions.
Finally, we can do the Buddhism review, and you are welcome to use the remaining time to complete a blog entry or begin work on your Buddhism short essays.
HOMEWORK for tomorrow - Wednesday, November 28th
Your Hinduism short essay responses and your "Measuring It - Pew Research" Independent Assignment #2 are both now technically past due if I do not
The Buddhism multiple choice quiz will take place tomorrow. (You are again welcome to bring in up to 150 words in notes.)
The Buddhism Short Essay questions are posted, and they will be due on Monday, December 3rd.