"To grasp Zen, you must experience it. ...
You should withdraw inwardly
and search for the ground upon which you stand;
thereby you will find out what Truth is. "- Ummon
Your Hinduism short essay responses are officially past due if I do not
I posted the Buddhism blog entry and that should be taken care of by Wednesday, March 16th.
THERAVADA and MAHAYANA BUDDHISM
We can review anything that has you puzzled or confused from the
time you spent last class period on the two major forms of Buddhism.
Defining terms: Asoka, Mahayana, Theravada (Hinayana), arhat, boddhisattva, Sangha
Ideally, you should making good progress in the Buddhism chapter in Huston Smith's The World's Religions by next Monday.
The pages that contain today's information on Zen Buddhism are 128
through 139. The reading schedule actually has you finishing the
chapter early next week. If you're not there yet, please keep going.
We'll start 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?
Primary Zen Texts is pretty self-explanatory. You will find a number of usefulresources. 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.
HOMEWORK for Buddhism - Day #4
Continue reading in the Buddhism chapter of Huston Smith's The World's Religions.
The Buddhism Blog Entry should be made by the arrival of spring break, March 16th.