What is Zen?



"Zen" means meditation in Japanese.
"Buddha" means "Awakened one" or "Enlightened One" in Sanskrit and Pali.
Buddhism is the way to awakening or enlightenment.
Zen Buddhism is a way to awakening or enlightenment that is centered in the practice of meditation.
Here, if you are new to Zen, your mind is already asking What is awakening or enlightenment? It will not be until you have traveled the path of Zen practice that you will begin to realize why this question is about an experience that is beyond all answering. Even the label "experience" does more to hide than reveal.
Other Answers
  • A sect of Buddhist philosophy popular in north America and Japan.
  • Zen is the practice of forgetting the individual self. In forgetting the individual self, you are free, and become enlightened.
  • More zen precise answer: zen is zen is zen is zen is ...
  • Zen means the real you in the right now. Do your duty without attachment and without reservation or obsession.
  • The absurd practice of trying to become who you already are.