Zen Buddhism

A sect of Buddhism that focuses on sitting meditation and enlightenment through silence.

1,764 Questions
History of China
History of India
Zen Buddhism

Where was Bodhidharma Born?

There are no contemporary Indian records about his life. The only records that do mention him come from China. They are very contradictory in nature as they say he was from Persia or from different areas of India.

Zen Buddhism

What came first Buddhism or the bible?

Buddhism came first, according to the present evidence.


Buddhism predated Christianity by 500 years or so. However Judaism (the cultural antecedent of Christianity) and Hinduism (the cultural origin of Buddhism) both preceded these religions by thousands of years.

The Bible is another matter. It is was put into its present format over the past 1500 years or so. Many Christians do not consider a Bible to be a Bible unless it contains the "New Testament." It is however preceded by the Jewish Torah which is claimed to go back to the initiation of the Jewish faith (at least to the time of Moses)

All this gets a time line in order. The Bible in its present format (Old and New Restament) has been around for less than 1500 years, Buddhism has been around for 2500 years.

Zen Buddhism

Who is Siddhartha Gautama or Buddha the founder of Buddhism?

The Founder of Buddhism was the historical Buddha (which means the Fully Enlightened One), born in Nepal (year 623 B.C.) as Prince Siddhartha of the Sakya Kingdom. The natives of ancient Nepal were the Kirat people (Tamang, Sherpa, Rai, Gurung etc.), better known as the Gurkhas today.

Prince Siddhartha left Nepal (in the Himalayan mountain range) at the age of 29 years old, crossed over to ancient India and eventually gained Enlightenment (Bodhi) at the age of 35 years old, at a place subsequently named as Bodhi Gaya. He became the Buddha.

The key teachings of the Buddha, encapsulated in the Four Noble Truths, are:

1. Living a simple life of love, non-violence and compassion will result in a person getting reborn in heaven, or in good circumstances as a human being. The former is consistent with Christ's Teachings. For the latter, clinical cases of human rebirth have been extensively researched and published by Dr. Ian Stevenson, MD and university Professor.

2. Practising meditation / yoga / Zen together with point 1, will bring about spiritual happiness here and hereafter. This is consistent with Laozi's Teachings.

3. Practising points 1 and 2, together with the initial knowledge of the intrinsic nature of all worldly things (impermanence, insubstantiality and insatisfactoriness) will lead to the end of rebirth, and go beyond heavenly existence. This is termed as Nibbana (Nirvana), which the Buddha has described to us as Highest Happiness, Freedom, Unique and Beyond Space-Time Continuum. Nibbana is not existence nor extinction.

4. The precise method for point 3 is known as the Noble Eight-fold Path.

At the age of 80 years old, the historical Buddha entered into Final Nibbana (Parinibbana). 500 years later (year 57 A.D.), the Buddha appeared in a dream to the Han Emperor Mingdi, which prompted the Emperor to ask his Court the next day about 'a golden man with light shining from his neck'. This account is recorded in China's historical archives. One of the official said he had heard of a holy man in the western region, who had find immortality and whose skin was golden. Subsequently, Han Mingdi sent an expedition to found out more. This marked the spread of Buddha's Teachings from the western region (Himalayas), and also India, into the central plains of ancient China.

2600 years later, Albert Einstein said:

"There is a third stage of religious experience…the individual feels the futility of human desires…beginnings of cosmic religious feeling already appear at an early stage of development, e.g., in many of the Psalms of David and in some of the Prophets. Buddhism…contains a much stronger element of this."

Robert Oppenheimer said:

"If we ask, for instance, whether the position of the electron remains the same, we must say 'no'. If we ask whether the electron's position changes with time, we must say 'no'. If we ask whether it is in motion, we must say 'no'. The Buddha has also given such answers when asked (about Parinibbana)."

Niels Bohr said:

"For a parallel to the lesson of atomic theory...(we must turn) to those kinds of epistemological problems with which already thinkers like the Buddha and Laozi have been confronted, when trying to harmonize our position as spectators and actors in the great drama of existence."

Buddhism's OriginThe founder of Buddhism, Siddhartha Gautama was born in Kapilvastu city in what is now Nepal, exactly 2,553 years ago. The remains of his palace can still be found in Kapilvastu, Lumbini, in Nepal. According to tradition, he was born under a tree which lies between his mother's home and his father's home. Some people believe that the tree is still alive in Kapilvastu and worshiped by pilgrims.

Siddhartha was a prince, but after learning of the suffering beyond the palace walls he became dissatisfied with his luxurious life. He renounced materialistic richness and practiced a number of ascetic spiritual disciplines, the deprivations of which, tradition has it, nearly killed him. Eventually he realized that a moderate "middle way" to spirituality was more logical, and discovered the process of inward meditation. By practicing this, he became "enlightened," meaning that he was able to discern reality, as opposed to the confusion that confounds most people's thoughts. The word Buddha simply means "enlightened one."

Buddhists consider the primary Buddhist teachings, the "Dharma" to be eternal, and that they were only discovered by Gautama Buddha. In that sense, Buddhism did not originate anywhere. However, Siddhartha's insight and his teaching is, for practical purposes, the beginning of Buddhism. The traditional location where Siddhartha became enlightened is near a place known as Bodhgaya, and is a sacred place for Buddhists.

The Buddha (traditionally capitalized, as opposed to many other lowercase Buddhas) taught for forty to fifty years in the area of Northern India and Nepal. His students spread these teaching farther, transmitting them directly to their followers. Buddhist teachings today are based on the Buddha's Four Noble Truths and his expositions on those subjects, passed down by oral tradition as were the core teachings of most other beliefs. Some centuries after Siddhartha's death they were committed to writing in the Pali language, and later to Sanskrit.

Okay, this person's answer was very, very detailed, which is a plus. But as a Buddhist, I think I can provide a more personalized answer.

He was a man who found enlightenment by metatating for days. He found the middle way. We believe that if you give up all wants and desired, we can be like Siddhartha, the Buddha, the enlightened one, and find nirvana.

Zen Buddhism

How many Buddhists are there in the world?

The common estimate is between 300 million and 500 million.

Zen Buddhism

When and where was Buddhism founded?

Buddhism was founded in approximately 460 B.C. It was founded by a prince named Siddhartha Gautama who was born in Kapilavastu in 480 B.C. He was isolated in luxury and kept ignorant by his father of pain and suffering. Against his father's wishes, Siddhartha left his kingdom and searched for the 4 Noble Truths about suffering in 460 BC.

He then sat and fasted under a sacred fig tree, called the Bodhi tree (the tree of awakening) for 49 days. Finally, he understood life and suffering and he became known as the Buddha or "the enlightened one." He began to teach others. The related link below shows the timeline of Buddhism.

Zen Buddhism
Shirley Temple

What is the Name an eastern temple?


Comparative Religions and Denominations
Zen Buddhism

What are different between Japanese Buddhism and Chinese Buddhism?

There are many differences between China's language and culture and Japan's language and culture. So it is hardly surprising that Buddhist practices in the two cultures are slightly different. Zen Buddhism originated in China when Buddhist practices from India were blended with Daoist practices. Eventually difference schools of Zen Buddhism emerged in China and then found their way to Korea and Japan. It's not that the practices themselves are very different, but they are practiced slightly differently in China than they are in Japan. For example, practicing zazen in China is less rigid and formal than it is in Japan.

On the other hand, these differences are relatively minor. At first, monks from Japan traveled to China to learn from Chinese masters and then returned to Japan with what they had learned. So anyone familiar with doing zazen in Japan could quickly adopt to doing zazen in China and vice-versa. With respect to beliefs, there are no differences. Since there is no Buddhist creed, there are no doctrinal differences between Japanese Buddhism and Chinese Buddhism. There are, of course, slightly different ideas about practicing, but, as noted, there are even different schools of Buddhism in China. Most of the differences beyond that are very minor.


Philosophy and Philosophers
Famous Quotations
Zen Buddhism

What is the sound of one hand clapping?

"What is the sound of one hand clapping?" is a traditional zen koan -- a question posed by a Zen master to a student.

It is meant to be pondered from within the routine of daily life until the answer opens the true heart of the question. All koans must be answered from within the realm of one's own personal experience, and thus be encountered in the journey of living rather than in the rationalizations of logical thought.

Accordingly, each koan has many answers, answers that will vary both in words and in the stirring of one's mind and emotions.

Even the wisest Zen teacher cannot tell you your own answer. You must find it for yourself, and not in your mind, and not in the comfort of a rational response. Once experienced, the answer is often a life changing experience, and needs no confirmation from anyone else.

Here are responses to the question from a variety of WikiAnswer users:

  • What is the sound of one hand clapping? To know, you must experience those aspects of your own life that create this very soundless sound (emotion) within your own being. People who have truly lived with a koan for an extended period of time come to experience the answer. In my own travels down this path with this particular question, there eventually came to be a certain opening of awareness, and a manifestation of the heart of compassion became tangible within. In my experience, the sound of one hand clapping is the emotion of loneliness deeply felt in an increasingly self centered pursuit of enlightenment Experiencing this "answer" turned me away from relative isolation and the self-centered desire to "know," and towards the world and the practice of metta.
  • The simpler answer- It depends on what the hand is clapping against! The yin and yang of it. The Gestalt. The figure and the ground. The container and the contents.
  • What is the sound of one hand clapping in your own life?
  • The sound of one hand clapping is silence. The silence refers to the essence of being which is nothingness.
  • What is the sound of one hand clapping? Who are you when your thinking is silenced? .
  • Our true nature is stillness. That stillness is the same everywhere in everything. But like he up there... concepts won't teach you anything.
  • The sound of one hand clapping is a tiny sound that can be barley heard by humans.
  • the hand is the human heart and the clapping is emotions the other hand represents the one that makes us whole thus the clapping of both hands is the power of two people's emotions and the hands touching each other is the connection between the two people
  • The sound of one hand clapping is a conversation with someone that never connects with them so you try again and again before realizing you are only talking to yourself - they don't get it. If you never realize that, you are just insane by definition and you will continue to be the one hand that connects with nothingness.
  • Using a sound recording device, clap with one hand. Play back the result
Zen Buddhism

How did Buddhism spread?

The word comes from 'budhi', 'to awaken'. It has its origins about 2,500 years ago when Siddhata Gotama, known as the Buddha, was himself awakened (enlightened) at the age of 35. *Buddhism was founded by Goutama Buddha in the 5th Century BC in the eastern part of India.

Books and Literature
Zen Buddhism

What is the Buddhist's holy book?

The sacred book of Buddhism is called the Tipitaka. It is written in an ancient Indian language called Pali which is very close to the language that the Buddha himself spoke. The Tipitaka is a very large book. The English translation of it takes up nearly forty volumes.

AnswerThe book that has all the Buddhist teachings is called the "Thripitaka".

Apart from this, there's another book called "Dhammapada" that contains verses on directions to lead a good life.

Zen Buddhism

How did Buddhism originate?

Lord buddha found buddhism.That's the starting point of buddhism.

Siddharta Gautama, to be known as Buddha after his enlightenment, was unsatisfied with his luxurious life as a prince. Over four separate days, on a journey out with his charioteer, Channa, he experienced four sights: an old man, a sick man, a funeral procession and a Saddhu (Indian holy man). He went off to try and find an answer to man's suffering. After many wanderings, he sat down underneath a Bodhi tree, and started to meditate. He meditated for a long time, overcoming many temptations, until finally he reached Nirvana, the state of eternal bliss.

Buddha experienced enlightenment and set out to teach others to follow the middle path.

Zen Buddhism

Why were the Zen Gardens in Japan constructed?

Zen gardens are an aid to meditation. they accomplish this by providing enough stimulation for the senses to keep them focused without wandering, while avoiding the clutter of fine detail that is distracting.

Meditation is a valued tool for achieving insight in Zen Buddhism.

Zen Buddhism

What is zazen?

Sitting meditation. The principal practice of Zen Buddhism.

The typical sitting mode involves a small round cushion (zafu) and a square mat (zabuton). You place the cushion on the mat and sit on the cushion with your legs crossed--lotus position if you can, or some variant if you can't.

There's a prescribed posture (very straight, but not rigid), hand position, and direction of gaze.

You sit very, very still for a prescribed sitting period (such as 40 minutes), focusing on your breathing and not on your thoughts.

Zen Buddhism

What is fullform of zen in maruti zen car?

zero engine noise

Zen Buddhism

Does all Zen Buddhism reject all human anger?

Actually, the idea is to totally accept and own your anger. Later, without trying to do so and just through deeper realization/understanding, anger will disappear. How you act in the world would be different - but it is not because you are rejecting anger or fighting against it.

"The Way is perfect, like vast space where nothing is lacking and nothing is in excess. Indeed, it is due to our choosing to accept or reject that we do not see the true nature of things." ~Seng Ts'an, the Third Chinese Patriarch of Zen

Zen Buddhism

Are there Buddhist groups in State College PA?

yes, There are many in different forms,

There is a Soto Zen Sangha 10 miles outside of State College: O-An Zendo:

Dhamma Drum Chan Association,

Science of spirituality,

soka gakkai

also you can meet people with like interests at east west crossings in lemont

Zen Buddhism

What element is responsible for life?


Zen Buddhism

Where was Buddhism founded?

Northeast India

Manners and Etiquette
Zen Buddhism

Example of cause and effect relationship?

A cause and effect relationship simply mean that the effect or outcome happend due to the cause. "I told my boyfriend i thought he was mean, therefore he broke up with me"

because i told my boyfriend he was mean,he broke up with me

cause- I sadi he was mean

effect-he broke up with me

Zen Buddhism

What are the chief features of Buddhism?

Buddhism is best thought of as a set of practices designed to reduce suffering (dissatisfaction, troubles) rather than as a religion. There is no creed in Buddhism that practitioners have to accept. Furthermore, since there is no God or God-concept in Buddhism, there's nothing necessarily supernatural about it either.

The concept of Buddhism is only about 2 or 3 centuries old; it was due to western explorers and missionaries. People who simply thought of themselves as following the Way were all categorized as being of the same kind, which has resulted in many misunderstandings.

Buddhists are practitioners--not believers. The practices that the Buddha recommended that his followers test for themselves were designed to replace the prevalent common poisons of greed, hostility, and delusion that cause suffering with extraordinary practices (such as meditation) promoting clarity, insight, and present-moment awareness that cause abiding peace and ease.


Teen Dating
Social Network Websites
Zen Buddhism

What does Zen-like mean?


An act that is "zen like" is an act done without separation.

For example, if you are washing the dishes while thinking about what you are going to do when you finish washing the dishes, your actions are separated from your thoughts.

On the other hand, if you are one with washing the dishes, if your attention is wholly focused on what you are doing, you act is "zen like" because it is performed without separation. Distinguish physical pain from psychological suffering.

Since all suffering comes from separation, the ideal way to act in Zen is to do one act at a time with complete concentration. That is a simple idea, but it's not easy to do.

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Cheat Codes
Zen Buddhism

What is the philosophy of Buddhism?

In brief, the Buddha taught that our lives are filled with "dukkha" (sometimes expressed as "suffering," but inaccurately) that springs from being ultimately unable to attain the things we long for. Life happens, illness and death happen, deprivations happen, we often do not get our way, and things do not happen to our satisfaction. Our realization of these things, consciously or unconsciously, is the cause of dukkha.

Buddhism provides the thought tools to move beyond the narrow way of life defined -- essentially -- by things we cannot attain. It teaches us to think clearly rather than allowing our head monsters to drag us around by our thoughts. Once we realize the reality of life as dukkha, we are able to move beyond these limiting ways of thinking and live serene lives.

This is the first thing that the Buddha taught upon attaining enlightenment and is the basic philosophy of Buddhism. It is known as the four noble truths.

1. Life is suffering

2. Attachment is the cause of suffering

3. Suffering can be eliminated

4. The eightfold path is the way to end suffering For more information see the Four Noble Truths on the left for a very in-depth exploration of this teaching. Click on the link to your left for the answer.

Do your best to be kind and considerate of all living things

The Four Noble Truths

1. The Reality of Suffering--dukkha

Suffering exists in the world and in people's lives.

2. The Cause of Suffering --samudaya

The principle cause of suffering is the attachment to "desire" or "craving", tanha. Both desire to have (wanting) and desire not to have (aversion).

ï‚· desire for sense-pleasures--kama-tanha,

ï‚· desire to become--bhava-tanha,

ï‚· desire to get rid of--vibhava-tanha.

3. Suffering can end, Nirvana is peace --nirodha

The end of suffering is non-attachment, or letting go of desire or craving. This is the state of Nibbana (Nirvana), where greed, hatred, and delusion are extinct.

4. The Path to the Cessation of Suffering--magga

The Eight-Fold Path:


ï‚· Right Understanding/Knowledge--samma ditthi

ï‚· Right Thought/Thinking--samma sankappa


ï‚· Right Speech--samma vaca

ï‚· Right Action/Conduct--samma kammanta

ï‚· Right Livelihood--samma ajiva


ï‚· Right Effort--samma vayama

ï‚· Right Mindfulness--samma sati

ï‚· Right Concentration--samma samadhi

~ Eric Putkonen Buddha help his people in many ways, but the most important is people must help themselves In Buddhist scripture (Digha-Nikaya, iii. 3), we learn that the purpose of the Buddha teaching Dhamma (the law or principle) is to lead whoever practices it to the total dissolution of suffering. The dissolution of suffering, it needs to be kept in mind, is not some blanked out state. It is supreme bliss and immortality. One of the main goals of Buddhism is to see the world for what it is, and to achieve Nirvana.

Zen Buddhism

Where has Buddhism spread to?

Buddhism can be found in every part of the world. There are many online forums and web sites where you can locate people in your area. It originated in India. It later spread to China and other countries. Here is my idea.

So far researcher believe that long ago Buddhism had spread southwards from its place of origin in north India to Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand, Indo-China, and other South East Asian countries. Buddhism also moved northwards into the Himalayan kingdoms, (Sikkim, Bhutan, and Nepal), Tibet, Mongolia, and other different parts of Central Asia and also into Korea, China, and Japan. The Asian countries which have Buddhism as their main religion are: * Mongolia * Japan * South Korea * Tibet * Bhutan * Sri Lanka * Myanmar * Thailand * Cambodia

Zen Buddhism
The Difference Between

Since Buddhism is a philosophy can a Muslim study Buddhism?

Answer from a Muslim.Dear my beloved brothers & sisters,

Strictly a Muslim cannot practice Buddhisme. But a Muslim can study Buddhisme only for general knowledge. Islam promote its followers to learn & get knowledge as much as possible because Islam is a religion to those who are thinking.

Muslim need to fully understand their religion in order to make them a better Muslim. All of the knowledge of other religion are an extra knowledge will only strengthen Muslim belive toward Islam if they are really study it & understand what was revealed by God Almighty (ALLAH S.W.T).

There is no 'strict Muslim' or 'not extremly strict Muslim' in Islam. As a Muslim, we have to hold tight the faith declaration that we have done. which is 'There is no God except ALLAH & Muhammad (peace be upon to him) is the messenger of Allah'. Which means a Muslim cannot against what God was revealed & Prophet's (P.B.U.h) teaching.

The meaning of Muslim linguistically mean "a man who bow or obey to God's will". Any Muslim who break the faith basic requirement will autmatically not longger being a Muslim and called a 'Murtad' which means out of Islam.

Any Muslim who introduce teaching that contradict God's Words are really in a great misleading.

Islam is a perfect religion & way of life. It will not outdated & suitable in any place, anytime even in the past, present & future.

Islam is the reasonable religion with practical teaching in any condition & any life aspect with great detail & also understandable. I.e economically, socially, educationally, technologically, marriage, charity, law, hygenically, dietry, philosophy & so on (present life & after life knowledge). Therefore all Muslim already have a perfect guidance (Al-Quran & Prophet tradition) to face anything peacefully. We don't even need other religion dogma or teaching to make us the best human being. But what a Muslim have to do is fully understand our true religion teaching & practicing it.

Honestly I'm also studying Buddhisme & always make discussion with my Buddhist best friend for general knowledge & dialouge. And finally as a Muslim,

we respect all religions & in Islam there is no compulsion in religion. My answer over here is not to insult anyone, but for clarification only. Thanks..

AnswerYES ! ( My Belief is) Since BUDDHISM is a PHILOSOPHY A MUSLIM can Study BUDDHISM...

It depends on how you interpret it. Buddhism is sometimes called "the faith of no faith," because there are no gods in Buddhism, but if you believe in Islam and study Buddhism, then you can make your own combination. Just go with whatever you want to believe.

It depends upon how strict a Muslim you are. If you are not extremely strict then yes, a Muslim and anyone else can look at Buddhism as a philosophy. But, if you are strict, then no, a Muslim must only follow their own philosophies and the ideas of their religion.

AnswerSince Buddhism is a Philosophy and not a Religion, then you can study Buddhism. It will definitely make you a better Muslim. Buddhism is all about ending sufferings. Sufferings afflicts both Theists and none Theist. In fact there are Christian-Buddhist, Jewish-Buddhist, Islam-Buddhist, etc...


Anyone can study Buddhism. The practices of meditation help many people of all races, religions, and cultures. You need not be a Buddhist to practice the beliefs of Buddhism. The main thing we care about is the relief of suffering for all beings, and I have no doubt that any religion would agree with that. No matter who you are, you can follow the Dharma. When it comes to just studying it, that is kind of silly. Can a Buddhist study the Muslim religion? Of course! Can a Christian? why not? study to your heart's content and if you decide you want to practice it, give it a try or so, then try meditating and I would suggest reading The Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh. This book gives you good methods of meditation. For those with troubled pasts like me, read Noah Levine's book Dharma Punk or Against the Stream. The first is a biography that will keep you on the tip of your toes till the last page and the second is a very clear cut explanation of Buddhist beliefs, written in Levine's attention grabbing style. If you want more of a long read with better explanation and detail get The Buddhist Bible.Though we have no bible this is just a great book with information from many different Pali sources. And last but not least, Noah Levine's website has many audio downloads if you do not wish to read. For more go to Buddhistebooks.com and there are many other sources where you can even have actual free books shipped to you, or locate a retreat or local Budddhist Temple or Meditation Hall. namaste!


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