Zen is very simple to practice, yet very difficult to understand.
Efforts and perseverance are required like in life. By simply sitting, without
looking for any goal or any personal benefit, if your posture, your breathing and your state of mind are in harmony, you will understand the true Zen, you will understand the buddha's nature." [ Master Taisen Deshimaru ]
What is Zen?
Zen is an ancient Buddhist tradition in which Zazen is the essential
Zen is not an intellectual theory or a knowledge which the thinking mind
can understand. Zen is a practice, a personal and objective experience
complementing each other. Zen doesn't make a difference between these
two aspects, nor between body and mind, conscious and unconscious etc.
Zen is about the totality of your being.
The effects of Zen practice:
By practicing Zen one will develop concentration, creativity, intuition,
astuteness, balance & control of one self etc. Your physical and mental
energy will grow, giving you the strength and courage to confront life
as it is.
But there is more. Deep within yourself youÂ´ll discover that your
individuality merges with truth and follows the cosmic order without you
Â´doingÂ´ something or using your willpower. Worry, fear and restlessness
will make place for happiness and a deep trust in the eternal essence of
A brief history of Zen
Zen began in 600 BC with Shakyamuni Buddha in India. Sitting in Zazen he
realized awakening, an experience which since then has been transmitted
from master to disciple. This unbroken line of masters is the genetic
tree of Zen.
In 500 AC, after Zen had deeply rooted in the Indian culture, the monk
Bodhidharma took it to China where it flourished under the name Chan. In
the 13th century, a Japanese monk called Dogen traveled to China and,
on his return, introduced Zen in Japan where it has had a huge influence
on Japanese culture ever since. Master Dogen, the founder of Soto-Zen in
Japan, is now considered one of the greatest philosophers of Buddhism in
Master Kodo Sawaki (1880-1965) brought a new impulse to the practice of
Zen by making it available for laymen and -women. After he died, Kodo
SawakiÂ´s close disciple Taisen Deshimaru (1914-1982) came to Europe to
transmit Zen to the West, thus becoming the Bodhidharma of our times.