Bill, Anthony and All,
One can tap many sources on the Internet for a definition of 'zen', and
derive little understanding as to what zen is really about.
For an insight into zen, one may better seek answers to a series of
questions such as:
o What, if any, is the worldview of zen?
o What are the most common motivations and expectations that direct
individuals toward zen practice?
o Is it the case that zazen and other zen practices, over a long
period of time, under the guidance of an accredited Zen master, can
alter the neurophysiology of the brain, resulting in the experience of
'enlightenment' or equivalently, the realization of one's 'Buddha
0 Is the enlightenment process something other than what is suggested
o Can a person ever cultivate enlightenment in the frantic ambiance of
the world of today?
o What are the recommended lifestyles, foci, practices, behaviors,
attitudes, etc. recommended for the pacification of one's mind and the
realization of Buddha nature?
o Is it the case that pacification of the discursive (see below) mind
is essential to the realization of Buddha nature, and is also one of the
hallmarks of such a realization?
o What would the usual feeling state of an enlightened person tend to
o How does enlightenment influence moral and altruistic behavior?
o What are the benefits to self and others of the realization of
o In order to attain and maintain his/her enlightened state requires
focus, time and effort. This being the case, is the pursuit of the
enlightened state and its maintenace compatible with productivity and
creativity in the modern world?
o Could an enlightened person even function satisfactorily in the
world of today?
o (Please suggest other questions that might further an understanding
o discursive: dianoetic + digressive
o dianoetic: proceeding to a conclusion by reason or argument
o digressive: rambling thought or speech; tending to depart from the
main point; not relevant, focused or precise
--- In Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com, <billsm...@...> wrote:
Zen is definable. All terms (names) are definable. Whether any
particular definition accurately communicates what's intended and is
useful is another question entirely.
Merriam-Webster Online defines zen as ": a Japanese sect of Mahayana
Buddhism that aims at enlightenment by direct intuition through
That is a good definition of Zen Buddhism, but it is not the way I would
define the zen I practice.
Is 'zen' definable at all?
If so, what is a defininition of 'zen'.