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History and dogmas of Zen (Chan)

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Zen (Chan) : History and dogmas

Chan (japanese: Zen) is a major school of Chinese Buddhism.

Chan is traditionally held to be a Chinese adaptation of Indian Dhyana mediation practices, and is also influenced by indigenous Chinese Taoism. According to traditional accounts, the school was founded by an Indian monk, Bodhidharma, who arrived in China in about 440 CE and taught at Shaolin Monastery. Bodhidharma was ostensibly the twenty-eighth patriarch in a lineage that extended all the way back to Shakyamuni Buddha.

Bodhidharma is recorded as having come to China to teach a "separate transmission outside of the texts" which "did not rely upon textuality." His insight was then transmitted through a series of Chinese patriarchs, the most famous of whom was the possibly invented Sixth Patriarch, Hui Neng. A modern revisionist theory, however, suggests that Chan began to develop gradually in different regions of China as a grass-roots movement. According this view, Chan was a reaction to a perceived imbalance in Chinese Buddhism toward the blind pursuit of textual scholarship with a concomitant neglect of the original essence of Buddhist practice: meditation and the cultivation of right view.

After the time of Hui Neng (circa 700 CE), Chan began to branch off into numerous different schools, each with their own special emphasis, but all of which kept the same basic focus on meditational practice, personal instruction and grounded personal experience. During the late Tang and the Song periods, the tradition truly flowered, as a wide number of eminent teachers, such as Mazu, Baizhang, Yunmen and Linji developed specialized teaching methods, which would become characteristic of each of the "five houses" of mature Chinese Chan. Later on, the teaching styles and words of these classical masters were recorded in such important Chan texts as the Biyan Lu; (Blue Cliff Record) and the Wumenguan; (Gateless Passage) which would be studied by later generations of students down to the present.

Later, Korean monks studying in China learned of Zen and spreaded it as far as to Japan around the seventh century. The following Zen traditions still exist in Japan: Rinzai, Soto, and Obaku. Originally formulated by the eponymous Chinese master Linji (Rinzai in Japanese), the Rinzai school was introduced to Japan in 1191 by Eisai. Dogen, who studied under Eisai, would later carry the Caodong, or "Soto" Zen school to Japan from China.


Zen (Chan) : Art & Paintings

Autoportrait d'Hakuin (1685-1768), qui introduisa la méditation des koans au Japon.
Zen calligraphy
Art Zen, la spontanéité détendue du Zen a conduit a une écriture non conventionnelle. Peinture japonaise du XVIIe siecle.
Zen calligraphie
Art Zen, Calligraphie fluide de Matsuo Basho, le plus grand des poetes de Haiku, avec une peinture d'un de ses eleves.
Zen calligraphie
Art Zen, Calligraphie fluide de Matsuo Basho.
Bodhidarma, le premier patriarche Tch'an.
Eisai, fondateur de l'école Rinzai Zen
Honen, fondateur de l'école de la Terre Pure
Zen Chan
Zen (Chan)
Zen Chan
Zen (Chan)
Zen Chan
Zen (Chan)
Zen Chan
Peinture de Tetsuo Kiichi Nagaya roshi
Zen Chan
Peinture de Tetsuo Kiichi Nagaya Roshi
Zen Chan
Peinture de Tetsuo Kiichi Nagaya roshi
Shi Ke (Xe siecle), Zen Master
Shi Ke (Xe siecle), Zen Master
Zen Master
Fa Chang (13ieme siecle), Zen Master

Zen (Chan) : Links

Buddhism / Mahayana, Bassui Zenji, Bodhidharma, Chen-houei du Ho-tso, Eihei Dogen, Genpo Sensei, Gizan, Gudo Roshi Nishijima, Hakuin, Huang Po, Hui Neng, Huiyan, Lin-tsi , Roshi Suzuki, Roshi Yamada, Szu-hsin Wu-hsin, Taisen Deshimaru, The Seng-ts’an, The Shobo Genzo, The Zenrin Kushu, Ts’ao-shan Pen-chi, Tsong-mi, Wang Wei, Wou-men, Yoka Daishi, Yung-chia Ta-shih, etc.

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External Links
On line Books : Manual of Zen Buddhism by Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki
Bibliographies : Bibliographies of Zen (Chan)
Study : Study: Zen and Taoism: Common and Uncommon Grounds of Discourse