The word Zen means emptiness or fullness. Zen is a path of meditation. Meditation is the quickest path to Enlightenment. Zen was an attempt to get back to the purest teachings of the Buddha. Bodhidharma, who brought Zen from India to the Orient, taught a very pure Zen.
Zen is the study of the mind in all of its manifestations. According to Zen Buddhist cosmology, there are ten thousand different states of mind. Each of the ten thousand states of mind presents you with a different view. Most persons spend their lives in relatively low states of mind. In these states of mind, their view of themselves and the world is limited.
Through the study of Zen, you can learn to move from lower to higher states of mind. Higher states of mind offer you a much more accurate picture or view of reality.
A koan is a multi-level structural device used in Zen to help a person expand their awareness. Probably the most famous Zen koan in the West is: ‘What is the sound of one hand clapping?’
The emphasis in Zen is on developing your body, mind, and spirit to find inner peace, strength, clarity, and enlightenment. A practitioner of Zen engages in zazen meditation, mindfulness, and other forms of introspection to balance the spirit, develop willpower, increase happiness and gain wisdom.
Rama – Dr. Frederick Lenz Buddhist Teacher
Rama created an 18 talk series on Zen available for free download from this site.