“…“Zen” simply means “meditation.” The word derives from “dhyana” in Hindi, which became “Chan” in Chinese, and “Zen” in Japanese. Zen is a form of Buddhist meditation – there is nothing to believe in, and nothing special to do or be – no special robes, no shaved heads (unless that’s what you happen to want), no special anything. We simply … learn to pay attention to what is going on. …”
This simple “summary” about Zen is excerpted from Mountain Cloud Zen Center that offers teachings in the Sanbo Zen tradition …
And, Mountain Cloud’s About Zen page says: “… Zen is a practice of meditation and action designed to free us to live compassionate, healthy and energized lives. …”
So, Zen, in essence, is meditation, which is accessible to everyone – no religion or philosophical adherence required … and of course, the benefits of meditation are now well known …
Here’s what Mountain Cloud Zen Center has to say about the benefits of meditation: “… The practice of meditation can bring many benefits: greater attention and awareness, the settling down of our emotional life, a growing sense of goodwill and kindness, and a desire to be of help in this world. The latest brain-imaging technology is showing what meditators have sensed for millennia – that the brain circuitry associated with relationships, compassion, attentiveness, peace and joy is all amplified in long-term meditators. …” ….
Mountain Cloud adds that meditation offers the “… capacity to turn a human life around in positive ways. For millennia some people have discovered this for themselves. Recently, the latest neuro-imaging technology has been confirming what meditators have always claimed: that there may be nothing so reliably and dependably helpful for a human being as a regular meditation practice.…”
The benefits from Zen don’t just stop there – Mountain Cloud suggests that Zen can also “… help us to resolve our most deep-seated existential questions. Who am I? What is this world? What is life, what is death? Why am I here? What should I do? Traditionally, Zen offers us a way to investigate these matters, and ultimately to resolve “the great matter of life and death.” …”
Here’s what other Sanbo Zen Masters have to say in an upcoming documentary about Sanbo Zen that is sponsored by Mountain Cloud.
This post is just a very small sampling of the Zen tradition as expressed by Mountain Cloud Zen Center … we will be featuring more in-depth coverage of Zen/Buddhism in future from both Mountain Cloud and other sources … for now here’s our tradition page on Zen & Buddhism as another overview sampling …
This post was migrated (with minor edits) from the PRE June 2016 Stillness Speaks website.
All italicized excerpts are from www.mountaincloud.org
Post & Featured Image: Ullswater on the Rocks by wazumju0, CC BY 2.0.
Above post content is drawn from Meditation and Zen