Soto Zen Buddhism

Definition: Soto Zen Buddhism
One of the two main branches of Zen. Known as Tsao-tung in China, it was brought by Dogen from China to Japan in 1227. Unlike Rinzai, Soto teaches a form of silent seated meditation in which enlightenment is a gradual process. In his 'Shobo Genzo,' Dogen advocates a combination of seated meditation (zazen), daily labor, discipline, and the use of koans.

Soto Buddhism (Chinese, Ts'ao-tung) is a Zen sect that was transmitted from China to Japan. It arrived in Japan in 1227 upon the teacher Dogen's return from China.

Soto emphasizes zazen, or sitting meditation, as the means to attain enlightenment. The Soto practitioner is encouraged to clear the mind of all thoughts and concepts, without making any effort towards enlightenment, until enlightenment occurs.

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  1. Bodiford, William M.. “Zen.” Encyclopaedia Britannica Online.

Article Info

Title Soto Zen Buddhism
Last UpdatedJanuary 28, 2021
URL religionfacts.com/soto
Short URLrlft.co/3578
MLA Citation “Soto Zen Buddhism.” ReligionFacts.com. 28 Jan. 2021. Web. Accessed 29 Jan. 2022. <religionfacts.com/soto>