Zen

Glossary of Zen

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This glossary of Zen provides definitions of terms related to Zen, with links to full articles where available.

ranto
(Japanese, "egg-shaped tower"). Tower on the tomb of a Zen monk.
Rinzai
One of the two main branches of Zen. It originated in the Lin Chi school of Ch'an in China and was later introduced to Japan by Eisai in 1191. Rinzai stresses spontaneous enlightenment and advocates unusual ways of achieving it, such as shouts, slaps, and the use of koans. Rinzai downplays veneration of Buddha images and reading of scripture (sutras).
roshi
(Japanese). Zen spiritual teacher.
samu
(Japanese, "work service"). Physical work performed at set times in Zen monasteries.
Soto
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.
zemban
(Japanese, "Zen board"). Board used in long sessions of zazen to prop up the chin, thereby keeping from falling forward if sleepiness occurs.
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Article Info

Title Glossary of Zen
Published
Last UpdatedFebruary 3, 2021
URL religionfacts.com/zen/glossary
Short URLrlft.co/3213
MLA Citation “Glossary of Zen.” ReligionFacts.com. 3 Feb. 2021. Web. Accessed 30 Nov. 2021. <religionfacts.com/zen/glossary>