Zen meditation

I have a very close family friend who currently is practicing Buddhism. She is fully enveloped in the religion and I thought it would be a good idea to interview her about her current beliefs and understandings of the religion because I have never taken the time to learn about the religion.

Collector: “What is the most important tradition that you practice, pertaining to Buddhism of course?”

Informant: “Well, there is not one that I believe is most important because they all have their own individual meaning, but the one that is probably the most well known is the practice of Zen meditation.”

Collector: “What is Zen meditation?”

Informant: “It is less of a tradition than a repeated practice but basically it is an attempt to reach enlightenment. It stresses the importance of being free from all forms and concepts. It allows one to quiet the mind of all conceptual thought so that hopefully the wisdom and compassion of the mind is allowed to shine out.”

This was an awesome interview because I was able to learn about a religion and a practice that I would never know about other wise. I did further research on the topic of Zen to gain more information about its background.

I was able to discover that Zen is actually a school of Buddhism that started in China during the Tang dynasty. After making an impactful appearance in China, Buddhism then spread to Vietnam, Korea, Japan, and practically all over Asia. It started with a lot of Chinese translations of Yogacara meditation which originated in India. Chinese Buddhism had to compete with Taoism, the other meditation with a large presence. Over time Chinese Buddhism took over this practice and became very unanimous in ancient China.