Zen Buddhism Basics

Zen Buddhism is based on the same Buddhism found in India, with a focus on meditation. It was developed over the centuries in Japan.

The Buddhist movement was begun in 560BC by Siddhartha Gautama, in India. In 475AD Bodhidharma brought this knowledge to China, and from there it moved quickly to Japan.

There are four central truths in the Zen Buddhist philosophy. These are:

* Suffering is a normal part of life
* Suffering is caused by us, when we wish what we had were different
* Ending our desire for change brings and end to suffering
* Following the noble path helps us accept what we have and are.

There is then the noble path that helps the followers of Zen Buddhism achieve this peace with their current life.

* Right View
* Right Thought
* Right Speech
* Right Action
* Right Livelihood
* Right Effort
* Right Mindfulness
* Right Contemplation

Zen Buddhism often works to achieve these goals with koans, or thoughtful riddles. A koan is meant to help the student meditate and reach a new level of awareness.

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