Historical Development of Zen Buddhism

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  • Historical development of Zen
    • The Buddha's Flower Sermon
      • Zen is said to have originated from the Buddha himself, who in a silent sermon merely held up a flower.
        • Mahakasyapa smiled in recognition of his understanding of the silent sermon or the Buddha's gesture and so received 'from mind to mind' the 'seal of Dharma' or 'the lamp of Dharma' to pass the teaching on to others.
    • Key Term: Meditation.
      • Zen - Japanese
      • Jhana - Pali
      • Dhyana - Sanskrit
      • Ch'an - Chinese
    • Timeline
      • Zen Timeline
        • 5/6th Century BCE: Life of the Buddha - turning a flower in his hand, Kasyapa understands the teaching and smiles, thus transmitting the dharma a non-verbal way, mind to mind.
          • C. 500 CE: Development of Ch'an schools in China
            • 520 CE: Bodhidharma arrives in China - 1st Ch'an Patriarch.
              • 7th Century CE: Hung jed the 5th Patriarch causes the emergence of the Northern (Gradual Awakening) and Southern (Sudden Awakening) schools to form.
                • 638-713 CE: Life of Hui-neg; Master of the Southern (Sudden Awakening) school.
                  • 12th + 13th Century Kamakura period
                    • 1141-1215 CE: Life of Eisai; transmission of Rinzai Zen to Japan
                      • 1200-1253 CE: Life of Dogen; Soto Zen established in Japan.
                        • 1685-1759 CE: Like of Hakuin - helped to revive Rinzai Zen, and is probably best known for promoting the use of koans to challenge conventional thinking.
    • Roots in Mahayana Tradition
      • Buddha nature
      • Bodhisattva ideal
      • Sunyata
      • Conventional and ultimate truth
      • Skilful means (upaya


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