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Zen Buddhism

An introduction to Zen, a form of Buddhism that emphasizes seeking one's own Buddha nature through meditation.  Learn more about Buddhism in Japan on the education.asianart.org Created by Asian Art Museum.

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Video transcript

Zen for meditation Buddhism was introduced to Japan from China in the 1100s it emphasizes seeking one's own buddha nature through meditation these monks live at tofukuji in kyoto one of japan's oldest zen temples every chore no matter how routine is undertaken with mindfulness staying in the present rather than letting the mind wander to past or future the monks line up to meet with the abbot they will discuss koans paradoxical problems that cannot be solved through rational thought the process of working on the con for months even years will open the disciples mind to new levels of awareness monks spend much of their day in meditation and rarely sleep more than four hours a night the head monks strike is not a punishment but an aid to meditation it revives the monk and may even shock him into greater awareness meals are taken with complete mindfulness on the food and the ritual use of the bowls and utensils not a drop is wasted after cleaning the temple the monks venture out to big forearms in the old days people gave rice or other offerings of food these days it's more common to give cash some monks trained as calligraphers painters or gardeners paintings depict famous Zen sayings in calligraphy or Bodhidharma the founder of Zen Buddhism rock garden symbolized mountainous landscapes the ideal retreat from monastic life from the origins of Buddhism in India to the development of schools in China Korea and Japan meditation Buddhism has transcended language and culture over the past 50 years Zen has gained many new followers outside of Asia the pursuit of mental focus and the benefits of meditation appeal to people in search of meaning in a rapidly changing world you you