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Need help in describing the historical development of Zen Buddhism into a religion.

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1. Need help in describing the historical development of Zen Buddhism into a religion.

Zen Buddhism is a school of Buddhism derives from the the teachings of the Buddha and his enlightenment experience. At the very core of Zen practice is meditation, the word Zen itself deriving from the Sanskrit word dhyana which means 'meditation'. The special flavor of Zen and its emphasis on 'direct transmission' from master to disciple, has its beginnings in the Buddha's flower sermon. On this occasion, the Buddha held up a lotus to the assembled monks. On doing this, one of those gathered there, Kasyapa, was instantly enlightened (http://buddhism.about.com/od/zen/a/Zen1.htm) (see other information at http://buddhism.about.com/od/zen/a/ZenHistory.htm).

Zen is a school of Mahna Buddhism notable for its emphasis on practice and experiential wisdom?particularly as realized in the form of meditation known as zazen?in the attainment of awakening. As such, it deemphasizes both theoretical knowledge and the study of religious texts in favor of direct individual experience of one's own true nature.

"In the history of Zen, three or four people are so important, there would be no Zen today without them. Hui Neng (Eno, in Japanese) is one of those people. In spite of being a poor, illiterate, social outcast he became 6th patriarch of Zen School, showing the accepting nature of Buddhism. He is the only Chinese whose words are considered to be a "sutra" (his autobiography and Zen commentary were recorded and formatted into the Platform Sutra, one of the most important texts in Zen Buddhism.

Hui Neng was living in the bad part of Canton when he heard a monk reciting the Diamond Cutting Sutra. On hearing this, he was immediately enlightened. He arranged financial support for his mother, who he was caring for, and left to see the Fifth Patriarch and join his temple as a monk.

The head monk accepted him, but knowing Hui Neng's humble origins would see him disrespected by unenlightened junior monks, he gave him low level work in the kitchen.

One day the Patriarch announced he would choose the next Patriarch by means of a competition. Monks could write a poem about developing Prajna (wisdom) to show their depth of understanding" (http://zen.thetao.info/read/huineng.htm).

Briefly, the emergence of Zen as a distinct school of Buddhism ...

Solution Summary

This solution provides help in describing the historical development of Zen Buddhism into a religion. It also provides an informative timeline of events and historical figures.