Zen Buddhism is a school of Buddhism that emphasizes the practice of meditation as the primary means to achieve enlightenment. The word “Zen” is derived from the Chinese word “Chán,” which comes from the Indian word “dhyāna,” meaning “meditation.” Zen Buddhism is known for its emphasis on the direct, intuitive experience of one’s true nature, rather than an intellectual understanding of Buddhist teachings. Zen Buddhism also stresses the importance of living in the present moment and the cultivation of mindfulness and awareness in daily life.
Zen Buddhism developed in China and later in Japan, and it is considered as a blend of Mahayana Buddhism, Taoism and Chinese culture. Zen teachings often use paradoxes and koans, which are stories or phrases that are intended to be meditated upon, to help practitioners to transcend the limitations of their own minds. Zen Buddhism also emphasizes the importance of the teacher-student relationship and the role of the master in guiding the student’s spiritual growth.