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Zen is the Japanese form of the Chinese Ch'an, in turn deriving from the Sanskrit dhyana, or meditation. Centered in East Asia, it is a form of Buddhism that emphasizes attaining enlightenment through the quiet sitting known as zazen and through interaction with a roshi, or Zen teacher. Zen is known for its substantial influence on the traditional arts of Japan. More than most other forms of Buddhism, Zen has spread worldwide and has had a significant cultural impact in the West.

History

Zen or Ch'an emerged in China shortly after the introduction of Buddhism in the early centuries of the common era. Clearly an adaptation of the imported religion to Chinese cultural values, it combines the basic Buddhist emphasis on monastic discipline and enlightenment with Daoist ...

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