William A. 3 February 2009 The Religion of Zen Buddhism Zen Buddhism is unique compared to other schools of Buddhism due to the fact that it teaches that enlightenment can be obtained here and now in this lifetime. Many other Buddhism schools teach that enlightenment can be possible after living and practicing for many lifetimes in the human form. The two main schools that teach the Buddha way of living, that are still flourishing in Japan today are; the Rinzai School and the Soto School.
There are two different meditation methods taught in the two schools. In the Rinzai School they teach the koan method and in the Soto school they teach the just sitting method. The Soto school which sees the becoming aware of enlightenment as a deep process and this is why the Soto school is known as the school of gradual enlightenment. The Rinzai School which sees the becoming aware of enlightenment is in no need of special attention and this is why the Rinzai School is known as the school ofsudden enlightenment.
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Even though the two schools have their differences they both have the same where human beings embody wisdom and compassion. In the Zen Buddhism philosophy there are four central truths. These fourth truths are: suffering is a normal part of life, suffering is caused by us when we wish what we had were different, ending our desire for change brings an end to suffering, and following the noble path helps us accept what we have and what we are. The noble path has eight ways to stop suffering.
The eight ways include Right Belief, Right Resolve, Right Speech, Right Conduct, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right of Mindfulness, and Right Concentration. Right Belief is the renunciation of worldly matters. Right Resolve is the dedication for the achievement of enlightenment. Right Speech is for others to follow speech spoken truthfully and at the right time. Right Conduct is acknowledging sanctity of life. Right Livelihood which is the life of service to others. Right Effort which means being free of evil thoughts. Right of Mindfulness which is beingaware of pointless craving.
Finally, the right of concentration whichis being completely selfless. My opinion on the Zen Buddhism religion is that it takes a lot of self discipline to actually be a successful Buddhist. There is a lot of work that needs to be put into the religion to become enlightened. I look at Buddhism and see how different it is from religions such as Christianity. The main thing about Zen Buddhism that I see most difficult is the whole being pure and Buddha-like, especially in today’s world with all different kinds of distractions.
Works Cited BBC. com. 2 Oct. 2002. Religion and Ethics ??? Buddhism. 2 Feb. 2009. http://www. bbc. co. uk/religion/religions/buddhism/subdivisions/zen_2. shtml Nagatomo, Shigenori. “Japanese Zen Buddhism Philosophy. ” Stanford. 28 Jun. 2006. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2 Feb. 2009. ; http://plato. stanford. edu/entries/japanese-zen/; Eastern-philosophy-and-meditaion. com. 2 Feb. 2009. A Brief Guide to Zen Buddhism and Zazen. 2 Feb. 2009. ; http://www. eastern-philosophy-and-meditation. com/zen. html;