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Zen in Buddhist History Urs App Book titles such as "Dictionary of Buddhism and Zen" imply that Zen

is a distinct entity. This is simply wrong: Zen is a Buddhist movement that originated in China during the 6th century C.E. (AD). Integrating many elements from Indian and traditional Chinese thought (such as Taoism), Zen gradually developed the particular teaching and training techniques which distinguish it from other Chinese Buddhist movements. From the 7th century, Early Zen teaching was exported to Tibet and Korea. Around the 9th century, Zen (or, as the Chinese call it, Chan), produced a number of famous masters such as Linji (Rinzai), Dongshan (Tozan), Yunmen (Ummon), etc. Their teachings form the classical body of Zen teaching used today. From the 11th century, Zen blossomed in China. Some Japanese monks brought Zen to Japan, where it flourished to such an extent that its monastic culture and art had a great influence on Japan. The Kyoto Zen garden culture reflects this history: Taoist garden imagery in the Chinese-style monastic setting was transformed by the Japanese sense of simplicity, and love of nature.
BUDDHISM'S HISTORICAL TIMELINE 6th-5th B.C.E: Confucius establishes an important current in Chinese thought which later becomes a religion. Roughly at the same time, the Buddha lays the foundation of the Buddhist religion through his teachings. 4th-2tnd B.C.E: The books of Zhuanzi and Laozi are authored and form the focal point of Daoist philosophical thought. 1st-2nd C.E (AD): Buddhism is introduced to China by traders (silk road) Images are important. 2nd-3rd C.E: First official record of Buddhism in China. First translations of Indian Buddhist texts from Sanskrit into Chinese. The Daoist church is formed. 3rrd-6th C.E: Through increased acculturation of Indian Buddhism, many Buddhist texts are translated from Sanskrit into Chinese. The religion adopts an increasingly Chinese character, as does the Buddha's face in sculpture.

Meditation is of major importance. 6thH-8th C.E: Early Zen becomes distinguished from similar schools that emphasize meditation. Various doctrinal debates take place. Early Zen gains influence in Tibet and Korea. 8th-10th C.E: Classical Zen: the age of the great masters which influenced all later teaching: Linji (Rinzai), etc.. Sayings of the masters are collected. Printing begins. 10th-13th C.E: Song period Zen: Growth into a major religious and cultural force in China. Classical sayings are printed. The koan arises as a teaching and practicing device.Zen is introduced to Japan and gains wider influence from the 13th century onward (i.e.Eisai, Dogen) 13th-19th C.E: Yuan, Ming and Qing Zen: Zen is a dominant force in Chinese and Korean Buddhism. In Japan, the Rinzai and Soto Zen traditions develop a distinctive character and have considerable cultural influence (monastic art, Zen gardens, etc.) 20th C.E: Japanese Zen (and later Korean Son and Chinese Chan) are introduced to the West and Buddhist study centers are founded. Notes 1.Stephan Schuhmacher, Gert Worner, eds.: The Shambhala Dictionary of Buddhism and Zen. Shambhala - 1991 2. Burton Watson: The Zen Teachings of Master Lin-chi. Shambhala - 1993 3. William Powell: The Record of Tung-shan. University of Hawaii Press - 1986 4. Urs App: Master Yunmen. From the Record of the Chan Teacher "Gate of the Cloud". Kodansha International -1994 5. Such teachings are for example translated in J.C. Cleary: Zen Dawn. Shambhala - 1986; and somewhat later ones in Red Pine: The Zen Teaching of Bodhidharma. North Point Press - 1987. 6. This chart stems, with some modifications, from Urs Aspp's book on Master Yunmen (see above) See two Zen scholars: Shin'ichi Hisamatsu: Zen and the Fine Arts. Kodansha International.

Hisamatsu is one of the 20th century's foremost Zen teachers. His introduction to this book is one of the best introductions to Zen Buddhism and to Zen art. Hisamatsu defines seven characteristics of Zen art that apply perfectly to Zen gardens. D.T. Suzuki: Zen and Japanese Culture. Princeton University Press. D.T. Suzuki, the pioneer of Zen in the West, did not extensively write about Zen gardens . However, this book includes a general chapter on Japanese culture and three chapters on Zen and the art of tea.

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