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What Are The Most Important Concepts Of Zen? Why? (Essay Sample)


SOURCES: These questions are designed to be answered with only the sources required for class (textbook and the readings on Canvas) and your lecture notes. and your lecture notes. A good paper will have information from more than one source (lecture AND textbook AND Canvas readings where appropriate). Citing should be done according to the following examples:
• (Analects, 1:3)
• (Daodejing) note: only one page in the reading, so no need for a page number
• (Kasulis, 2) note: Kasulis is the author of the reading on rice
• (Epic of Gilgamesh, 2) note: use page number from PDF
• (Genesis 6:21-22) note: the first number is the chapter number and the second is the verse or verses.
FORMATTING: Double-space your paper and use a standard 12 pt. font (Times New Roman, Times, Arial, etc.)
Papers will be graded on the following requirements:
1) Proper formatting and mechanics (grammar, punctuation, spelling)
2) How well the paper answers the chosen question in the following ways:
• Thesis (Is there a strong thesis offered in the introduction?)
• Argument (How well does the student maintain and defend the thesis statement throughout the paper?)
• Evidence (What examples, specifics, and other evidence does the paper offer to support the thesis/argument?)

Concepts of Zen
Concepts of Zen
Zen is attributed to the awakening of a Japanese man called Shakyamuni Gotama who lived about 2500 years ago in India. Zen forms the heart of the Japanese culture within the context of the school Mahayana Buddhism. The whole idea of Zen is the practice of Zen meditation also known as Zazen. Za means sitting while zen is meditation, according to the Japanese. Zen, therefore, is a way of self-discovery and vigilance attained by sitting and meditating on a meditation cushion. When Zen is practiced, it becomes an attitude of spiritual awakening from which the entire actions of life flow such as eating, breathing, sleeping, talking, walking and thinking among many others. Thus, Zen is a meditation practice that emphasizes rigorous self-control which should be expressed or reflected in one’s daily life and it should act in favour or for the benefit of others.
There are a number of Zen’s most important concepts. First and foremost, Zen emphasizes on the concept of letting go. Letting go is a mental practice in which an individual should recognize the fact that a human mind shall not have an end to the emotional distractions that keep dragging the mind away but rather exercise behaviour of bringing back the mind whenever it seems to be taken away or distracted (Suzuki and Jaffe 42). The idea is not getting concerned about distractions but practicing to let go of the fantasies, exciting moments or disturbances that drag the mind away while someone is at the state of unconscious (Suzuki and Jaffe 42). Fantasies or distractions are spontaneous and upon realization of distraction, Zen says that they should be let off and the mind brought back.
Another concept of Zen is attentive intimacy. Attentive intimacy is the product of a successful ability of letting go. Once an individual is able to let go the fantasies and distractions to the mind, it follows that the same individual is perfecting his or her ability of being attentive to daily activities pertaining to life (Watts 173). Being attentive brings about the intimacy as the mind is less distant from the self and intimacy can be formed with things around and maintains mindfulness of other people around (Watts2). Strong intimacysmoothen relationships and creates ability of solving pr...
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