In one blink of your eyes,
You have missed seeing.
If you've wandered here wanting to know what Zen is, then more than likely you will come away disappointed. This is a question that is easily asked but not easily answered. A Hindu story tells of a fish who asked of another fish: "I have always heard about the sea, but what is it? Where is it?" The other fish replied: "You live, move and have your being in the sea. The sea is within you and without you, and you are made of sea, and you will end in sea. The sea surrounds you as your own being." The only true answer is the one that you find for youself.
This page on Zen was created while I was searching for a home for an on-line version of The Gateless Gate, a famous collection of koans (a koan is a short story, often a dialog between a student and a teacher, that points towards some essence of the spirit of Zen). I don't claim to be an expert on koans or on Zen, but I fell in love with the spirit of the Zen teachings and wanted to be able to share some of the koans with the Net at large. Read a koan picked at random from the text. I've also included some other Zen sources that you might like to browse around.
Ben Walter, July 6th 1995
The Gateless Gate:
"The great path has no gates,
Thousands of roads enter it.
When one passes through this gateless gate
He walks freely between heaven and earth."
The Ten Bulls:
"The 10 Bulls is more than poetry, more than pictures. It is a revelation of spiritual unfoldment paralleled in every bible of human existence. May the reader, like the Chinese Patriach, discover the footprints of his potential self and, carrying the staff of his purpose and the wine jug of his true desire, frequent the market place and there enlighten others."
Frequently Asked Questions from alt.zen:
"Why do people post such nonsense to this group? One of the central points of Zen is intuitive understanding. As a result, words and sentences have no fixed meaning, and logic is often irrelevant. Words have meaning only in relation to who is using them, who they are talking to, and what situation they are used in. Some postings are indeed nonsense; other postings appear to be nonsense at first but this is because the meaning is all between the lines. Zen and poetry have gone hand in hand for centuries."
Zen Hospice Project (San Francisco, CA):
The Zen Hospice Project runs several programs dedicated to the care of people approaching death and increasing our understanding of our own impermanence.
Still Point is the newsletter of the Dharma Rain Zen Center, a Soto Zen Temple in Portland, Oregon.
An elegant haven of quotes that changes daily, inspiring artwork and a dash of h umor to keep it all in perspective.
Large site dedicated to the contemporary evolution of Zen.
The Electronic Bodhidarma:
The International Research Institute for Zen Buddhism (IRIZ) at Hanazono University (Kyoto, Japan) is an academic research institution devoted to the study of Zen Buddhism. We aim to serve the needs of researchers, students, teachers, and practitioners of Buddhism, but we also offer electronic tools--such as a 48.000 character Chinese character database--of interest to people involved in all fields of East Asian Studies such as Chinese, Japanese, and Korean histories, literatures, and religions. This WWW site and its contents form part of the Zen Knowledge Base project initiated and directed by Urs APP.
A source of information regarding Zen Buddhism.
Zen Buddhist Video:
Zen Buddhist Video provides a resource of information on videos pertaining to Zen Buddhism and Buddhism in general. There are no videos for sale, only information on the video content and where the videos may be obtained.