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Origin of Zen

From time to time, a scene of meditation appears in the scrolls left by the literati of the Song Dynasty. For example, in one of the two major elegant gatherings in history, the West Garden Elegant Gathering Picture, there is a picture of meditating and asking for meditation.

Why were the Song people keen on meditation? Zen also permeated every aspect of Song life. If you want to find the answer to this question, you may have to trace your roots back to the Zen culture of the Song Dynasty.

[Origins of Zen]

Zen Buddhism originated in India and was introduced to China during the Northern and Southern Dynasties.

After the Middle Tang Dynasty, Zen Buddhism began to flourish, reaching its peak during the Song Dynasty, and as part of the Song culture, it spread to Japan, where it formed the Zendo culture that exists in Japan today.

[Influence of Zen Buddhism]

Zen Buddhism, which had an important influence on China’s philosophical and artistic thought, also influenced the development of Song, Yuan, and Ming literary and artistic thought and the formation of Song and Ming ethics.

The philosophy and aesthetics represented by Ou-Su, “to be intentional but not attentive to things”, have obviously received its profound influence.

[What is Zen? ]

By Zen, Zen does not mean a particular practice, but a state of sensing one’s nature. The meaning is that in meditation one generates no . Supreme Wisdom, the wisdom of proving the true reality of all things by means of the wisdom of the No, Supreme.

As Zen Master Pan Guojing said, “Zen comes from life, and is the realization that occurs when one accumulates about life over a long period of time.”

[Zen Temple]

In ancient China, there was no Zen temple, since the Sui and Tang dynasties, Zen practitioners borrowed the Law Courts to live, to the Fifth Dynasty, King Qianmu of Wuyue converted to Zen, began to the south of the Yangtze River. . temples were changed into Zen temples, and so there were more and more Zen temples.

The high status of the Zen temple five mountains are Yuhang Jingshan Temple, Qian Tang Lingyin Temple, Jingci Temple, Ningbo Tiantong Temple, Ashoka Temple.

[Rhythm of Zen Tea]

Zen Buddhism is prevalent, and daily tea drinking is also infused with Zen, which is expressed in the “Zen tea flavor”.

Zen tea is prevalent, the Song literati’s Zen tea interest shows the realm of arbitrary, transcendent forgetfulness. Japanese tea ceremony also has “tea Zen – flavor”.

[Zen painting]

Xia Gui is known as one of the Four Great Masters of the Southern Song Dynasty, along with Liu Songnian. He came from a family of painters and was known for his landscape paintings, and was once awarded the golden belt, which symbolizes the highest honor for a painter.

Influenced by Zen Buddhism, he often left a lot of white space in his compositions, taking only half of the picture. In this way, the viewer’s attention is focused on the scene itself.

[Zen Poem]

During the Northern Song Dynasty, many literati were disheartened by the frustration of their careers, so they actively socialized with monks and scholars to relieve their sorrows. For example, Ouyang Xiu, a great writer, was strongly against Buddhism when he was young, but in his later years, he began to get close to some monks and communicate with them in depth.

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