The non-Sōtō traditions of Zen

Sōtō Zen was imported in the 13th century from China to Japan by Dōgen Zenji, who studied Caodong. It centers on the sitting posture; not on intuition or kenshō. In that regard it cannot be compared with Rinzai or in Chinese, Linji 臨濟. The non-Sōtō traditions of Zen are fully intuitive and culminate in samadhi where dualizing consciousness (vijñāna) is overcome. For Westerners Zen’s intuition is the same as the intuition of Plotinus who said: How can one describe the Absolutely Simple? It is enough if the intellect comes into contact with It; but when it has done so, while the contact lasts it is absolutely impossible, nor has it time, to speak; reasoning about It comes afterwards. With the sudden collapse of dualizing consciousness one is, for the first time, introduced to buddhatā (the awakened state).

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The Zennist

Author of The Zennist blog since 2007.