Chinese Ch'an. Buddhism. a Mahayana movement, introduced into China in the 6th century a.d. and into Japan in the 12th century, that emphasizes enlightenment for the student by the most direct possible means, accepting formal studies and observances only when they form part of such means.Compare koan, mondo1.
the discipline and practice of this sect.
Origin of Zen
< Japanese < Middle Chinese, equivalent to Chinesechán, transliteration of Palijhāna < Sanskritdhyāna
An approach to religion, arising from Buddhism, that seeks religious enlightenment by meditation in which there is no consciousness of self.
Deliberately irrational statements are sometimes used in Zen to jar persons into realizing the limits of the common uses of the intellect. One well-known example is, “What is the sound of one hand clapping?”