Zen & Buddhism Q&As

Zen is passed on person-to-person.

This does not mean that it is useless to learn about Zen from the written word. Just that we should not confuse learning about Zen with Zen itself.

Trusting that the reader to make this distinction, we offer some answers to Zen-related questions.

What is Buddhism?

Is Buddhism a religion?

Is Zen a religion?

What are Buddhist technical terms?

What is the essence of Zen?

What does ‘buddha’ mean?

Is it ‘Buddha’ or ‘the Buddha’?

What does Buddhism teach?

Does Zen believe in reincarnation?

What is Zen?

Where does the name ‘Zen’ come from?

Who founded Zen?

How are Zen and Buddhism related?

What do people do in Zen?

What is zazen?

Why should I practice zazen?

What are the benefits of zazen?

What is a good posture for zazen?

Why do we emphasise posture so much?

What should we do with our emotions in zazen?

Can I meditate if I suffer from anxiety or depression?

What is Dropping off Body and Mind?

What are koans?

What is shikantaza?

What is mushotoku?

What is transmission?

What is Enlightenment?

What is Nirvana?

Why is lineage so important in Zen?

Can non-Buddhists (e.g. Christians) do Zen?

What kinds of Zen are there?

What kinds of Zen are found in the West?

What kind of Zen does the GZG practice?

Why do we chant in Japanese?

What ritual does the GZG use?

How do I study Zen?

Isn’t Zen anti-intellectual?

What books should I read to get started in Zen?