Zen & Buddhism Q&As

Where does the name ‘Zen’ come from?

The word Zen started out as the Sanskrit word dhyana. When Buddhism was introduced into China in the early centuries CE, this Sanskrit word was borrowed, but with the modified pronunciation chan, and a new character 禅 was created for it. The pronunciation changed again on the lips of the Japanese monks who brought Buddhist tradition to Japan in the 6th-13th centuries, becoming zen. This word has since come into English as the name for one of the Buddhist traditions which emphasise seated meditation.

More detailed teachings on Zen