Historically Zen (Chan in Chinese) is considered to be a sect of Buddhism which dates back to the first Patriarch Bodhidharma (pictured), a Buddhist monk originally from southern India who established Zen in China in the early 5th century AD. In contrast with most other Buddhist sects which add considerable religious overlays onto Buddhism, Zen is concerned with the simple essence of Buddha's teachings which it takes as enlightenment or the direct experience of reality or 'the true nature of things', and of how to live one's life in accordance with this realization.
Though most Zen discussion groups are associated with particular sects or schools of Zen, this one is different. We believe that true Zen is a realization and way of life which may be found and practiced anywhere and is not confined within the gates of any particular temple or sutra. While many of our members have studied Zen formally we are not constrained by any particular teaching and seek to cut directly through to reality wherever we may find ourselves.
Thus you will find this group a fun and freewheeling group that brings many interesting and diverse perspectives to a serious and sometimes passionate discussion of Zen. We welcome all new members at whatever level with an interest in Zen and enlightenment to participate. On this group we are all students, and all teachers!
Zen Book Discussion is recommended such as Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind; The Unfettered Mind, How To Raise An Ox, The Three Pillars of Zen, Zen Recovery, The Mumonkan, Hekiganroku, Hazy Moon of Enlightenment, and books by Maezumi, Shibayama, Sekida, Suzuki, Cook, Watts, Kapleau, Dogen, Bankei, Deshimaru, Takuan and any other illuminating author.