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Publisher's Summary

Several schools of Zen developed in China in the 9th century. The Rinzai (Chinese, Lin-chi) sect of Zen was introduced to Japan by the Chinese priest Ensai in 1191. Rinzai Buddhism emphasizes the use of koans, paradoxical puzzles or questions that help the practitioner to overcome the normal boundaries of logic. Koans are often accompanied by shouts or slaps from the master, intended to provoke anxiety, leading to instant realization of the truth. These teachings influenced the warrior class and led to a Zen influence over the martial arts of archery and swordsmanship. 

Soto Buddhism (Chinese, Ts'ao-tung) is another Zen sect that was transmitted from China to Japan. It arrived in Japan in 1227 upon the teacher Dogen's return from China. Soto emphasizes zazen, or sitting meditation, as the means to attain enlightenment. The Soto practitioner is encouraged to clear the mind of all thoughts and concepts, without making any effort towards enlightenment, until enlightenment occurs. 

Whatever the method of reaching enlightenment, once reached we realize the state of enlightenment we sought was there within us all along. The method is the gate, but there need not be any gate, since the gate is always open. This is the gateless gate. Now, let us enter the Gateless Gate.

©2019 Joseph Lumpkin (P)2019 Joseph Lumpkin

Featured Article: The Best Zen Audiobooks to Guide You to Enlightenment


Perhaps you’re a meditation master looking for some in-depth topics, or maybe you’re new to your zen practice and seeking guidance. Either way, these ten titles offer a comprehensive selection to begin or continue your spiritual practice. Our selection includes poems, short stories, letters, and full-length texts all brought to life in audio. They cover various schools of philosophy and religion from traditionalists to modern practitioners.

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I feel enlightened 😌

this one is deep and meaningful, at least it was for me. easy to listen to, although, I'll be pondering deeper meanings for the rest of my life now. 🤔

1 person found this helpful