Kakuzo, Okakura - The Book of Tea - On Zen
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
The Book of Tea – Kakuzo Okakura
If now we turn our attention to Zennism we shall find that it emphasises the teachings of Taoism.
Zen is a name derived from the Sanscrit word Dhyana, which signifies meditation. It claims that through consecrated meditation may be attained supreme self-realisation.
Meditation is one of the six ways through which Buddhahood may be reached, and the Zen sectarians affirm that Sakyamuni laid special stress on this method in his latest teachings……..
In the Tao Teh Ching we already find allusions to the importance of self concentration and the need of properly regulating the breath – essential points in the practise of Zen meditation. Some of the best commentaries on the Book of Lao Tzu have been written by Zen scholars.
Zen was often opposed to the precepts of orthodox Buddhism even as Taoism was opposed to Confucianism. To the transcendental insight of the Zen, words were but an encumbrance to thought, the whole sway of Buddhist scriptures only commentaries on personal speculation.
The followers of Zen aimed at direct communication with the inner nature of things, regarding their outward accessories only as impediments to a clear perception of Truth. It was this love of the Abstract that led the Zen to prefer black and white sketches to the elaborately coloured paintings of the classic Buddhist School. …………..
A special contribution of Zen to Eastern thought was its recognition of the mundane as of equal importance with the spiritual. It held that in the great relation of things there was no distinction of small and great, an atom possessing equal possibilities with the universe.