Premium Essay

Buddhism Vs Zazen Meditation Essay

Submitted By
Words 1569
Pages 7
Initially an assemblage of monks in a Zen temple silently meditating appear vastly unrelated to that of a group of fitness-goers holding erratic poses in a yoga studio. At the surface level, it is easy to examine the differences between the practice of Zen Buddhism/zazen meditation and modern day yoga. However, when examined more deeply both groups have comparable audiences, techniques, applications and ultimate objectives in each practice. Although seemingly different in geographical origin and purpose, the practice of silent seated meditation and yoga are notably similar. In this paper, I aim to elucidate the conceptual parallels of zazen meditation that originated in the East, compared to the popularized practice of contemporary Vinyasa …show more content…
In previous Buddhist schools of thought such as the Tendai School at Mt. Hiei, the imperially connected or the political elite predominantly practiced Buddhism. Contrastingly, in the Soto school of Zen founded by Dogen, an important aspect of zazen meditation was its unrestricted audience. The openness of Zen enabled its prevalence among peasants and village people. Moreover, the teachings of Zen emphasize that Buddha-nature, which according to Dogen is also synonymous with zazen, is innate in everyone. Thus, anyone no matter what skill or literacy level can practice zazen.
In the same sense, yoga also has an inclusive audience because anyone with determination or interest can participate. Even though a vivid image of only young and physically fit individuals practicing yoga may come to mind, it is a viable practice to all ages and levels of fitness. The vast forms of yoga generate ease for finding a suitable style akin to the diversified practices that are available in Zen Buddhism. Consequently, both yoga and Zen Buddhism are able to reach widespread audiences, which has facilitated its current

Similar Documents

Free Essay

Patanjali Yoga Sutra

...The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali Introduction, Commentaries, and Translation What are the Yoga Sutras and who is Patanjali? Over fifty different English translations of the Yoga Sutras are extant, standing as a human testament to how Universal Truth is celebrated in terms of a rich diversity. Rather than the common and external type of knowledge (emanating from book knowledge), the following translation and commentary are a result of an intimate familiarity and direct experience both with an authentic yogic tradition and with western culture, psychology, and language that has been refined, tested in fire, and integrated for over thirty five years of intense practice (sadhana). This work is dedicated toward revealing the universal message of authentic yoga that the sage, Patanjali, first wrote down approximately 2000 years ago. Patanjali is not the inventor of yoga, but rather yoga's most popularly known scribe. What has become known simply as the "Yoga Sutras" (sutra means thread) or almost equally as common, as the "Yoga Darshana" (the vision of Yoga), is actually a compendium of an ancient pre-existing oral yoga tradition consisting of both practical advice and theoretical context. The most accepted format of the Yoga Sutras consists of four chapters (called padas) written in the Sanskrit language approximately 2000 years ago in Northern India while utilizing the terminology of the time, i.e., Samkhya philosophical trappings. The dates ascribed to the Yoga Sutras...

Words: 147649 - Pages: 591