- The definition of zen is slang for feeling peaceful and relaxed.
An example of zen as an adjective is to have a zen experience, how you feel during a day at the spa.
- Zen is a type of Buddhism that focuses on awareness through the practice of meditation.
An example of Zen is a rock garden that is tended to meditate.
A tranquil Zen garden.Licensed from iStockPhoto
- a variety of Buddhism, now practiced esp. in Japan, Vietnam, and Korea, seeking to attain an intuitive illumination of mind and spirit through meditation, esp. on paradoxes
- the teachings and discipline of this kind of Buddhism
Origin: Jpn from Chinese ch'an, ultimately from Sanskrit dhyāna, thinking, meditation from Indo-European base an unverified form dhyā, to see, contemplate from source Glassical Greek sēma, a sign, symbol
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Origin: Japanese zen, from Chinese (Mandarin) chán, meditation, from Pali jhānaṃ, from Sanskrit dhyānam, from dhyāti, he meditates.Word History: It is hard to believe that a word as Asian as Zen is ultimately an Indo-European word. Zen, which has been in English since 1727, is the Japanese pronunciation of Chinese chán, “quietude.” Chán comes from Pali jhānaṃ, from Sanskrit dhyānam, “meditation,” from the Sanskrit root dhyā-, dhī-, “to see, observe.” The Indo-European root behind the Sanskrit is *dheiə-, *dhyā-, “to see, look at.” This root also shows up in Greek, where *dhyā- developed into sā-, as in Common Greek *sāma, “sign, distinguishing mark.” This became sēma in Attic Greek, the source of English semantic.
zen - Computer Definition
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Zen - Cultural Definition
An approach to religion, arising from Buddhism, that seeks religious enlightenment by meditation in which there is no consciousness of self.
- Deliberately irrational statements are sometimes used in Zen to jar persons into realizing the limits of the common uses of the intellect. One well-known example is, “What is the sound of one hand clapping?”