- 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.
- 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 of ZenJapanese ; from Chinese ch'an, ultimately ; from Sanskrit dhyāna, thinking, meditation ; from Indo-European base an unverified form dhyā, to see, contemplate from source Classical Greek sēma, a sign, symbol
- A school of Mahayana Buddhism that asserts that enlightenment can be attained through meditation, self-contemplation, and intuition rather than through faith and devotion and that is practiced mainly in China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. Also called Zen Buddhism.
- also zen An approach to an activity, skill, or subject that emphasizes simplicity and intuition rather than conventional thinking or fixation on goals: the zen of cooking.
Origin of ZenJapanese zen, from Early Middle Chinese d&zcurl;ian, meditation (also the source of Mandarin chán), from Pali jhāna&mlowdot;, from Sanskrit dhyānam, from dhyāti, he meditates. Word History: Zen, a word that evokes the most characteristic and appealing aspects of Japanese culture for many English speakers, is ultimately of Indo-European origin. The Japanese word zen is a borrowing of a medieval Chinese word (now pronounced chán, in modern Mandarin Chinese) meaning “meditation, contemplation.” Chán is one of the many Buddhist terms in Chinese that originate in India, the homeland of Buddhism. A monk named Bodhidharma, said to be of Indian origin, introduced Buddhist traditions emphasizing the practice of meditation to China in the 5th century and established Chan Buddhism. From the 7th century onward, elements of Chan Buddhism began to reach Japan, where chán came to be pronounced zen. The Chinese word chán is a shortening of chán’n&acaron; “meditation, contemplation” a borrowing of the Sanskrit term dhyānam. The Sanskrit word is derived from the Sanskrit root dhyā–, dhī–, “to see, observe,” and the Indo-European root behind the Sanskrit is *dhei&schwa;–, *dhyā–, “to see, look at.” This root also shows up in Greek, where *dhyā- developed into sā–, as in the Common Greek noun *sāma, “sign, distinguishing mark.” This noun became sēma in Attic Greek and is the source of English semantic.
Often capitalized, similar to a proper noun, when talking about the denomination proper (compare Catholicism), rather than the philosophy or calm: “That’s very zen.” versus “She studies Zen Buddhism.”
(comparative more zen, superlative most zen)
Japanese 禅, from (禅那 zenna; Mandarin: chánnà), a derivation from the Sanskrit term ध्यान (dhyāna; Pāli: jhāna), which refers to a specific type or aspect of meditation.
Usually capitalized in all senses, almost always when talking about the denomination proper (compare Catholicism), usually but less often when referring to a looser sense of the philosophy or calm: “That’s very zen.” versus “She studies Zen Buddhism.”