Zen definition

zĕn
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.

noun
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Designating, of, or characteristic of Zen Buddhism.
adjective
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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.
noun
8
2
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.
noun
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3
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.

adjective
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The teachings and discipline of this kind of Buddhism.
noun
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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.

noun
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(religion) A denomination of Buddhism elaborated in Japan.
noun
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(religion) Pertaining to this denomination of Buddhism.
adjective
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(informal) A philosophy of calm, reminiscent of that of the Buddhist denomination.
noun
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(colloquial) Extremely relaxed and collected.
adjective
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(religion) A denomination of Buddhism.
noun
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1
(colloquial) Extremely relaxed and collected.
adjective
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1

Origin of zen

  • Japanese zen from Early Middle Chinese dʑian meditation (also the source of Mandarin chán) from Pali jhānaṃ from Sanskrit dhyānam from dhyāti he meditates

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Japanese (zen ぜん), from Middle Chinese 禪 (É–jen) (compare Mandarin 禅 Chán), an abbreviation of 禪那 (É–jen-na), from Sanskrit ध्यान (dhyāna, “a type of meditation"). Akin to dhyana.

    From Wiktionary

  • 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.

    From Wiktionary