The Monasticism and Training of Zen Buddhism

This essay focuses on the study and training of one tradition of Buddhism: Ch’an / Zen.

It will be seen that even in this tradition, there exist different approaches to the training and practice of Buddhism, which are usually termed sects. However, it will be argued that the differences between these sects are minor, and that the focus of study in Zen should not be on sects but on the common elements of their training to a common end. In this context, the differences between two of the most popular sects – Rinzai and Soto – will be explored. Before doing this, it would be useful to lay a foundation for later discussion by describing with as much precision as possible what Zen is. 12 pgs. Bibliography lists 12 sources.