Patriarchal Zen


patriarchal Zen
[祖師禅] (Jpn soshi-zen )

    Also, patriarchal meditation.A reference to the seated meditation of Bodhidharma, the founder and first patriarch of the Zen (Ch'an) school in China. This form of meditation aims to perceive the Buddha-mind intuitively and directly. Originally the Zen meditation that Bodhidharma introduced to China in the early sixth century was called Thus Come One Zen and was regarded in the Zen school as the highest form of meditation. Eventually, however, an opinion became predominant in the Zen school that the Buddha's enlightenment had been transmitted wordlessly, outside the sutras, from Shakyamuni Buddha to Mahakashyapa and finally to Bodhidharma in the lineage of Zen masters in India. With this, the expression Thus Come One Zen was criticized as based on the sutras and therefore limited. The seated meditation of Bodhidharma, the patriarch of Chinese Zen, came to be called patriarchal Zen. Patriarchal Zen is considered supreme and held to constitute the correct transmission of the Zen teachings.