What do you Think Zen Means by "Enlightenment?" - Essay Example

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What do you Think Zen Means by "Enlightenment?"

This essay considers Suzuki’s perspective on Zen Enlightenment and argues that for Suzuki the notion of Enlightenment is a personal journey toward becoming one with the essential nature of the universe. In properly comprehending Suzuki’s perspective on Enlightenment it is necessary to consider the various modes of articulation he implements. One such perspective is Suzuki’s historical contextualization of Enlightenment. In these regards, Suzuki notes the seminal tale of the Buddha attaining Enlightenment under the Bodhi-tree. This historical consideration is significant as it relates to the very foundational assumptions of Enlightenment in Zen Buddhism as emerging from either traditional forms of Buddhism or as an entirely unique development. Early on it’s clear that Suzuki embraces a notion of Enlightenment as emerging from the foundational values established by the Buddha, yet believes that Zen Buddhism is greatly tempered by the Chinese soil. Suzuki recognizes that the very notion of Enlightenment and Buddhism has shifted historically. He states that, “In the beginning of Buddhism…was an exclusive possession of the elite” (Suzuki, p. 74). ...
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While such a notion would seemingly preclude Enlightenment from having any true and widespread nature, it seems that for Suzuki the later spread of Buddhism to mass amounts of people is a testament to the nature and potential of Enlightenment as intrinsic to humanity. …
Author : fbotsford
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