Buddhism: Zen and Vajrayana


Mahayana Buddhism itself has split into various forms, two major ones being Zen (in Japan) and Vajrayana (in Tibet).

Zen Buddhism has a very interesting (and as Smith puts it, bizarre at first sight) way of attaining enlightenment. Zen Buddhists believe that reason is limited, for it cannot help us to think about the unseen, spiritual world beyond us.

For Zen, if reason is not a ball and chain, anchoring mind to earth, it is at least a ladder too short to reach to truth’s full heights.

With this idea, they extend this to the limited value of words. As we all know, words cannot fully express how we feel inside, no matter how many metaphors we may use to describe it. Therefore Zen Buddhists reject the notion of using words to describe the true nature of enlightenment. Smith says that even speaking the name Buddha will earn a young…

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