- Chinese Ch’an. Buddhism. a Mahayana movement, introduced into China in the 6th century a.d. and into Japan in the 12th century, that emphasizes enlightenment for the student by the most direct possible means, accepting formal studies and observances only when they form part of such means.Compare koan, mondo1.
- the discipline and practice of this sect.
- a Japanese school, of 12th-century Chinese origin, teaching that contemplation of one’s essential nature to the exclusion of all else is the only way of achieving pure enlightenment
- (modifier) of or relating to this schoolZen Buddhism
school of Mahayana Buddhism, 1727, from Japanese, from Chinese ch’an, ultimately from Sanskrit dhyana “thought, meditation,” from PIE root *dhya “to see, contemplate.”
An approach to religion, arising from Buddhism, that seeks religious enlightenment by meditation in which there is no consciousness of self.