Chan (abbreviation of Ch’an na) is the Chinese translation for Dhyana, meaning meditation or meditative absorption. Chan emerged in China between the 6th and 8th centuries, and later on was transferred to Japan under the name of Zen.The lineages of transmission of Master Sheng Yen are both Linji (jap. Rinzai) and Caodong (jap. Soto). In the tradition of Caodong there is the practice of Mo Zhao or Silent Illumination: in the mind nothing is moving, but it is bright and illuminating. In the tradition of Linji the student uses Gongan (jap. Koan) or Huatou, and repeat them incessantly to arouse the great doubt sensation in order to eventually shatter it and awaken to enlightenment.

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