The Philosophical Foundations of Zen Practice



Although Zen places great emphasis on the embodied, non-intellectual practice of zazen (whether in stillness or movement), there are times when it might feel important to develop a deeper understanding of the philosophical basis that underpins the practice.

Over the centuries, a number of philosophical threads have come to form the foundation of the Zen school. In this home study course, Daizan will introduce you to the basics of the philosophy laid out by the Buddha and the early attempts at interpretation by the sangha after his death. Then he will take you on a journey through the important developments that took place over the subsequent millennium, including a look at Nagarjuna’s Madhyamaka school, the Yogacara (Cittamatra) approach and the Avatamsaka (Kegon) philosophies that all underpin modern Zen practice.

The course is designed for those interested in engaging more deeply with Zen. You do not need to have attained any particular level of understanding or insight. It assumes only a basic understanding of Zen, Buddhism and philosophy in general.

What you’ll get:

  • Introduction talk
  • Six study videos
    – Buddha
    – Abhidharma
    – Nagarjuna
    – Yogachara
    – Tathagatagarbha
    – Avatamsaka
  • Practice guide

The video content amounts to over 3h30 of material.
Philosophy course - screenshot


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