Zen Buddhist Stories
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Zen Buddhist Stories

The iconoclastic,humorous way of acquiring sudden enlightenment
5.0 (1 rating)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
182 students enrolled
Created by Hong Zeng
Last updated 7/2017
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  • 6.5 hours on-demand video
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • learn a wide range of Chinese language from beginning to advanced level
  • Learn the core values of Zen Buddhism and their iconoclastic ways of prompting sudden enlightenment in disciples
View Curriculum
  • Preferably the students have learned my College Mandarin Chinese on Your Own Beginning Level

Zen, or Chan Buddhism is a school of Mahayana Buddhism that originated in China during the Tang Dynasty as Chan Buddhism. Zen school was strongly influenced by Taoism and developed as a distinguished school of Chinese Chan Buddhism. From China, Chan Buddhism spread south to Vietnam, northeast to Korea and east to Japan, where it became known as Japanese Zen.

The term Zen is derived from the Japanese pronunciation of the Middle word 禪 (Chan), which traces its roots to the Indian practice of "meditation. Zen emphasizes rigorous self-control, meditation-practice, Insight into Buddha nature, and the personal expression of this insight in daily life, As such, it de-emphasizes mere knowledge of Sutras and doctrine and favors direct understanding and interaction with an accomplished teacher.   As they expressed in the Zen phrase, “teach beyond scripture, transmit without words, point directly to human heart, attain instantly to Buddha nature.” “your fingers are the words, the truth is like the moon, the finger can point to the moon, but is not the moon.” It emphasizes the identity of being and vacuity, moment and eternity: “Life is between breathing”. “Ten thousand years’ void, one morning’s wind and moon.” It venerate insight into Buddha nature more than ritualistic worship of a Buddha figure, as they expressed, “Outside mind, no Buddha”, “killing the Buddha, killing the patriarch,” “becoming Buddha and demon is only moment of thought.” It talks about annihilating desires to achieve an immobility of heart among the fluctuation of all things: as Six Patriarch expresses it, “Neither the flag nor the wind is moving, human heart is moving”, “ The wind passes the bamboo  forest, the bamboo retains no sound after it passes; the wild geese flying over the cold lake, the lake does not retain the forms of the geese.” Like the Taoist philosopher Zhuang Zi It advocates getting rid of the mentality of making distinction, including the distinction between the self and other, to enter instantly and directly into a situation and react to it most effectively, for example, the wrestler images himself a huge wave becomes an all-sweeping, all-swallowing, invincible fighter.

Zen’s major practice includes observing the breath, observing the mind, Zen Koan, Buddhist chanting etc.  Zen koan is an enigmatic, logic-defying method of prompting the disciples to achieve instant enlightenment.

It was during the late 1950s and the early 1960s that the number of Westerners other than the descendants of Asian immigrants who were pursuing a serious interest in Zen began to reach a significant level. Japanese Zen has gained the greatest popularity in the West. The various books on Zen by people such as Alan Watts and D. T. Suzuki published between 1950 and 1975, contributed to this growing interest in Zen in the West, as did the interest on the part of beat poets such as Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and Gary Snyder.  In 1958, the literary magazine Chicago Review played a significant role in introducing Zen to the American literary community, especially beat poets.

The course includes 20 Zen Buddhist Stories, each story is taught in two lectures, mostly Zen Koan in an intensely interesting, enigmatic,  iconoclastic, and humorous style used by Zen masters to prompt instant enlightenment in their disciples,   the first lectures teaches the language of the Zen story, I will lead you to study the vocabulary list, the text of the story and lead you to recite them, and practice answering questions about the text. The second lecture is a recitation of the story, so that you can practice listening comprehension and be further familiar with the language and content of the stories.

You don't need prerequisite for this course, it has detailed vocabulary list from the beginning to advanced level, however, it is advisable to take my College Mandarin Chinese on Your Own Beginning Level. This course will teach you a wide range of vocabulary from beginning to advanced level, and acquaint you with the core values of Zen Buddhism, and its unique means of enlightenment. Through this course you will find your Chinese language level soar together with your spiritual delight and thrill with the most iconoclastic and hilarious way of acquiring sudden, deep religious wisdom that has profoundly influenced both the East and the West, particularly American Beat Poets .



Who is the target audience?
  • Students interested in Chinese language and culture
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Curriculum For This Course
47 Lectures
1 Lecture 08:31
First Five Stories
11 Lectures 01:42:45

1. 以心传心 text practice part 2

1. 以心传心 recitation video

2. 生命在呼吸之间 text practice

2.生命在呼吸之间 recitation video

3. 平常心 text practice

3. 平常心 recitation video

4. 我不入地狱,谁入地狱 text practice

4. 我不入地狱,谁入地狱 recitation video

5. 一切皆空 text practice

5. 一切皆空 recitation video
Second group of five stories
11 Lectures 01:29:03
6. 佛在家中 text practice

6. 佛在家中 recitation video

7. 月与指 text practice part 1

7. 月与指 text practice part 2

7. 月与指 recitation video

8. 强盗的觉悟 text practice

8. 强盗的觉悟 recitation video

9. 茶杯禅理 text practice

10. 成佛成魔一瞬间 text practice

9. 茶杯禅理 recitation video

10. 成佛成魔一瞬间 recitation video
Third Group of Five Stories
12 Lectures 01:55:40
11. 过去, 现在,将来 text practice part 1

11. 过去, 现在,将来 text practice part 2

11. 过去, 现在,将来 recitation video

12. 渡女过河 text practice

12. 渡女过河 recitation video

13. 天堂地狱之门 text practice

13. 天堂地狱之门 recitation video

14. 魔由心生 text practice

14. 魔由心生 recitation video

15. 心中的大浪 text practice 1

15. 心中的大浪 text practice 2

15. 心中的大浪 recitation video
Fourth Group of Five Stories
12 Lectures 01:19:19
16. 天地同笑 text practice part 1

天地同笑 text practice part 2

16. 天地同笑 recitation video

17. 镜清雨滴声 text practice

17. 镜清雨滴声 recitation video

18. 万古常空,一朝风月 text practice 1

18. 万古常空,一朝风月 text practice 2

18. 万古常空,一朝风月 recitation video

19. 风旗不动,心动 text practice 1

19. 风旗不动,心动 text practice 2

19. 风旗不动,心动 recitation video

20. 本来无一物,何处染尘埃 recitation video
About the Instructor
Hong Zeng
4.6 Average rating
163 Reviews
5,041 Students
22 Courses
Professor of Chinese language and literature; comparative literature; film study

I am an award-winning professor of Chinese, director of "Hong Zeng's Chinese Language and Culture". I have taught Mandarin Chinese at all levels in prestigious American colleges altogether for 16 years. I have taught nine years as a tenure-track professor of Chinese at Carleton College, ranked No. 1 in undergraduate teaching in all liberal arts colleges in America, and have directed the Chinese program for two years at Hamline University (the first university in Minnesota). In both my second year coming to Carleton and Hamline, I more than doubled their Beginning Chinese Class enrollment. I have also taught at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. I have two PhDs, one in Chinese and comparative literature from UNC, Chapel Hill, the other in second language education, literary translation and English literature from Beijing Foreign Studies University. I have published five books in America (including two from Macmillan) on Chinese and comparative literature, film study, language study and language philosophy that are well-endorsed by world-renowned experts and book review journals in my field. I have earned 30000 dollars large grant from Asian Network in Chinese study.