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About Soto Zen

Buddhism originated in India more than 2,500 years ago. A prince named Siddhartha Gautama had tried many spiritual paths without satisfaction, until one day, while sitting in meditation, he came to a profound realization of the nature of existence. He was thereafter known as the Buddha, the "Awakened One".

Buddhism spread from India to China, then to Korea, Japan and Southeast Asia. Early in our century, Japanese masters began to bring its teachings to Europe and the United States.

Soto Zen is one of the major sects of Zen Buddhism. The Soto Zen tradition emphasizes the practice of zazen, or sitting meditation, and individual effort. By learning to put our entire being into our practice, we are able to realize our original nature and to carry that experience into daily life.

For an in-depth Introduction to Soto Zen, read the introductory chapter of the same name in The Kyosaku, a collection of essays from Matsuoka-roshi.

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