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Zen History


c.500BC The Buddha delivers his silent, yellow flower lecture to Mahakasyapa
c.405 BC Shortly after the Buddha's death, the monks meet to formalize the teachings and regulations.  This is referred to as the First Buddhist Council.
c.300 BC Second Buddhist Council is convened to reform delinquent Buddhist groups.  New rules are made to more tightly control the behaviour or monks.
200 BC first Mahayana texts are written
c.272-231 BC Asoka rules India becoming a strong supporter of Buddhism after feeling regret for the people who died in the wars he waged.
Circa 50 AD First Buddhist teachings arrive in China form India.  Fairly well received.
372 Buddhism reaches in Korea
399 Fa Hsien travels from China to India to retrieve Buddhist texts.  His 15 year journey becomes legendary, and is the inspiration for the Monkey Magic stories.
520 Bodhidharma arrives in China  Detail
552 Buddhist texts arrive in Japan. 
638 Zen Master Huineng is born Detail
c750 Borobudur built
868 The Diamond Cutting Sutra is printed using high quality printing blocks.  This becomes the earliest existing example of printed text.
1141-1215 Eisai takes Linchi Ch'an to Japan, starting Rinzai Zen
1150 The Blue Cliff Record, a collection of Koan, is compiled.
1200 Dogen takes Ts'ao-tung Ch'an to Japan, starting the Soto Zen school
1227 Linchi Zen is transferred to Rinzai
1500 Japanese Zen Gardens gain popularity
c.1800 Buddhism reaches the West
1930 Platform Sutra translated into English
1950 D.T. Suzuki begins lecturing on Zen in America
1959 Empty Cloud passes away.   Detail

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