Buddha Zhen in Utah 1994
Buddha Zhen

Buddhist Scientist,
American Philospher,
Poet, Novelist, Essayist,
Composer, Musician,
Kung Fu Shifu,
Tai Chi Master,


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When I began publishing the Buddhist newsletter, Shaolin Zen, I had intended on titling it, Shaolin Chan.

After sending out drafts to fellow martial artists, students, and Chinese friends... and gathering their feedback and suggestions...I decided it would be better to title this magazine, SHAOLIN ZEN.

Chan is best associated with Chinese actors by Americans. The word "Zen" however had been introduced to America during WWII when thousands of Americans visited Japan. With 30 years of use in America, this word also had become associated with many Buddhist concepts of enlightenment.

So, we began publishing Shaolin Zen in 1994. As a Disciple of the Shaolin Monastery in northern China, I always sent a copy to the Abbot of the Shaolin Temple where Chan (Zen) Buddhism was founded by Bodhidharma. Evidently, the Abbot passed my newsletter around, or at least discussed it, because in 1999 a website was founded called shaolinzen.com by the Shaolin Temple. Although they originally referred to their Buddhist religion as "Chan Buddhism" I've noticed they also refer to it as Zen Buddhism in their current webpages.

As mentioned in a previous Disciple page, the important thing in communication is to use words that people will understand. Since Americans are familiar with the word, "Zen," it behooves us to use this word instead of "Chan."

Zhen Shen-Lang, November 8, 2002

  Chinese chop of Shifu Zhen Shen-Lang
  Buddha Zhen Shen-Lang
  Patriarch, Shaolin Zen


Disciple-Z / p05-chan03Z.html
"Disciple Pages p5: Zen = Japanese Word for Chan Buddhism"