What is Zen Realization?

Zen is the direct transmission of Shakyamuni's enlightened Mind. It's like water getting poured into water, space into space. Bodhidharma brought this Mind to Mind transmission to China from his native India and gave it to several of his students. These students in turn gave it to other students, and so forth and so on. As such, it doesn't rely on written or even spoken words. Zen is only understood when the Mind is directly experienced (Chinese: jianxing, or "seeing the self-nature." Japanese: kensho). Short of this experience, Zen sayings are always going to seem illogical and jumbled. Once you have this experience, the ancient texts become clear and laughably direct. It's like hearing cold wind blowing through the tops of pine trees. You understand without any explanation. "It's all just so!"