Dhyāna

ध्यान


This word "dhyana" ("jhāna" in Pāli) is the original Sanskrit form of the Chinese ch’an and the Japanese zen, and thus its meaning is of central importance for an understanding of Zen Buddhism. “Meditation” in the common sense of “thinking things over” or “musing” is a most misleading translation. But such alternatives as “trance” or “absorption” are even worse, since they suggest states of hypnotic fascination. The best solution seems to be to leave dhyana untranslated and add it to the English language as we have added Nirvana and Tao." - Alan Watts, "The Way of Zen" (1957)



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