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 Definition A school of Mahayana Buddhism originating in India from the enlightenment-experience of Sakamuni. [d] [e]
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Very easy to say, very hard to do... Thomas Mandel 22:42, 28 June 2007 (CDT)

Why did someone add stuff from WIkipedia? The idea is to create our own writing as best we can. The article did not start with anything from wikipedia, is there a compelling reason to add it now? Did you just copy stuff over to here? We are trying to be different/better, as it is wht you authored is a Westernized explanation and not quite correct.
What happened to the koans? I hope this isn't a case of "Oh I didn't understand them so I deleted them." I put them back in. It isn't helpful to have a good grasp on the history at the expense of missing the point,

Thomas Mandel 00:50, 5 July 2007 (CDT)

I think I am going to delete everything that might have come from Wikipedia and start from scratch. I didn't realize that one could come into an article out of the blue and delete everything the author had created. Thomas Mandel 08:18, 5 July 2007 (CDT)

Thomas Mandel 08:18, 5 July 2007 (CDT)

Deleting Wikistuff

As far as I can tell, the nelow paragraph is all that remains of the Wikipedia article.

The emergence of Zen as a distinct school of Buddhism was first documented in China in the 7th century CE. It is thought to have developed as an amalgam of various currents in Mahāyāna Buddhist thought—among them the Yogācāra and Madhyamaka philosophies and the Prajñāpāramitā literature—and of local traditions in China, particularly Daoism and Huáyán Buddhism. From China, Zen subsequently spread southwards to Vietnam and eastwards to Korea and Japan. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Zen also began to establish a notable presence in North America and Europe.

I don't know about that stuff. My book says it manifesting as two distinct methodologies. (Why was that fact deleted?)I'd like to know who says Zen is an amalgam of various currents (what is currents?) And Zen is absolutely not about any philosophy or thoughts or even literature. My spelling of Daoism is Taoism. I don't mean to be rude but the paragraph is misleading, confusing, and incorrect. And it does not say anything useful. But coming from Wikipedia I am not surprised. It is a good example of editors creating confusion within an article and then proclaiming that it is nonsense. Well, not saying that is happening here, but I can see the last sentence of a wikipedia article - "It is generally agreed that "everyone" (with a few exceptions)ignores Zen." Just joking...Thomas Mandel 20:40, 5 July 2007 (CDT)
We must distinguish between Zen as an historical phenomenon, and "Daoism" is the current Pinyin spelling; the older "Taoism" is generally from pre-1958 texts. Russell Potter 20:44, 5 July 2007 (CDT)
That's a lot of original thinking, isn't it Russell? Who says "Zen, about which no article could possibly be written."? What is impossible is the grasping of Zen from the article. So why did you take ZEN out of the article? Hmmmm? Your grasp of history is impressive but ZEN is not the history of Zen. I made the term and entered it here. I know what it means. Why did you have to copy text from Wikipedia? That is, er counterproductive, right? It was not wikipedia to start with, Why did you delete my work without any discussion? That is their Wikiway, I do believe it is not permitted here, of course those are just words. Are you new here? I have never seen Taoism spelled Daoism. Why complicate it? And can you list your sources please? A notable presence in North America? Thomas Mandel 01:03, 6 July 2007 (CDT)

Mr. Mandel -- to address your several points:

  • I brought a stub's worth of Wikipedia material here with the assumption that, as we usually do, it would be edited out of existence. It was meant for scaffolding, and I certainly wouldn't defend it.
  • By the above, I meant that, within the teachings of Zen, it would be absurd to define "Zen" in the usual Western sense, not that one could not, and should not of course write about Zen. A scholar's concerns would be different from a practitioner's.
  • The section I deleted was very brief -- but if you feel strongly that it should be restored, you of course have the option to do so. My thought was that we should have a general scholarly introduction before what seemed the more abstract statements in your original entry.
  • I am completely baffled that you have never seen Taosim spelled Daosim. The Pinyin system of Romanizing Mandarin Chinese has been in use since 1958, and the official use since 1979. "Taosim" is the old spelling, using Wade-Giles.
  • By "notable presence in North America," I refer to the many current Zen Centers, such as the Rochester Zen Center, established in 1966.
  • I'm familiar with koans, but thought that, out of context, they might not be clearly understood by the average reader.
  • No, I'm not new here, I have been on Citizendium since its very beginning.
  • I did not set out to offend; please try to avoid ad hominem attacks; if you feel strongly that this entry should move in another direction, the best thing to do is to edit it. Russell Potter 10:01, 6 July 2007 (CDT)
But you did offend by deleting without discussion, that's why I asked if you were new here. However, I am new here, and I am sure I read somewhere that it is proper to discuss changes rather than deleting them. Am I wrong about that?

So how do we get rid of the Wikipedia tag?

You just make an edit and uncheck the "Content is from WIkipedia" checkbox. I've done so.
When I deleted the material posted, I probably should have commented it out to the Talk page. I'm still a bit puzzled by this material, which I see you've re-inserted. It doesn't seem to be encyclopedic in tone. Shouldn't koan be defined a bit more clearly before examples are given? The bit about combining the koans is also a bit unclear. It was these issues I was thinking of when I put the introductory WP stub in; I thought it might serve as a spur to get a more encyclopedic entry going. What is there now accompishes much the same thing, which is fine. Russell Potter 06:58, 7 July 2007 (CDT)
You are right about the change in spelling, can't wait till the English change German and French. My research preceded those changes, my apologies.Thomas Mandel
p.s. On checking the introductory paragraphs, there's still some WP language there -- maybe a good place to begin would be to revise that or start a fresh introduction. Technically, the WP tag is supposed to remain even if there's just a single sentence or paraphrase remaining. Russell Potter 07:12, 7 July 2007 (CDT)
Can you delete the history and rewrite it so that NO wikistuff is in there? As far as the introduction goes, let me take care of that. Zen is specifically designed to be confusing to the rational mind, and attempts to rid that confusion effectively rids Zen along with it. I also will try to rewrite with an encyclopedic tone, although I question that we are in fact trying to be encyclopedic rather than a compendium. What does compendium mean? Thomas Mandel 14:45, 7 July 2007 (CDT)
We can't erase the history -- that would be against policy. But please go ahead and rework/rewrite the introduction; that's the easiest way to shift the balance. Russell Potter 16:08, 7 July 2007 (CDT)
I meant the history in the article. I'll try to work on this to satisfy your concerns, I'm working on another article which is much more difficult to explain. Thomas Mandel 20:03, 7 July 2007 (CDT)
By the way, I would appreciate any advice you care to give me regarding my writings. Really!


This actually almost makes sense, but not totally of course. That wouldn't be Zen, right. Good work guys. --Matt Innis (Talk) 21:33, 10 July 2007 (CDT)

Very astute of you to notice. I finished it. Russell was right. This is so funny, even if I were to write it perfectly, it wouldn't be what I was writing about. It's like words play with us. If we let them. Thomas Mandel 20:35, 16 July 2007 (CDT)

Needs review

Two of the people who have worked on this article, Russell Potter and Thomas Mandel, are no longer with us. May I ask someone, please, to review this article very carefully for coherence and neutrality? --Larry Sanger 23:11, 22 September 2007 (CDT)

It probably needs an almost total rewrite. Its cited sources are one Japanese Zen teacher, not necessarily representative even of his own denomination, and an American psychiatrist or something of the sort. I hope to have time for this at some point. Peter Jackson 16:29, 15 November 2008 (UTC)