Final Exam – Zen Buddhism

Take-home Final Exam for Zen BuddhismThis exam is due Tuesday, May 10, at 9:30 AM. You maysubmit the exam early, of course.Please send the exam as an attachment to a message inBlackboard so that a permanent record of it is retained bythe system. Send the document either in PDF or Wordformat. If you want a copy returned to you withcomments, please hand me a paper copy of your exam,or hand the exam to the staff in Riles 104, the CCS (who will stamp the date received on it), in addition to sending one electronically.Please do not push it under my office door; you need to have a record that it has beenreceived, and I will email you that I have it. The answers must be computer-printed.Please use font size 12 so that it can be read easily. The exam is worth up to 200 points(20% of the semester grade). On this exam, the essay answers you write are toinclude specific facts and interpretations drawn from the course readings. Pleaseindicate the sources simply by parenthetical citations such as this: (McRae, p. 55).There is no need for a bibliography since we know what the course readings are. If youuse material other than our course readings, include a bibliography to cite these.Answer three of the questions below. The first one below is required; you may choosebetween the others as your second and third essay. Each essay has a maximum lengthof 1,000 words (three full pages, typed, double-spaced).1. John McRae, in his book Seeing Through Zen, describes McRae’s Rules of ZenStudies. Pick one, and provide examples from the tradition that support the validity ofthat rule, or that persuade you to argue against the validity of that rule.===2. Discuss how the typical setting of the Zen meditation experience, the monastery,affects the experience of seeking and experiencing Awakening (nirv??a).3. Discuss meditation in Zen Buddhism, with a focus on its most distinctive aspects:use of the k?an, the meeting with the Zen Master, and the master’s role generally.Include discussion of the recurring issue in Zen of gradual vs. sudden enlightenment.4. D?gen is a major figure in the history of Zen. Discuss his ideas, describing ways inwhich his approach to practice and enlightenment are similar to the earlier traditions inBuddhism, and ways in which his approach is distinctive.5. Pick another of McRae’s Rules of Zen Studies, and discuss examples that do or donot support this one.

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