Causes and Conditions

States and events leading to the production of a result, effect, or “fruit.” A cause is the direct or “internal” thing or condition leading to a fruit, whereas conditions are indirect or “external.” An example often heard in Taiwanese Buddhist circles is that if a tree is a “result,” then the seed from which it grew is the cause and the soil, sunlight, and rain that facilitated its growth are the conditions. A less common example is that if a piece of burnt wood is taken as a result, the previously existing unburnt firewood was the cause and the fire a condition.


(Japanese: zen) The Chinese transliteration of the Sanskrit word dhyana. Generally, the term refers to the cultivation or experience of meditative states as means for attaining enlightenment. Specifically, the term refers to the school of Chinese Buddhism known as "Ch'an." In this context Ch'an also refers to the direct experience of prajna, or insight. Being within the Mahayana tradition, the Ch'an school, while emphasizing meditation, took the bodhisattva ideal as the realization of Buddhist practice. In Japan, the practice and school became known as "Zen."

Consciousness-Only School

See Yogachara.