November 19, 2019
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Is Isha similar to Zen Buddhism? Sadhguru

See…now, first of all, you said “whatever they do in Zen Buddhism that’s what we are doing here”. First I want you to get this. As it is, Buddhist way of life is just about 2400 years old. Zen is just about probably somewhere between 8 to 1200 years old. The word “Zen”. Dhyan. You know what’s Dhyan? Dhyan means generally… See the english word “meditation” doesn’t mean anything, this must be understood. You can close your eyes and sit and that’s called meditation. You can close your eyes and sit and do many things. You can do japa, tapa, dharana, dhyana, samadhi, pratyahara. Any number of possibilities are there. Or you might have just mastered the art of sleeping in vertical postures. So the word “Dhyan” indicates a particular dimension. Dhyan was taken on.. to.. outside the country, to China where it became “Chan”. “Chan” somewhere down when it flowed down to far eastern countries it became “Zen”. So..what became “Zen” is just a mispronunciation of the word “Dhyan”. Or a language transmutation that happened as it travelled from culture to culture. So they are talking about Dhyan. Dhyan is of various aspects. I cannot go into all the details now. Now they are teaching you ‘watching of the breath’… which is… which Buddha called as “sathipathana” but for ages Yoga called it Anapana sathiyoga. So these are not new to Buddhism. These have been always there. One of the simplest ways to become meditative is to watch the breath. It’s very simple. If you’re just watching the process of breath as probably I don’t know what type you have been exposed to but generally they are teaching you to watch the sensations that are created by the breath. You don’t see the breath you only see the sensations that are caused by the movement of the breath That is the most rudimentary way of doing it. There are other ways of doing the breath, which are completely different. In yoga, breath is known as the Koorma Nadi. If you follow the breath not by watching sensations there are other ways to follow the breath itself, not the sensations. If you follow the breath, it will take you to that point where you are tied to the body. See if I take away your breath now, your body will fall away from you, isn’t it? Isn’t it so? Right now it’s your breath which is tying you to the body. So, not by watching the sensations, if you follow the very breath right now, you have no way of knowing the breath, you only know the sensations caused by the breath. Is it so? Do you understand what I am saying? So, if you follow the very breath if you follow the Koorma Nadi, it will take you to that point where you are in touch with your body. Now you can make that point into a conscious process that is you are holding, now if I hold this, I hold this consciously. Like this you can hold your body consciously, if you want you can drop it any moment to get that freedom. So, whatever is being taught as Zen is just…I am not saying it’s inferior.. it’s a beautiful way, it is very beautiful way, there is no question about that, if it’s properly being transmitted. I don’t know what kind of Zen you are doing in Chicago, but… if you receive Zen properly, it’s a wonderful way and it’s not just about meditation, it’s about changing your whole life. The very way you move, the very way you keep the body, the very way you do things Everything has to be integrated. Just watching the breath won’t do it. Just watching the breath won’t do it. Zen monasteries, you need to understand – Zen was fundamentally for the monks. It’s a 24 hour practice. it’s a 24 hour practice. Every aspect – the way you cook, the way you cut the vegetables, the way you keep your garden, the way you keep the place – everything is part of the system. Only then, Zen is truly an effective system. You just do Zen for half an hour or one hour, it doesn’t mean much. It may have its benefits, but it doesn’t mean much as a spiritual process. You must transform your whole life, only then it has an overall impact on the system.

Jean Kelley



  1. ravishingravi Posted on January 6, 2011 at 3:13 am

    @amoeboy What is stopping you other than yourself ?

  2. Avinash karanam Posted on February 17, 2011 at 7:16 am

    @stonedrenched There may be much in zen but what sadhguru explaining was the concepts of zen is not new to the Indian culture. we are following that from ages and ages.

  3. Avinash karanam Posted on March 14, 2011 at 5:58 am

    @stonedrenched The isha and Zen comes under Karma yoga. Karma yoga is not a concept, it is the way of natural life of human being. one should surrender (without any force by others) to the guru. By this surrender one can free from ego. then one can start their spiritual life without ego. so any foundations like isha or zen is the place to come out from ego.that's it

  4. TheAnimationProjects Posted on May 31, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    Its not just Zen that says you should bring all of your actions into the practice, the Noble Eight-fold Path is essentially saying you should be mindful in all situations. Zen however has far longer periods of meditation than most Buddhist Schools, expect perhaps the most traditional of Theravada such as the Thai Forest Tradition.

  5. Oriental Music Channel Posted on January 12, 2014 at 7:30 pm


  6. Rj lives Posted on May 3, 2015 at 12:45 am

    nice and pleasant

  7. Wouter Vlierman Posted on May 12, 2015 at 8:30 am

    Thank you for this my friend. You have changed my life i am now 24/7 in the zen mode

  8. Wouter Vlierman Posted on May 12, 2015 at 8:30 am

    ( ͡°╭͜ʖ╮͡° )

  9. vikram bharadwaj Posted on March 14, 2016 at 12:38 pm

    to most of u ppl martial arts as well as yoga always are from india just that we lost the science due to british

  10. RDFFD Foundation Posted on May 31, 2016 at 10:07 am

    thanks a lot for this great way of explanation king Sadhguru

  11. Zeb Posted on October 16, 2016 at 11:53 pm

    Having been focused on zen for over a year that Sadhguru seems right enough. An impressive level of knowledge, it has to be said.

  12. cherrygatita Posted on March 8, 2017 at 8:04 pm

    osho and krishna murti had a son? i didn´t know that!

  13. pradeepnim Posted on March 10, 2017 at 11:11 pm

    with all respect to Sadguru.. even the master can be wrong about " sathipattana" glad I knew "singhaleese" language.

  14. Aneesh Menon Posted on March 17, 2017 at 3:33 am

    Woderfully said.One of the best video of Sadhguru 🙂

  15. Thomas H Vance Posted on March 17, 2017 at 5:01 pm

    Well, it obvious that Sadhguru is well aware of the Zen nature. Here is a gentleman well aware of the knowledge that many would wish to attain. This awareness lives well enough in him that it comes alive in his expression. One short meditation that Sadhguru narrates is, "As I breath in, 'I am not this body, as I exhale, I am not even this mind." The meditation continues with simple breathe mindfulness. You can take from this, just what is this apart from mind that we live as real, even those that speak always of no mind, live an expression of their mind. So yes, Sadhguru knows his Zen.

  16. Georgi Georgiev Posted on April 6, 2017 at 12:16 pm

    Lol, you all guys are arguing who knows less about the subject. Just drop the shit and move on

  17. R. Dhammapali Posted on April 16, 2017 at 11:00 am

    This Sadhguru seems to know about everything but Buddhism. He says watching the breath was called Sathipattana by Buddha. Which is completely wrong.! Sathipattana is a complicated technique incorporating 4 subdivisions which again may include a vast number of meditation methods. The meaning of Sathipattana is establishing conciousness. And same goes for Dhyana. While the word might be the same there is a dramatic difference between Buddhist and HIndu Dhyanas. HIndu dhyana appears as only one step in ashtanga yoga. BUt in Buddhist dhyana there are 8 stages in Dhyana itself.

  18. Connor Hawes Posted on April 26, 2017 at 8:16 pm

    Zen is not effective unless the practice is contentious, 24/7. Like he said. Zen is not effective unless the practicer understands zen, how does one understand zen? Well who's asking? Once one understands zen, Everything is a lesson in zen.

    If that frustrates/confuses you bc you really want to know….you know what this is all about! Then I can tell you if you are a sincere seeker that wants to find truth, not a fake seeker who will reject truth when it doesn't suit him, but a sincere one who wants to know! you'll find the way soon enough.

  19. Trinidad Molina Posted on May 10, 2017 at 7:04 pm

    Sadguru is correct. For all those trying to argue here, know that most good Zen teachers you will find will talk about Zen in the exact same way that Sadguru describes here.

    I would only clarify that among Zen traditions the practice takes many forms. He is right about the power of living in a structured monastery where day in and day out your very routine itself becomes the intensive Zen training. For the layperson, Zen practice can still lead to great awakening so long as they have the dedication, or in some cases the correct karmic circumstances simply come together to lead to a great sudden awakening, such as with the ancient Patriarch Hui-Neng.

    There are also somatic forms of Zen practice, such as bowing practice and martial arts. See here for more info on that:

  20. Madhu Sudan Posted on September 27, 2017 at 5:08 am

    Great initiative from our Sadhguruji…..Great response and easily can know about wt we are doing by Making Isha ….
    It's all about our spiritual way that's all ….

  21. launda harami Posted on October 24, 2017 at 10:06 am

    Even buddha got enlightenment . when he came to india so there should not be any doubt about which is better

  22. Crusniq Posted on December 2, 2017 at 10:02 pm

    this is so amazing i had no ideea how old are this practices

  23. everlight1 Posted on December 20, 2017 at 4:29 am

    Following the breath is not the only type of meditation in zen.

  24. Purna Gurung Posted on February 12, 2018 at 11:12 pm

    Siddhartha gautam is the real name of buddha. There is meaning of word buddha explained by sadh guru check it out. Siddhartha gautam was born in lumbini nepal.He was seeking one place to another place and learning about yoga with yogis. He himself was not doing meditation.He was learning from many gurus going from one place to aother place. At last he got enlightment in anciant india.

  25. Ritesh Agrawal Posted on March 24, 2018 at 1:38 pm

    the best video i've watched yet

  26. test blustacks Posted on May 7, 2018 at 2:30 pm

    I disagree, Zen is not something that can be learned or practised; it is not a system. Zen is the non-time bound aspect of meditation. There is no movement of time in zen.

  27. Pavala Rani Posted on May 8, 2018 at 5:00 pm

    most of his stories from jataka book from buddhism..100% copied from sidartha gauthama sermon..just blend it to indian lifestyle..

  28. itachi Theonlylegend Posted on May 26, 2018 at 5:33 am

    I see ultimate yogis debating and battling with each other in comment section below.😂😂😂each one is feeling like a god who knows what he is spreading.

  29. Jason Brown Posted on July 17, 2018 at 9:21 pm


  30. Jason Brown Posted on July 17, 2018 at 9:21 pm


  31. LowkeyLeon Posted on September 24, 2018 at 9:45 am

    He believes in his way of things being superior and other ways being superior.
    This is how I know he is not enlightened.

  32. Harshal Gangwar Posted on November 28, 2018 at 7:45 am

    Bodhidharma transmitted Chan Buddhism to China

  33. Chief Hopper Posted on December 1, 2018 at 9:54 pm

    Jaggi shut your trap

  34. Dean Miller Posted on February 14, 2019 at 1:15 am

    His answer was pretty good for a non Zen practitioner. His best point was about it being a monastic practice. People often miss that Buddhism has been mainly a practice for monks/nuns for 2500 years. If you think that just sitting on a cushion a few hours each week will make you a "Zen adept" it's not gonna cut it. It's good that people sit, but the real tradition of Zen Buddhism can only be accessed by monks, nuns and hermits.

  35. Saurabh Sinha Posted on August 1, 2019 at 7:07 pm

    'Introduction To Zen' by D.T. Suzuki is a great book. This book was read by Carl Jung too. Zen is a great way of living but it is not easy too practice. Sadhguru very beautifully explained it.

  36. Jayanthi Sridharan Posted on August 30, 2019 at 5:14 am

    Isha foundation is israeli funded.