Zen is not a religion nor is it a system of philosophy or metaphysics. We can talk about Zen all day long, but ultimately it has to be experienced to be understood. The regular practice of Zen can lead to an experience of indescribable, transcendental bliss that goes beyond words and concepts. In this introductory presentation, Mr. Hodson begins with a brief historical outline of Zen as it originated and developed in India, China, and Japan. He then discusses the key elements in Zen and the goal of Zen practice, which is to empty the mind of all content, all thoughts, all concepts of separate things and objects. One of the tools used by Zen masters, is the koan, of which several examples are given. When successful, the Zen koan provides a shock to the mind of the student, creating a sudden state of radical equilibrium. This is extremely difficult as our minds are generally in a state of motion—always thinking, always naming, always analyzing, always putting things in categories. All this must stop before the student can reach the peak of Zen experience. This very natural tendency of the mind to wander, move, dissect, and analyze must be stilled before a radical change in consciousness can occur. But the speaker encourages all who are interested to try several simple techniques, all of which are verbalized in this program. 1971. 70 minutes.