Zen is a branch of Buddhism that flourished in Japan under the impulse of a succession of realized masters. Zen means “meditation.”
The Indian Buddhist monk, Bodhidharma, travelled to China, c.475CE, and introduced the teachings of the Buddha to that country. In China, Buddhism mingled with Taoism, resulting in the Ch’an School of Buddhism. Around 1200 Ch’an Buddhism spread from China to Japan where it became known as Zen.
Lao Tze is such a great philosopher because he is the one who came up with absolutely very clearcut ideas and what he has preached in the Zen system of religion is the same as Sahaja Yoga. Zen means dhyana, means dhyan, is the meditation. And the Zen system is practised in the same manner as we practise Sahaja Yoga. But you have to have realized souls to practise it. (Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi 28 February 1990)
You cannot practice (Zen) Without realization. Zen means Realization first.... Zen is Sahaja Yoga. What Zen has taught is Sahaja Yoga. Lao Tse, same thing. (SMND 28 November 1980)
To be realized is to be Zen. (SMND 12 May 1983)