Zen is a school of Mahāyāna Buddhism, referred to in Chinese as Chán. Chán is itself derived from the Sanskrit Dhyāna, which means "meditation" (see etymology below).

Zen emphasizes experiential wisdom—particularly as realized in the form of meditation known as zazen—in the attainment of awakening, often simply called the path of enlightenment. As such, it de-emphasizes both theoretical knowledge and the study of…