Historical development

TIMELINE                             (many early dates are very approximate)

c.6th-4th C BCE    Laozi (Lao Tzu / Lao Tze) Legendary philosopher and poet – ‘founder’ of Daoism/Taoism

551-479 BCE       Confucius

5th C  BCE             Democritus

c.490-410             Buddha (these very provisional dates are based on contemporary scholarship)

469-399                Socrates

427-347                Plato

c.4th C BCE           Zhuang Zhou (Zhuangzi/Chuang Tzu) Influential Daoist philosopher (and name of Daoist text)

c. 3rd C                   Spread of Buddhism to Sri Lanka, Thailand and BurmaTheravada Schools

384-322                Aristotle

c.360-c.270          Pyrrho (reputed to have started out as a painter)

356-323                Alexander the Great (Pyrrho may have been on Alexander’s Indian expedition, c.327)

341-270                Epicurus

c.320-c.230          Timon of Phlius (poet, writer and student of Pyrrho)

272-231                Asoka reigns as Buddhist Emperor of most of India (except far south)

died c.50              Lucretius (author of On the Nature of Things)

c.7 BCE – 33CE   Life of Jesus Christ                           Development of Mahayana Schools (c 100BCE – 100CE)

c. 2nd C CE            Buddhism travels along Silk Road to China + first translations of texts into Chinese

2nd C CE                Nagarjuna (influential figure in Madhyamika School of Buddhism)

2nd-3rd C                Buddhism migrates from India to Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos – reaching Korea in 4th C

2nd or 3rd C           Sextus Empiricus (physician and writer of Outlines of Pyrrhonism)

5th C                       Bodhidharma (legend: brought Buddhism to China, taught at Shaolin temple, 1st Zen patriarch)

c.570-632             Life of Muhammad

c.580 C                 Development of a form of Chinese Chan Buddhism in Vietnam (known as Thien Buddhism)

c.635-713             Hui Neng (6th patriarch in Chinese Zen/Chan Buddhism – very influential)

c.8th C                    Buddhism spreads from India into Tibet and eventually Mongolia – Zen/Seon develops in Korea

c.8th-9th C             Han Shan (famous Chinese poet and Buddhist, friend of Shi Te – Kanzan and Jittoku in Japanese)

died c.850            Huang Po / Huangbo (influential Chinese Zen teacher)

11th C                     founding of Sakya School of Tibetan Buddhism

1133-1212            Honen (founder of Pure Land School of Japanese Buddhism)

1141-1215            Eisai (founder of Rinzai Zen School of Japanese Buddhism)

1200-1253            Dogen (influential teacher in Japanese Soto Zen tradition

1533-1592            Michel de Montaigne (writer of famous essays – humanist and Christian sceptic)

c.1564-1616        Shakespeare

1622-1693            Bankei – influential Rinzai Zen teacher – used the term, the Unborn (sunyata or anutpāda)

1661                       Founding of Obaku School of Zen – a small School, related to Rinzai in practice

1686-1768            Hakuin (very influential Japanese Rinzai Zen teacher)

1711-1776            David Hume (Scottish sceptical philosopher)

1813-1855            Soren Kierkegaard (Danish Christian sceptical theologian)

1870-1966            D T Suzuki – influential writer and advocate for Zen Buddhism

1905-1971            Shunryu Suzuki (Soto Zen teacher – taught about ‘beginner’s mind’)

1912-1998            Kosho Uchiyama (Soto Zen teacher – also known as ‘homeless’ Kodo)

1915-1968            Thomas Merton – Trappist monk (Catholic) – wrote about Zen and Christian mysticism

1915-1973            Alan Watts – influential writer on Zen – author of The Way of Zen

1926-                     Thich Nhat Hanh (Vietnamese Zen Buddhist teacher and writer)

1927-2004            Seung Sahn (Korean Zen teacher – taught about ‘don’t know mind’)

1927-                     Henepola Gunaratana (Sri Lankan Buddhist teacher of vipassana or ‘insight’ meditation – writer of Mindfulness in Plain English)

Map: http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/buddhistworld/schools1.htm

Please see below for a Word file of the above Timeline: