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Zen Buddhism history

Gautama showed an early taste for meditation, reflection, and self-growth. In accordance with his father's wishes, he married young and took part in the public life of the king's court. He had a son whom he named Rahula.

Gautama began his quest for enlightenment at the age of twenty-nine, when he managed to go outside the palace walls. Throughout Gautama's entire life before this, his father had constantly kept him inside the palace walls in order to protect him from suffering and the reality of the world.

On his first visit outside the palace, he came across a completely new reality, a world that he never knew existed. He saw the suffering of a newborn baby, a sick man, an old man, and a rotting corpse. He suddenly realized that suffering is common to all of humanity.

After making the acquaintance of a mendicant monk, he calmly and peacefully decided to abandon his family, wealth, and power in order to achieve Enlightenment. Buddhists call this decision "The Great Renunciation", and they consider it a turning point in history.

One night, having made his decision, Gautama left the gigantic palace, abandoning his wife and child to travel the world in search of Enlightenment. He travelled as a beggar in northern India and followed the teachings of many gurus, but he soon found himself dissatisfied.

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