Individual wrote:I have to give an information speech for a college class. It can last 7 minutes at most. We get to choose our topic and I chose Zen Buddhism.
I plan to organize the speech:
-Early\Classical Buddhism (2 minutes)
-Mahayana contributions to Zen (2 minutes)
-Distinct Zen ideas and practices (last 3 minutes)
If you had only 2 minutes to describe Buddhism, what would you mention and not mention?
With 2 minutes I would either talk about dependent origination or 4 Noble Truths. Both are key teaching and putting more in such short time will confuse the people.
As regards the other question:
Early classical Buddhism - the 8fold Noble Path. Plenty here - just touch on it and indicate the depths one can research out for themselves. The one to focus on is Right View with dependent origination to be followed on later in Mahayana. The last two also naturally introduce Zen.
"Mahayana contributions to Zen" is awkward phrasing because first there was Mahayana then there was Zen but I get your drift. I would mention Madhyamaka only - link to dependent origination mentioned earlier. If you are very keen, can mention Flower Ornament teaching with the interpenetration of the principle and manifestation. This is important in Zen, but it's an overkill for a short talk.
Distinct Zen ideas and practices: lots of sitting, koan focused inquiry - what is the true nature of the mind? Great Faith, Great Determination and Great Doubt (inquiry). No time for silent illumination
PS yes, I think retro's advice is sound. Cut out two sections, whichever ones.