Zen is a light blue octopus-like creature with eight identical tendrils and a central body consisting of two connected blue orbs. His body bears his facial features and is attached to each of Zen's tentacles. Zen is depicted as yellow in the Illustrated Book, but many characters are colored incorrectly in it.
Zen's mission is to serve as a guard in Mon-chien (Land of Dreaming) and notify any change that occurs. He is unable to move aside from turning his head, as he is frozen in ice. He is killed by an intruder and dies, fulfilling his mission as a guard.
Name origin Edit
Zen's name is the ninth syllable of the Kuji (九字), a series of nine syllables. Each syllable has its own symbol, mudra (hand sign), mantra (utterance/prayer) and mandala (visualization). The syllables in order are Rin (臨), Pyō (兵), Tō (闘), Sha (者), Kai (皆), Jin (陣), Retsu (列), Zai (在) and Zen (前). The mudras, mantras, and mandalas put into practice for ritual or meditation purposes is referred to as the Kuji-in (九字印), or "Nine Hand Seals". The Kuji-in has roots in Hinduism and is used in a wide variety of practices including Shinto, Buddhism, Taoism, Ninjutsu and schools of Japanese Esoteric Buddhism such as Mikkyo, Tendai and Shingon.
The kanji "zen" (前) can mean "to be in front/move forward", "absolute" or "enlightenment".