After a month of daily zazen some questions came up for me that don`t have to do with zazen directly but more with the overall buddhist approach according to zen. As far as I have read Zen Buddhism seems to be a certain interpretation of the basic (Theravada) teachings of the Dharma. Right now I am reading "Opening the Hand of Thought" from our reading list. I really like it but I have the feeling (just as with other zen specific books) that the fundamental teachings of Theravada are not described there but knowledge is assumed. What would you consider the basics everybody should know? The four noble truths, the eightfold path, the three marks of existence? What about dependent origination? What would be Mahayana spefic interpretations or added insights that one should know? Don`t get me wrong: I have no doubt in the practice of shikantaza or anything like that, I don`t think that the study of sutras will ease suffering by itsself but I want to know what the thoughts and teachings are that lead to our practice.