:"For the rock keyboardist, see Inka (musician)."Nihongo|Inka Shōmei|印可証明|, ("Korean:" Inga) is a term used in Zen Buddhism to denote a high-level of certification, and literally means "the legitimate seal of clearly furnished proof."Ford, 220] In ancient times inka usually came in the form of an actual document, but this practice is no longer commonplace. [Hori, 674] A qualified Zen master bestows inka only upon his or her students that have demonstrated themselves as leaders and capable of teaching.

James H. Austin writes that, "The ideogram for "inka" has two parts: "in" is on one side, "ka" is on the other. The root meaning resides in the character for "in" ("yin" in Chinese). The right half of this "in" consists of an ancient character shaped like our modern "P". In ancient times the character represented an actual object. It stood for the image of just the right half (P) of the emperor's official seal (IP), "after" the Emperor had broken in half the whole seal."Austin, 266-267] The right-hand portion of the seal was given to an individual who would then work by authority of the emperor, while the emperor himself would retain the left-hand portion. In the Rinzai school of Zen, inka is the official indicator of mastery and denotes an individual who has successfully completed koan study and received the title roshi. [Seager, 107]

According to Peter Matthiessen, "In the Rinzai tradition, inka is equivalent to dharma transmission." [Matthiessen, 277]

In other schools, such as the Harada-Yasutani school, inka is approval that goes beyond Dharma transmission—granted to a master who is confirmed to be, "an enlightened successor of the Buddha." [Aitken, 25-26] In the Kwan Um School of Zen, inga is not associated with Dharma transmission at all. Rather, it denotes that the individual is a "Ji Do Poep Sa Nim" and can lead retreats and teach koan practice to others. The Japanese Soto school also confers inka shōmyō (or "inshō") upon students—meaning "' [granting] the seal of approval to a realization of enlightenment'" [Bodiford] —and the student must undergo a shiho ceremony to receive Dharma transmission. [O'Halloran, 205]

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*cite book| last =Aitken| first =Robert Baker| authorlink =Robert Baker Aitken| coauthors =| title =The Morning Star: New and Selected Zen Writings| publisher =Shoemaker & Hoard| date =2003| location =| pages =| url =| doi =| id = | isbn = 1593760019
*cite book| last =Austin| first =James H.| authorlink =| coauthors =| title =Zen and the Brain: Toward an Understanding of Meditation and Consciousness| publisher =MIT Press| date =1998| location =| pages =| url =| doi =| id = | isbn = 0262511096
*cite journal| last =Bodiford| first =William M.| authorlink =| coauthors =| title =Dharma Transmission in Soto Zen: Manzan Dohaku's Reform Movement| journal =Monumenta Nipponica| volume =46| issue =4| pages =pp. 423–451| publisher =Sophia University| location =| date =Winter 1991| url =| doi =| id =| issn = 0027-0741| month =Dec| year =1991
*cite book| last =Ford| first =James Ishmael| authorlink =James Ishmael Ford| coauthors =| title =Zen Master Who?: A Guide to the People and Stories of Zen| publisher =Wisdom Publications| date =2006| location =| pages =| url =| doi =| id = | isbn = 0861715098
*cite book| last =Hori| first =Victor Sōgen| authorlink =| coauthors =| title =Zen Sand: The Book of Capping Phrases for Kōan Practice| publisher =University of Hawaii Press| date =2003| location =| pages =| url =| doi =| id = | isbn = 0824822846
*cite book| last =Matthiessen| first =Peter| authorlink =Peter Matthiessen| coauthors =| title =Nine-headed Dragon River: Zen Journals, 1969-1985| publisher =Shambhala Publications| date =1998| location =| pages =| url =| doi =| id = | isbn = 0877733252
*cite book| last =O'Halloran| first =Maura| authorlink =| coauthors =| title =Pure Heart, Enlightened Mind: The Life and Letters of an Irish Zen Saint| publisher =Wisdom Publications| date =2007| location =| pages =| url =| doi =| id = | isbn = 0861712838
*cite book| last =Seager| first =Richard Hughes| authorlink =| coauthors =| title =Buddhism In America| publisher =Columbia University Press| date =1999| location =| pages =| url =| doi =| id = | isbn = 0231108680

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