history principles practice stories, books, media discussion forum organizations resources
zenguide.com logo
 
Tuesday Sep 02 2014 07:34AM ET
º login º register º email º guestbook º printer friendly
grey dot
  Find a place where you are alone and train yourself
in this way:

When you breathe in, experience breathing in.
When you breathe out, be fully conscious that
you are breathing out.
If you cherish and practice... continue...

z
.
e
.
n
menu left history menu spacer principles menu spacer practice menu spacer zen media menu spacer discussion forum menu spacer organization directory menu spacer resources  
login
  DISCUSSION FORUM
» topic list   » start a new topic   » my tracked topics   » view topic
grey dot

horizontal line
→→→→ vertical line TOPIC: HOW TO SOLVE KOANS
vertical line Posted on Oct.16.2012 @ 02:30AM EDT by leoj99
This is how to solve Koans.

A Dialogue on Zen Koans

Go to Latest Reply   Reply to this Topic
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from justin
Oct.16.2012
02:56AM EDT 
Email justin
vertical line cool,

i have a bush turkey outside my door!
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 144157
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Joe Chip
Oct.16.2012
06:42AM EDT 
vertical line I am the way.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 144176
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from leoj99
Oct.17.2012
02:28AM EDT 
vertical line So anyone is good in solving koans here?
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 144202
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from leoj99
Oct.17.2012
02:31AM EDT 
vertical line I think koans really put to test  your mettle in Zen. If you have it it is easy to solve koans otherwise you just chicken out..lol
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 144203
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from leoj99
Oct.17.2012
02:32AM EDT 
vertical line I think no one can solve a koan in the other zen forum..lol
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 144204
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from leoj99
Oct.17.2012
02:33AM EDT 
vertical line It seems they just wants to make long posts as if they got it. lol
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 144205
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Joe Chip
Oct.17.2012
06:03AM EDT 
vertical line It seems you're no good.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 144212
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from starduster
Oct.17.2012
06:09AM EDT 
vertical line

Quote: "It seems you're no good. "
.........

Youre no good, youre no good, baby, youre no good,

but I love you.

vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 144213
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Chryseis
Oct.17.2012
08:01AM EDT 
vertical line 'Round Midnight'      Linda Ronstadt
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 144229
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Avisitor
Oct.17.2012
03:57PM EDT 
Email Avisitor
vertical line Quote: "

Quote: "It seems you're no good. "
.........

Youre no good, youre no good, baby, youre no good,

but I love you.

"
.........
You should say it again
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 144263
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from coedabgf
Oct.17.2012
06:26PM EDT 
Email coedabgf
vertical line see your pure heart.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 144272
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from leoj99
Oct.17.2012
11:27PM EDT 
vertical line Did it occur to anyone that if you make Zen long posts you just expose yourself and display your inadequacy. lol

Give them a koan and they can't say anything.. right there and there they cannot think. no matter how hard they think.. nothing comes out... lol
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 144303
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from esoteric
Oct.18.2012
12:19AM EDT 
vertical line Quote: "Did it occur to anyone that if you make Zen long posts you just expose yourself and display your inadequacy. lol

Give them a koan and they can't say anything.. right there and there they cannot think. no matter how hard they think.. nothing comes out... lol
"
.........

You came out.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 144310
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from esoteric
Oct.18.2012
12:22AM EDT 
vertical line Quote: "

Quote: "It seems you're no good. "
.........

Youre no good, youre no good, baby, youre no good,

but I love you.

"
.........

You love no good. So, lots of problems.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 144311
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from esoteric
Oct.18.2012
12:24AM EDT 
vertical line Quote: "Quote: "

Quote: "It seems you're no good. "
.........

Youre no good, youre no good, baby, youre no good,

but I love you.

"
.........
You should say it again
"
.........

And again. And again. And again.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 144312
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from justin
Oct.18.2012
01:31AM EDT 
Email justin
vertical line Quote: "Did it occur to anyone that if you make Zen long posts you just expose yourself and display your inadequacy. lol

Give them a koan and they can't say anything.. right there and there they cannot think. no matter how hard they think.. nothing comes out... lol
"
.........

and if they do answer are you sure you would understand?
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 144316
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from leoj99
Oct.18.2012
01:46AM EDT 
vertical line Quote: "Quote: "Did it occur to anyone that if you make Zen long posts you just expose yourself and display your inadequacy. lol

Give them a koan and they can't say anything.. right there and there they cannot think. no matter how hard they think.. nothing comes out... lol
"
.........

and if they do answer are you sure you would understand?
"
.........

Of course if they are understandable.. if not.. they are just think they make sense.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 144317
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Joe Chip
Oct.18.2012
06:36AM EDT 
vertical line Hey
that's no-way
to solve koans
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 144334
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Joe Chip
Oct.18.2012
06:38AM EDT 
vertical line I nyom
that I nyom
all Zen long
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 144335
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from zbishak
Oct.18.2012
06:47AM EDT 
Email zbishak
vertical line

Quote: "cool,

i have a bush turkey outside my door!
"
.........

hello justin

do you live near Forrestville near the Wakehurst?

vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 144337
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Joe Chip
Oct.18.2012
07:01AM EDT 
vertical line Somebody give that man a koan.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 144339
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Joe Chip
Oct.18.2012
07:07AM EDT 
vertical line Cut the Knot.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 144341
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from zbishak
Oct.18.2012
07:25AM EDT 
Email zbishak
vertical line

writing the koan on the zafu

may bring about the experience sought

vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 144344
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Avisitor
Oct.18.2012
08:38AM EDT 
Email Avisitor
vertical line Let me get this right ...
You want to know how to solve a Koan??
Why?
Do you want the easy answer to your problems??

"Who wants to know?" ....   hahaha
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 144351
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Joe Chip
Oct.18.2012
09:33AM EDT 
vertical line Who will be the Alexander to your Gordian Knot?
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 144370
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from esoteric
Oct.18.2012
11:30AM EDT 
vertical line Where shall Wisdom be found?

Where is fancy bred...in the heart, or in the head?
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 144393
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Avisitor
Oct.18.2012
07:49PM EDT 
Email Avisitor
vertical line Quote: "Where shall Wisdom be found?

Where is fancy bred...in the heart, or in the head?
"
.........
It starts in your gut and comes out your butt ... hahaha
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 144412
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from esoteric
Oct.18.2012
10:13PM EDT 
vertical line Now that's some fancy bread.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 144420
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from justin
Oct.18.2012
11:22PM EDT 
Email justin
vertical line Quote: "

Quote: "cool,

i have a bush turkey outside my door!
"
.........


hello justin


do you live near Forrestville near the Wakehurst?

"
.........

Hi, I think those places are in the northern hemisphere? I live in far northern aust. We have differant turkeys, smaller. (the jungle pre-cursor of domestic chickens).
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 144422
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from justin
Oct.18.2012
11:28PM EDT 
Email justin
vertical line Koans are funny, if u understand them they are almost a type of joke. (never as complicated as what u might think).

When I see them I see grinning old men enjoying their joke on us.

They are something to think about for a while and then once understood left as the flotsam of experience they are.

They are like the game hangman for someone who has recently learnt to spell.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 144424
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from leoj99
Oct.19.2012
12:55AM EDT 
vertical line Quote: "Let me get this right ...
You want to know how to solve a Koan??
Why?
Do you want the easy answer to your problems??

"Who wants to know?" ....   hahaha
"
.........

I think you are hopeless...lol
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 144429
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Joe Chip
Oct.19.2012
06:13AM EDT 
vertical line Hunky-Dory.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 144443
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from zbishak
Oct.19.2012
06:29AM EDT 
Email zbishak
vertical line

hi justin,

Sydney's north,

have lived there for 40 years, never saw one, moved to the tweed heads and they are all over the place here,

went back to sydney 6 month's ago for a few days and saw a dead one in the middle of the road on the wakehurt parkway.

vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 144446
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Joe Chip
Oct.19.2012
07:00AM EDT 
vertical line Wakehurt koan and no Buddhist funeral.

vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 144450
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from football
Oct.19.2012
07:33AM EDT 
Email football
vertical line funeral leave
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 144451
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from zbishak
Oct.19.2012
08:33AM EDT 
Email zbishak
vertical line

funerals,

just something humanity does whilst waiting in the que at deaths door.

the turkey not fussed

vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 144453
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from justin
Oct.19.2012
09:57PM EDT 
Email justin
vertical line Quote: "

hi justin,


Sydney's north,


have lived there for 40 years, never saw one, moved to the tweed heads and they are all over the place here,


went back to sydney 6 month's ago for a few days and saw a dead one in the middle of the road on the wakehurt parkway.

"
.........

Nice,
Yeh they are a subtropical bird, they like that type of vegetation. Hey I haven't been down that way in long time but wakehurt is near Hornsby?

So u live at tweed, do u go cross border for two new years celebrations? :)
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 144491
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from justin
Oct.19.2012
09:59PM EDT 
Email justin
vertical line I grew up in northern nsw, :) yep I was one of those kids.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 144492
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Joe Chip
Oct.20.2012
07:14AM EDT 
vertical line I'm orientated that Way.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 144520
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from esoteric
Oct.20.2012
11:22AM EDT 
vertical line What's your declination?
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 144543
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Joe Chip
Oct.20.2012
11:29AM EDT 
vertical line Midnight Sun.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 144551
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Sam Hardy
Oct.29.2012
06:35AM EDT 
Email Sam Hardy
vertical line You solve Koans by becoming enlightened.

You become enlightened by solving Koans.

And round and round it goes.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 145266
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Joe Chip
Oct.29.2012
07:26AM EDT 
vertical line This is how to serve tea.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 145272
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from leoj99
Oct.30.2012
02:33AM EDT 
vertical line A Dialogue on Zen Koans

Q: What is the basic purpose of koans?

A: Mainly to put a stop to representational thinking.

Q: Just what exactly do you mean by representational thinking?

A: Basically, representational thinking deals with the habitual use of mental images at a very subtle level. The major problem with such thinking is that we believe it matches the object it tries to represent. But it doesn't. From a Buddhist standpoint, no representation can match our Buddha-nature. And as long as we try to visualize this nature, we are just going to run around in circles.

Q: If I am given a koan, then, I am expected to perceive what is not a mental image--breaking my habit of representational thinking--right?

A: Yes...that's right. But surmounting such thinking, especially for us moderns, is really difficult. Often, we fail to arrive at the limit of representational thinking. Some even go so far as to represent non-representational thinking! Talk about delusion!

Q: Could you explain how all this pertains to the "Mu" koan about whether or not a dog has the Buddha-nature?

A: As you know Joshu replied to the question with "Mu", meaning "No". This came as a shock to the questioner who believed that all sentient beings, including a dog, have the potential to realize Buddhahood in the future. In regard to the koan exercise, itself, as laid out by Chinese Zen master Ta-hui, Joshu's "Mu" is called a *hua-wei* meaning "word-tail". For the practitioner thinking "Mu" in his mind's eye, it is merely a hua-wei, being no more than a mental image, or more precisely, a mental sound. In the exercise, itself, hua-wei chiefly refers to representational thinking. "Mu", let us say, is the grand representation of all! Imagine, then, trying to transcend "Mu", seeing the *pure antecedentness* of the hua-wei called the *hau-t'ou*, meaning 'ante-word'. But that is what we have to do. Basically, this means to look at the suchness which comes prior to the arising of Mu in our mind's eye. If we look correctly, we will see the first trace of Buddha Mind, understanding that the myriad of things issue from this abode which is free of mental images.

Q: Are you saying that the "Mu" I intone in my mind comes from Buddha Mind which cannot be intoned or seen?

A: Yes. However, most people are so addicted to representational thinking that they are unable to see anything besides the hua-wei side, in this case, the imagined "Mu" which is not the same as the real antecedent "Mu". Continuing this way, they will never get a glimpse of Buddha Mind. I should say, to actually merge with the hua-t'ou of "Mu" proves a great event if it is actually accomplished. But most practitioners never do it.

Q: Why is that?

A: It is because most people believe in the seen rather than the unseen. In the world of mental constructs, we have been led to believe that the source of thoughts is nothing--it is a dream. We are taught to value thoughts, schemata, feelings, desires and so on. Never once have our cultural wise men encouraged us to investigate the true source of these images.

Q: When you saw the hua-t'ou--the "pure antecedentness" as you call it--what was it like?

A: I just saw *that* which was image-free. No matter what image came before my mind I could see its hau-t'ou. It was great! I can remember the next morning as I watched the sun rise over the eastern hills and saw its hau-t'ou and jumped for joy like a madman! Then, when I went in the woods to cut firewood, I even felt the hau-t'ou of sawing wood! Even when my old fears came up, I could see the hua-t'ou. Over the years as my practice deepened, I became more of the the hau-t'ou and less and less of the hua-wei. As this happened, more of the Buddha's teaching was revealed to me. Oh, let me say this before I forget--Zen practice really begins after we see the hau-t'ou, and not before.

Q: That is very interesting. So, there comes a point when you actually "see the hua-t'ou" of "Mu". Right?

A: Yes--exactly so. No "ifs" "ands" or "buts" about it. You see *that* which no image can represent. In addition, it is like a mysterious jewel which, if you turn to it, your existence becomes more complete over time. The more you look at it, the clearer your Buddha knowledge becomes.

Q: That seems easy enough. But what about bigger koans like Hyakujo's fox? I really have a difficult time with that one. How did Hyakujo's words "The enlightened man is one with causation" free the Zen master from further rebirth as a fox?

A: The teacher of Ta-hui, Zen master Yuan-wu, said, "Do not seek for anything within the meaning of the phrase". What he was stressing is that you must learn to hear clearly outside of the phrase in the example of "The enlightened man is one with causation". That is the hua-t'ou. Do you understand?

Q: Not exactly. I am familiar with a number of interpretations of that particular koan. Do you mean they are wrong and yours is right?

A: [laughing] No, only truth has the correct answer. But let me now get to the point. Teachers who engage in looking for the various meanings in koan phrases themselves, are off the track. If a thousand Zen masters have a thousand different interpretations of Hyakujo's answer, which one should we follow? These teachers are only investigating dead words. They should see the live word that comes before all words!

Q: So what is the "live word", as you say?

A: It is where the hau-t'ou is. Exactly there! It is the source of my tongue which not even the Buddha can find! [laughing]

Q: Well, I must admit that is a pretty good answer. In other words, I have to get beyond representational thinking, as you say, and stop trying to conceptualize. By the way, I have heard a lot about "doubt" in koan practice. What does it mean?

A: When the pioneer of the koan exercise, Yuan-wu, used the expression "doubt", he meant it to refer to obstacles which Zen practitioners must overcome. Basically, in Yuan-wu's use, it is what separates us from the truth.

Q: But I read somewhere that we are supposed to cultivate "great doubt".

A: Oh, that was Ta-hui's understanding of doubt who was Yuan-wu's successor. He said that "great doubt is followed by great enlightenment", or something to that effect.

Q: What is your assessment of the way koans are practiced today?

A: To be honest, not very good. It is much like Yuan-wu's time, in which everyone was stuck on interpreting koan phrases, which, ironically, koans were designed as an antidote against. It seems to me, that we haven't changed a bit. Today, the only difference is that teachers now are analyzing koans from various psychological perspectives. They treat koans as if they were psycho-social parables which, of course, they are not.

Q: Aren't there answer to koans?

A: Not in a mundane sense, although in Japanese Rinzai Zen there are pat answers. But this is like giving out pictures of cookies to stop hunger. Thankfully, some crazy Zen master in 1916 gave out the answers to Hakuin's koan system and spared us all pictures of cookies! By the way, he called such Zen "pseudo-Zen".

Q: Does that mean, therefore, there are no answers?

A: It was never the intention of Ta-hui, or his teacher, to give 'word answers' to koans, in the case of riddles. When you penetrate the hua't'ou of the phrase you will know the right spiritual answer. If I say, "Mu" or "Cypress tree in the courtyard", or put my shoes on my head--you will understand. If I say, "Buddha" or chant a mantra, it is the same answer. That comes from seeing the hua-t'ou.

Q: Basically, you're saying that the modern practice of the koan is incorrect--right?

A: I am not going to answer that one. [laughing] I am already in hot water for my views. That is what you get for trying to be true to the original. I guess that makes me an old conservative Zennist!

Q: Well, you have to admit that what you have said so far, is not found in today's Zen books. To be honest, is your version traditional?

A: Of course, my account is traditional. On the other hand, today's so-called Zen books are, for the most part, the machinations of Pop Zennists who don't have the slightest inkling of how koans work. Basically, on this issue, Zen is divided into two camps, viz., those who wish to go beyond representational thinking and those who are using koans as a vehicle for psychological problem solving.

Q: What do you say when teachers tell their students that their own life is a koan?

A: You mean Dogen's idea? I say that they are looking in the wrong direction. Life is samsara--it never gets anywhere.

Q: Then, you don't think our life has any ultimate meaning?

A: What has ultimate meaning is the deathless hua-t'ou. In contrast with that, our body is a walking corpse looking for a grave. Yet, despite this dismal outlook, each of us has the capacity to harmonize with Buddha-nature, and by harmonizing with it, attain eternal life. After that, we will be like a swan, taking flight from a smelly old lake, flying to heaven.

Q: So, koans help us reach heaven? I can't believe that.

A: Koans help us see the immortal. By the way, I was using a metaphor from the Dhammapada. Yes, the Buddha talks about "swans" and "heaven". Sorry to rain on your parade! [laughing]

Q: It is going to take me a while to digest what you have said. For some who have spent years in study with a teacher, your words are depressing. In effect, you are suggesting that my Zen is not Zen because my answers dealt with psychological issues.

A: If I am suggesting anything it is this: China once greatly valued spirit. When the great Chinese mind developed Ch'an (Zen) it was for the purpose of spiritual transcendence--not learning how to cope with everyday life and the kids. In other words, there was only super swan flying Zen! [laughing]

Q: If Zen can't deal with common everyday issues, how can it be any good?

A: The problems people face today are not spiritual problems, but problems of desire and excess. In this regard, not even a Sage can be of any benefit. Only nature and Fate can deal with such people, teaching them their hard lessons. Spirit, on the other hand, says that if you want true happiness, leave your madhouse behind and move towards a higher level of being. The koan helps us do that.

Q: Does answering a koan correctly make one a Buddha?

A: Absolutely not. The answer only points you in the right direction. You just see a little bit of our Mr. Buddha! The insight still has to be cultivated until you manifest the state of Bodhisattva. After you become a Bodhisattva, a whole new practice evolves. Koans, after that, are like reading children's books.

Q: Does that explain why the Bodhisattva path is not mentioned very much in Zen?

A: I think so. But I should point out in Zen's beginnings, uncovered in old Tibetan manuscripts, there were roughly four kinds of Zen, viz., Gradual Zen, Sudden Zen, Mahayoga and Tathagata Zen. Mahayoga was basically the Bodhisattva path which lead to Tathagata Zen. What I think has happened now, is that Mahayoga and Tathagata Zen have been replaced by Sudden Zen. The higher forms of Zen, namely, Mahayoga and Tathagata Zen remained in Tibet and were subsequently absorbed.

Q: That is fascinating. I hope I haven't taken up too much of your time.

A: That's okay. I am glad to share my thoughts with you.

vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 145360
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Avisitor
Oct.30.2012
03:11AM EDT 
Email Avisitor
vertical line That's okay, I'm glad to have fallen asleep before reading the whole thing
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 145363
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Joe Chip
Oct.30.2012
07:48AM EDT 
vertical line I solved this forum.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 145390
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Avisitor
Oct.30.2012
12:34PM EDT 
Email Avisitor
vertical line Quote: "I solved this forum. "
.........

There is no one solution
Try again
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 145470
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Joe Chip
Oct.30.2012
12:35PM EDT 
vertical line Solved.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 145471
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Avisitor
Oct.30.2012
03:30PM EDT 
Email Avisitor
vertical line Quote: "Solved."
.........
Re-solve
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 145484
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from leoj99
Oct.30.2012
11:22PM EDT 
vertical line I  don't think anyone in this forum is interested in koans...lol
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 145515
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from leoj99
Oct.30.2012
11:26PM EDT 
vertical line No one have really solved koans...

It seems Zennists here are hybrids...lol
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 145516
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from leoj99
Oct.31.2012
02:11AM EDT 
vertical line 82.   Nothing Exists

Yamaoka Tesshu, as a young student of Zen, visited one master after another. He called upon Dokuon of Shokoku.

Desiring to show his attainment, he said: "The mind, Buddha, and sentient beings, after all, do not exist. The true nature of phenomena is emptiness. There is no relaization, no delusion, no sage, no mediocrity. There is no giving and nothing to be received."

Dokuon, who was smoking quietly, said nothing. Suddenly he whacked Yamaoka with his bamboo pipe. This made the youth quite angry.

"If nothing exists," inquired Dokuon, "where did this anger come from?"

vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 145520
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from leoj99
Oct.31.2012
02:34AM EDT 
vertical line 67.   What Are You Doing! What Are You Saying!

In modern times a great deal of nonsense is talked about masters and disciples, and about the inheritance of a master's teaching by favorite pupils, entitling them to pass the truth on to their adherents. Of course Zen should be imparted in this way, from heart to heart, and in the past it was really accomplished. Silence and humility reigned rather than profession and assertion. The one who received such a teaching kept the matter hidden even after twenty years. Not until another discovered through his own need that a real master was at hand was it learned hat the teaching had been imparted, and even then the occasion arose quite naturally and the teaching made its way in its own right. Under no circumstances did the teacher even claim "I am the successor of So-and-so." Such a claim would prove quite the contrary.

The Zen master Mu-nan had only one successor. His name was Shoju. After Shoju had completed his study of Zen, Mu-nan called him into his room. "I am getting old," he said, "and as far as I know, Shoju, you are the only one who will carry on this teaching. Here is a book. It has been passed down from master to master for seven generations. I also have added many points according to my understanding. The book is very valuable, and I am giving it to you to represent your successorship."

"If the book is such an important thing, you had better keep it," Shoju replied. "I received your Zen without writing and am satisfied with it as it is."

"I know that," said Mu-nan. "Even so, this work has been carried from master to master for seven generations, so you may keep it as a symbol of having received the teaching. Here."

The two happened to be talking before a brazier. The instant Shoju felt the book in his hands he thrust it into the flaming coals. He had no lust for possessions.

Mu-nan, who never had been angry before, yelled: "What are you doing!"

Shoju shouted back: "What are you saying!"

vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 145525
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from leoj99
Oct.31.2012
02:42AM EDT 
vertical line 21.   The Sound of One Hand

The master of Kennin temple was Mokurai, Silent Thunder. He had a little protege named Toyo who was only twelve years old. Toyo saw the older disciples visit the master's room each morning and evening to receive instruction in sanzen or personal guidance in which they were given koans to stop mind-wandering.

Toyo wished to do sanzen also.

"Wait a while," said Mokurai. "You are too young."

But the child insisted, so the teacher finally consented.

In the evening little Toyo went at the proper time to the threshold of Mokurai's sanzen room. He struck the gong to announce his presence, bowed respectfully three times outside the door, and went to sit before the master in respectful silence.

"You can hear the sound of two hands when they clap together," said Mokurai. "Now show me the sound of one hand."

Toyo bowed and went to his room to consider this problem. From his window he could hear the music of the geishas. "Ah, I have it!" he proclaimed.

The next evening, when his teacher asked him to illustrate the sound of one hand, Toyo began to play the music of the geishas.

"No, no," said Mokurai. "That will never do. That is not the sound of one hand. You've not got it at all."

Thinking that such music might interrupt, Toyo moved his abode to a quiet place. He meditated again. "What can the sound of one hand be?" He happened to hear some water dripping. "I have it," imagined Toyo.

When he next appeared before his teacher, Toyo imitated dripping water.

"What is that?" asked Mokurai. "That is the sound of dripping water, but not the sound of one hand. Try again."

In vain Toyo meditated to hear the sound of one hand. He heard the sighing of the wind. But the sound was rejected.

He heard the cry of an owl. This also was refused.

The sound of one hand was not the locusts.

For more than ten times Toyo visited Mokurai with different sounds. All were wrong. For almost a year he pondered what the sound of one hand might be.

At last little Toyo entered true meditation and transcended all sounds. "I could collect no more," he explained later, "so I reached the soundless sound."

Toyo had realized the sound of one hand.

vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 145526
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Joe Chip
Oct.31.2012
08:56AM EDT 
vertical line Buzz off.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 145548
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Avisitor
Oct.31.2012
03:34PM EDT 
Email Avisitor
vertical line Quote: "Buzz off."
.........
No that is not the sound of one hand clap ... hahaha
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 145598
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Joe Chip
Oct.31.2012
07:33PM EDT 
vertical line Meaning is no meaning.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 145601
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Avisitor
Oct.31.2012
08:34PM EDT 
Email Avisitor
vertical line Quote: "Meaning is no meaning."
.........

The only way meaning can have no meaning is when it is non sense ... haha
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 145605
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Joe Chip
Oct.31.2012
09:23PM EDT 
vertical line It's a koan.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 145610
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Avisitor
Oct.31.2012
09:38PM EDT 
Email Avisitor
vertical line Quote: "It's a koan. "
.........

Oh????
I didn't know.
Sometimes it is hard to make any sense out of what you say
So it isn't non sense ... just no sense??? .... hahaha
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 145611
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from so_teh
Oct.31.2012
10:20PM EDT 
Email so_teh
vertical line Looking for closure? Stop solving Koans.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 145612
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from leoj99
Nov.01.2012
01:04AM EDT 
vertical line 56.   The True Path

Just before Ninakawa passed away the Zen master Ikkyu visited him. "Shall I lead you on?" Ikkyu asked.

Ninakawa replied: "I came here alone and I go alone. What help could you be to me?"

Ikkyu answered: "If you think you really come and go, that is your delusion. Let me show you the path on which there is no coming and no going."

With his words, Ikkyu had revealed the path so clearly that Ninakawa smilled and passed away.

vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 145613
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from so_teh
Nov.01.2012
01:12AM EDT 
Email so_teh
vertical line You don't need something more to explain something more.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 145614
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from so_teh
Nov.01.2012
01:14AM EDT 
Email so_teh
vertical line Accidents happen.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 145615
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from leoj99
Nov.01.2012
01:20AM EDT 
vertical line 80.   The Real Miracle

When Bankei was preaching at Ryumon temple, a Shinshu priest, who believed in salvation through the repitition of the name of the Buddha of Love, was jealous of his large audience and wanted to debate with him.

Bankei was in the midst of a talk when the priest appeared, but the fellow made such a disturbance that bankei stopped his discourse and asked about the noise.

"The founder of our sect," boasted the priest, "had such miraculous powers that he held a brush in his hand on one bank of the river, his attendant held up a paper on the other bank, and the teacher wrote the holy name of Amida through the air. Can you do such a wonderful thing?"

Bankei replied lightly: "Perhaps your fox can perform that trick, but that is not the manner of Zen. My miracle is that when I feel hungry I eat, and when I feel thirsty I drink."

vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 145616
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from so_teh
Nov.01.2012
01:27AM EDT 
Email so_teh
vertical line A koan is a direct moment in [your] life if you so choose to Subscribe
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 145617
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from so_teh
Nov.01.2012
01:32AM EDT 
Email so_teh
vertical line But is not the Authorized Original Story that you are living.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 145618
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from leoj99
Nov.01.2012
01:35AM EDT 
vertical line 17.   Stingy in Teaching

A young physician in Tokyo named Kusuda met a college friend who had been studying Zen. The young doctor asked him what Zen was.

"I cannot tell you what it is," the friend replied, "but one thing is certain. If you understand Zen, you will not be afraid to die."

"That's fine," said Kusuda. "I will try it. Where can I find a teacher?"

"Go to the master Nan-in," the friend told him.

So Kusuda went to call on Nan-in. He carried a dagger nine and a half inches long to determine whether or not the teacher was afraid to die.

When Nan-in saw Kusuda he exclaimed: "Hello, friend. How are you? We haven't seen each other for a long time!"

This perplexed Kusuda, who replied: "We have never met before."

"That's right," answered Nan-in. "I mistook you for another physician who is receiving instruction here."

With such a begining, Kusuda lost his chance to test the master, so reluctantly he asked if he might receive instruction.

Nan-in said: "Zen is not a difficult task. If you are a physician, treat your patients with kindness. That is Zen."

Kusuda visited Nan-in three times. Each time Nan-in told him the same thing. "A phsisician should not waste time around here. Go home and take care of your patients."

It was not clear to Kusuda how such teaching could remove the fear of death. So on the forth visit he complained: "My friend told me that when one learns Zen one loses his fear of death. Each time I come here you tell me to take care of my patients. I know that much. If that is your so-called Zen, I am not going to visit you anymore."

Nan-in smiled and patted the doctor. "I have been too strict with you. Let me give you a koan." He presented Kusuda with Joshu's Mu to work over, which is the first mind-enlightening problem in the book called The Gateless Gate.

Kusuda pondered this problem of Mu (No-Thing) for two years. At length he thought he had reached certainty of mind. But his teacher commented: "You are not in yet."

Kusuda continued in concentration for another yet and a half. His mind became placid. Problems dissolved. No-Thing became the truth. He served his patients well and, without even knowing it, he was free from concern of life and death.

Then he visited Nan-in, his old teacher just smiled.

vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 145619
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Joe Chip
Nov.01.2012
08:02AM EDT 
vertical line Quote-rite, right?
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 145635
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from leoj99
Nov.03.2012
03:03AM EDT 
vertical line
A: What has ultimate meaning is the deathless hua-t'ou. In contrast with that, our body is a walking corpse looking for a grave. Yet, despite this dismal outlook, each of us has the capacity to harmonize with Buddha-nature, and by harmonizing with it, attain eternal life. After that, we will be like a swan, taking flight from a smelly old lake, flying to heaven.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 145749
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from leoj99
Nov.03.2012
03:10AM EDT 
vertical line A: The problems people face today are not spiritual problems, but problems of desire and excess. In this regard, not even a Sage can be of any benefit. Only nature and Fate can deal with such people, teaching them their hard lessons. Spirit, on the other hand, says that if you want true happiness, leave your madhouse behind and move towards a higher level of being. The koan helps us do that.


vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 145750
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Avisitor
Nov.03.2012
01:02PM EDT 
Email Avisitor
vertical line Hi, have you eaten today??
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 145804
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Joe Chip
Nov.03.2012
01:08PM EDT 
vertical line Whipped up some lousy k0rma for yourself?
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 145810
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from leoj99
Nov.03.2012
02:18PM EDT 
vertical line leave your madhouse behind

Ah... Stop thinking...lol
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 145811
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Joe Chip
Nov.03.2012
02:29PM EDT 
vertical line If you're searching for something logically enlightening, look at the finger.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 145814
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from leoj99
Nov.04.2012
07:31PM EDT 
vertical line A: The teacher of Ta-hui, Zen master Yuan-wu, said, "Do not seek for anything within the meaning of the phrase". What he was stressing is that you must learn to hear clearly outside of the phrase in the example of "The enlightened man is one with causation". That is the hua-t'ou. Do you understand?

This is the bait in solving koans. All the fishes are hungry and they bite the bait. And they won't even open their mouth to let go of the bait like they are frogs...


vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 145963
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from leoj99
Nov.04.2012
07:34PM EDT 
vertical line

Q: Does answering a koan correctly make one a Buddha?

A: Absolutely not. The answer only points you in the right direction. You just see a little bit of our Mr. Buddha! The insight still has to be cultivated until you manifest the state of Bodhisattva. After you become a Bodhisattva, a whole new practice evolves. Koans, after that, are like reading children's books.


Koans after that are like reading children's books...lol

vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 145964
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Joe Chip
Nov.04.2012
08:13PM EDT 
vertical line Even your comedy is second-hand.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 145966
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Avisitor
Nov.04.2012
08:27PM EDT 
Email Avisitor
vertical line Leo99, quoting others won't bring you enlightenment.
Try another route ... haha
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 145968
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from esoteric
Nov.05.2012
12:50AM EDT 
vertical line Quote: "

Q: Does answering a koan correctly make one a Buddha?

A: Absolutely not. The answer only points you in the right direction. You just see a little bit of our Mr. Buddha! The insight still has to be cultivated until you manifest the state of Bodhisattva. After you become a Bodhisattva, a whole new practice evolves. Koans, after that, are like reading children's books.


Koans after that are like reading children's books...lol

"
.........

Many adults do not understand children's books. Just like many Zen students do not understand Zen.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 145999
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from starduster
Nov.05.2012
04:44AM EDT 
vertical line Quote: "Quote: "

Q: Does answering a koan correctly make one a Buddha?

A: Absolutely not. The answer only points you in the right direction. You just see a little bit of our Mr. Buddha! The insight still has to be cultivated until you manifest the state of Bodhisattva. After you become a Bodhisattva, a whole new practice evolves. Koans, after that, are like reading children's books.


Koans after that are like reading children's books...lol

"
.........

Many adults do not understand children's books. Just like many Zen students do not understand Zen.
"
.........

"
.........

Many adults do not understand children's books. Just like many Zen students do not understand Zen.
"
.........

Zen students do not understand Zen because there is nothing to learn, therefore nothing to teach.

Those who want to teach should pick another subject.

vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 146000
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from esoteric
Nov.05.2012
09:09AM EDT 
vertical line Quote: "Quote: "Quote: "

Q: Does answering a koan correctly make one a Buddha?

A: Absolutely not. The answer only points you in the right direction. You just see a little bit of our Mr. Buddha! The insight still has to be cultivated until you manifest the state of Bodhisattva. After you become a Bodhisattva, a whole new practice evolves. Koans, after that, are like reading children's books.


Koans after that are like reading children's books...lol

"
.........

Many adults do not understand children's books. Just like many Zen students do not understand Zen.
"
.........

"
.........

Many adults do not understand children's books. Just like many Zen students do not understand Zen.
"
.........

Zen students do not understand Zen because there is nothing to learn, therefore nothing to teach.

Those who want to teach should pick another subject.

"
.........

That thinking is why so many adults do not bother to read children's books. It's a real pity.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 146028
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from leoj99
Mar.31.2013
02:57PM EDT 
vertical line If there is nothing to learn in Zen so why there are many Zen Forums and if there is nothing to teach why there are Teachers at Zen Forums..lol
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 150659
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from football
Mar.31.2013
03:50PM EDT 
Email football
vertical line They are teaching what you say
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 150662
horizontal line
 
Back To Topic List   Go to Top of Page

 



SUPPORT ZENGUIDE.COM
If you are planning on purchasing any product from amazon.com, you can help us out by using the search box to the right or by clicking on this link to begin shopping.


Purchase posters, art prints, media (music CD & DVD)

buy this BUDDHA INCENSE HOLDER
by Unknown
Puchase this Item
More Art Prints & Media
Zen & Buddhism books
 
 
d
.
i
.
s
.
c
.
u
.
s
.
s
.
i
.
o
.
n
.

.
f
.
o
.
r
.
u
.
m
.
Copyright © 1999 - 2014 zenguide.com - All rights reserved. °