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Koans

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01 Jan 2013 15:18 - 01 Jan 2013 15:19 #86365 by Akkarin
Koans was created by Akkarin
Koan: A paradoxical anecdote or riddle, used in Zen Buddhism to demonstrate the inadequacy of logical reasoning and to provoke enlightenment.

As with the Imperishable Gem koans will be done as a reply, people may submit their own but this thread is not for discussion. Separate threads can be opened for discussion of a particular one but the purpose behind a koan is to be read until you understand it... so discussion may render the enlightened realisation a bit fruitless... (like explaining the punchline of a joke)

Koans are not solved intellectually but rather intuitively, don't 'think' your way through them... 'experience' your way through them...

This was kind of inspired by Br John posting some of his ones every now and then and I thought it might be nice to have a collection of them :)

"If a tree falls in the woods and no one's around to hear it except for one man, but the tree falls on that man and kills him, does the man dying make a sound?" - Jon Lajoie

Apprentice: Desolous , Xaii
Master: Br. John
Last edit: 01 Jan 2013 15:19 by Akkarin.
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01 Jan 2013 15:19 #86366 by Akkarin
Replied by Akkarin on topic Koans
An appropriate start:


A Cup of Tea

Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868-1912), received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen.

Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor's cup full, and then kept on pouring.

The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. "It is overfull. No more will go in!"

"Like this cup," Nan-in said, "you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?"

"If a tree falls in the woods and no one's around to hear it except for one man, but the tree falls on that man and kills him, does the man dying make a sound?" - Jon Lajoie

Apprentice: Desolous , Xaii
Master: Br. John
The following user(s) said Thank You: Jestor, Luthien, Alexandre Orion, MCSH

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01 Jan 2013 18:02 #86380 by RyuJin
Replied by RyuJin on topic Koans
this is an old one i posted in another thread in the buddhit sig ages ago (it was a koan thread that seems to have been either buried or lost)

-what did your face look like before your parents were born?-

Warning: Spoiler! [ Click to expand ]


Out of darkness, he brings light. Out of hatred, love. Out of dishonor, honor-james allen-
He who has conquered doubt and fear has conquered failure-james allen-
The sword is the key to heaven and hell-Mahomet-
The best won victory is that obtained without shedding blood-Count Katsu-
All men's souls are immortal, only the souls of the righteous are immortal and divine -Socrates-
I'm the best at what I do, what I do ain't pretty-wolverine

J.L.Lawson,Sr Knight, B.div, Eastern Studies S.I.G. Advisor (Formerly Known as the Buddhist Rite)
Former Masters: GM Kana Seiko Haruki , Br.John
Current Apprentices: Baru
Former Apprentices:Adhara(knight), Zenchi (knight)
The following user(s) said Thank You: Alexandre Orion, MCSH

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01 Jan 2013 22:20 #86423 by Alexandre Orion
Replied by Alexandre Orion on topic Koans
JOSHU asked a monk who appeared for the first time in the hall,
"Have I ever seen you here before?" The monk answered, "No sir,
you have not."

"Then have a cup of tea," said Joshu.

He turned to another monk. "Have I ever seen you here before?" he
said. "Yes sir, of course you have," said the second monk.

"Then have a cup of tea," said Joshu.

Later, the managing monk of the monastery asked Joshu, "How is it
that you make the same offer of tea whatever the reply to your
question?"

At this Joshu shouted, "Manager, are you still here?"

"Of course, master!" the manager answered. "Then have a cup of
tea," said Joshu.

Chaque homme a des devoirs envers l'homme en tant qu'homme.
~ Henri Bergson
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02 Jan 2013 04:35 #86491 by Resticon
Replied by Resticon on topic Koans
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 realization, 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?"

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02 Jan 2013 18:02 #86579 by RyuJin
Replied by RyuJin on topic Koans
a young monk sees his master sweeping dirt onto a buddha statue.
"master, what are you doing?"
"i am sweeping the floor"
"but why are you sweeping the dirt onto the buddha?, what would he say?"
the master sets down his broom and spits on the buddha statue, much to the young monks dismay.
shocked the young monk shouts,"MASTER"
his master smiles and shakes his head,"my dear friend, he wouldn't say anything, he's just a statue"

Warning: Spoiler! [ Click to expand ]


Out of darkness, he brings light. Out of hatred, love. Out of dishonor, honor-james allen-
He who has conquered doubt and fear has conquered failure-james allen-
The sword is the key to heaven and hell-Mahomet-
The best won victory is that obtained without shedding blood-Count Katsu-
All men's souls are immortal, only the souls of the righteous are immortal and divine -Socrates-
I'm the best at what I do, what I do ain't pretty-wolverine

J.L.Lawson,Sr Knight, B.div, Eastern Studies S.I.G. Advisor (Formerly Known as the Buddhist Rite)
Former Masters: GM Kana Seiko Haruki , Br.John
Current Apprentices: Baru
Former Apprentices:Adhara(knight), Zenchi (knight)
The following user(s) said Thank You: Akkarin, Jestor, Alexandre Orion, MCSH

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02 Jan 2013 22:10 #86633 by Akkarin
Replied by Akkarin on topic Koans
Is That So?

The Zen master Hakuin was praised by his neighbours as one living a pure life.

A beautiful Japanese girl whose parents owned a food store lived near him. Suddenly, without any warning, her parents discovered she was with child.

This made her parents angry. She would not confess who the man was, but after much harassment at last named Hakuin.

In great anger the parent went to the master. "Is that so?" was all he would say.

After the child was born it was brought to Hakuin. By this time he had lost his reputation, which did not trouble him, but he took very good care of the child. He obtained milk from his neighbours and everything else he needed.

A year later the girl-mother could stand it no longer. She told her parents the truth - the real father of the child was a young man who worked in the fishmarket.

The mother and father of the girl at once went to Hakuin to ask forgiveness, to apologize at length, and to get the child back.

Hakuin was willing. In yielding the child, all he said was: "Is that so?"

"If a tree falls in the woods and no one's around to hear it except for one man, but the tree falls on that man and kills him, does the man dying make a sound?" - Jon Lajoie

Apprentice: Desolous , Xaii
Master: Br. John
The following user(s) said Thank You: Jestor, Alexandre Orion, MCSH

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03 Jan 2013 20:59 - 03 Jan 2013 21:00 #86882 by Alexandre Orion
Replied by Alexandre Orion on topic Koans
A FAMOUS soldier came to the master Hakuin and asked: "Master,
tell me: is there really a heaven and a hell?"

"Who are you?" asked Hakuin.

"I am a soldier of the great Emperor's personal guard."

"Nonsense!" said Hakuin. "What kind of emperor would have you
around him? To me you look like a beggar!" At this, the soldier
started to rattle his big sword in anger. "Oho!" said Hakuin. "So
you have a sword! I'll wager it's much too dull to cut my head
off!"

At this the soldier could not hold himself back. He drew his sword
and threatened the master, who said: "Now you know half the
answer! You are opening the gates of hell!"

The soldier drew back, sheathed his sword, and bowed. "Now you
know the other half," said the master. "You have opened the gates
of heaven."

Chaque homme a des devoirs envers l'homme en tant qu'homme.
~ Henri Bergson
Last edit: 03 Jan 2013 21:00 by Alexandre Orion.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Akkarin, Jestor, Proteus, MCSH, Llama Su, Carlos.Martinez3

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03 Jan 2013 21:51 #86886 by Desolous
Replied by Desolous on topic Koans
i would like to see some modern versions.

Master: Senior Knight Akkarin
Location: Alabama, USA
Impure Jediist

Rank: Apprentice

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03 Jan 2013 22:07 #86890 by Akkarin
Replied by Akkarin on topic Koans

Desolous wrote: i would like to see some modern versions.


Bob the Janitor was praised by his neighbours as one living a pure life.

A gorgeous senator's daughter whose parents had great influence. Suddenly, without any warning, her parents discovered she was with child.

This made her parents angry. She would not confess who the man was, but after much harassment at last named Bob.

In great anger the parents went to the janitor. "Is that so?" was all he would say.

After the child was born it was brought to Bob. By this time he had lost his reputation, which did not trouble him, but he took very good care of the child. He obtained child benefit from his council and everything else he needed.

A year later the senator's daughter could stand it no longer. She told her parents the truth - the real father of the child was a young man who worked for the other political party.

The mother and father of the girl at once went to Bob to ask forgiveness, to apologize at length, and to get the child back.

Bob was willing. In yielding the child, all he said was: "Is that so?"

"If a tree falls in the woods and no one's around to hear it except for one man, but the tree falls on that man and kills him, does the man dying make a sound?" - Jon Lajoie

Apprentice: Desolous , Xaii
Master: Br. John
The following user(s) said Thank You: Jestor, Luthien

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