Logic in Zen? Is it possible to swim in Zen-Koans and exaplain them. What about what?

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  • Our limited experience with Zen-koan..(Under construction)

    1. One koan goes like this: "Does a dog have future / zen nature?" and one should not nipple at it.

    2. There a practical joke about a Zen master and a hot-dog stand. The master ask for "one with everything", pays for the hot-dog and retorts to the hot-dog stand man "where is my change?!". This has nothing to do with the joke above, or below it is.

    3. A zen-koan might only be explainable through an experience.

    4. Think of like this:

      • You have a miss-behaving dog, in our case the animal's name is Winnie.
      • You are somewhat beyond that is termed spirit-anger barrier.
      • So the solution is to "command" the animal like we could do: "DOES A DOG HAVE BUDDHA NATURE, Winne?! :) ", maybe while your hair will stand on end too..

      • They don't have it because they are criminals.

    5. Another one is like this: "What is the sound of one hand clapping".

      • That one was one nasty-easy piece.
      • Normally when on hand is clapping it's due to the other one shaking your hand.
      • This by all means doesn't mean that you have to use both hands when greeting someone always.

      • Or vice versa.

      • But let's say you greet some person in this manner (or he greets you) and you suddenly and simultaneously are aware of the Koan's meaning there instantly. BOOM; Satori, hands trembling, breaking out in sweat, etc. Or start laughing nervously..

    6. If you have other logical explanations to Koan do not hesitate to mail us. Especially if one can explain the following one: "The answer to your problem is on a notice pinned to a tree."

  • Are the koans needed still?

    Contemplating confusion is not so difficult in an interwebed world....

    What other religions promote contemplation, meditation and self understanding without demanding recognition of a godlike caricature?

    Who would you try to solve a koan?

  • I think koans were dropped quite some time ago 18th century ish as a teaching tool or meditational test of students progress by Zen buddhist masters but theuve been around 1500yrs or more.

    I do like the paradoxical logic though..some are quite simplistic bizarre,some amusing or clever lateral thinking/ mindbenders but often there is no definitive answer to any puzzle set a student,nor meant to be,the purpose of them is to invoke spontaneous enlightenment, to open the mind to the obvious or what the contemplator does not immediately see,not necessarily provoke reasoned arguement,only to see things as the teacher/master does.(Im sure a couple of others on here might explain it more succinctly)

    Buddhism doesnt/shouldnt have godlike caricatures.

    The path is to enlightenment, emptiness,nirvana- not godlike devotion to any being -real or imaginary or other better realm..although some do mistakenly try to elevate the buddha to god status which he wasnt and never claimed to be nor wanted.His own teachings were :question everything-even my own teachings.

    Theravidism the strictest adherence to Buddha's teachings see Thai Forest Buddhism, Pali Buddhist tradition (Tripitaka -Pali Canon)

    Tibetan Mahayana (middle way) Tradition is more flexibly interpreted according to which monastic lineage one is a student of.

    Taoism (daoism) is a philosophical religion,also Jainism... no gods required and no ritualistic or dogmatic adherence to mantra as such.(one aspect of buddhism im not comfortable with,Ive been into most non-theist religions and concluded im not looking for any specific destination nor adherence to any ritualistic dogma, more just a philosophical analytical way of living thats the most in tune with the natural order of things and the environment i live in as in some North American indigenous philosophy)...if that makes sense.Koan puzzles i just find interesting.

    There are a few branches of North American indigenous peoples who have a purely philosophical or shamanic base rather than theistic.

    As with most philosophy,koans are worthy of study even if youve no intention of following the zen tradition associated with them.