Trying to understand koan, Buddhist philosophy?

What is a koan in Buddhism?

: a paradox to be meditated upon that is used to train Zen Buddhist monks to abandon ultimate dependence on reason and to force them into gaining sudden intuitive enlightenment.

What is the point of a koan?

As in good politics and good philosophy, the koan was designed to inject “great doubt” into the adept’s mind. Koans are sometimes labelled “nonsensical,” though that misses the point. Logic is not the goal here.

How do you Practise koan?

To practise koans, find a quiet space – similar to the one you do your normal meditation in – and think about the question you’re asking yourself, letting your mind wander but always trying to come back and focus on the specific koan. You can practice koans at any time and you can ponder them for as long as you’d like.

What is a koan and what was it meant to do?

A kōan (公案) (/ˈkoʊæn, -ɑːn/; Chinese: 公案; pinyin: gōng’àn, [kʊ́ŋ ân]; Korean: 화두, hwadu; Vietnamese: công án) is a story, dialogue, question, or statement which is used in Zen practice to provoke the “great doubt” and to practice or test a student’s progress in Zen.

Who invented koan?

We do know that the Chinese teacher Dahui Zonggao (1089-1163) made koan study a central part of Lin-chi (or Rinzai) Zen practice. Master Dahui and later Master Hakuin were the primary architects of the practice of koans that western Rinzai students encounter today.

What is another word for koan?

What is another word for koan?

paradox contradiction
anomaly oddity
oxymoron absurdity
conundrum enigma
mystery puzzle

What is an example of a koan?

A characteristic example of the style is the well-known koan “When both hands are clapped a sound is produced; listen to the sound of one hand clapping.” Sometimes the koan is set in question-and-answer form, as in the question “What is Buddha?” and its answer, “Three pounds of flax.”

What is the answer to the Mu koan?

In Mahayana Buddhism, Buddha-nature is the fundamental nature of all beings. In Buddhism, “all beings” really does mean “all beings,” not just “all humans.” And a dog certainly is a “being.” The obvious answer to the monk’s question “does a dog have Buddha-nature,” is yes.

What technique for meditation in Buddhism that uses koans?

Kōan-inquiry may be practiced during zazen (sitting meditation), kinhin (walking meditation), and throughout all the activities of daily life. The goal of the practice is often termed kensho (seeing one’s true nature).

Are koans poems?

Koans are not poetry as a rule, and do not aspire to being poetry, but are some type of simple teaching story that is a little bit like a riddle.

What is a koan designed to do give an example of a koan?

What is a koan designed to do? a puzzle or riddle designed to confuse one’s mind. The Rinzai Zen sect often uses the koans to puzzle students. Identify the positive effects of Zen on the mind.

What does the name koan mean?

Wiktionary. koannoun. A story about a Zen master and his student, sometimes like a riddle, other times like a fable, which has become an object of Zen study, and which, when meditated upon, may unlock mechanisms in the Zen student’s mind leading to satori. koannoun.

How do you pronounce the name koan?

Koan is not phonetic, so rather than sounding like “cone”, Koan is pronounced “koh-an”.

  1. And to help you remember how to pronounce Koan, we’ve come up with some new lyrics to Celine Dion’s famous hit from The Titanic, My Heart will Koan!
  2. Near, far, wherever you OKR,
  3. I believe that the heart does Koan.

How do you pronounce Zen koan?


It sounds like a Buddhist Cohen doesn't it.

Is koan an English word?

noun, plural ko·ans, ko·an. Zen. a nonsensical or paradoxical question to a student for which an answer is demanded, the stress of meditation on the question often being illuminating.

Does a dog have Buddha nature?

Interpretations. The koan is not about whether a dog does or does not have a Buddha-nature because everything is Buddha-nature, and either a positive or negative answer is absurd because there is no particular thing called Buddha-nature.

What means Satori?

sudden enlightenment

Definition of satori



: sudden enlightenment and a state of consciousness attained by intuitive illumination representing the spiritual goal of Zen Buddhism.