koan


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koan

(kō`än) [Jap.,=public question; Chin. kung-an], a subject for meditation in Ch'an or Zen BuddhismZen Buddhism,
Buddhist sect of China and Japan. The name of the sect (Chin. Ch'an, Jap. Zen) derives from the Sanskrit dhyana [meditation]. In China the school early became known for making its central tenet the practice of meditation, rather than adherence
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, usually one of the sayings of a great Zen master of the past. In the formative period of Ch'an in China, masters tested the enlightenment of their students and of each other through statements and dialogue that expressed spiritual intuition in nonrational, paradoxical language. In later generations records of such conversations began to be used for teaching, and the first collections of subjects, or koans, were made in the 11th cent. Koan practice was transmitted to Japan as part of Zen in the 13th cent., and it remains one of the main practices of the Rinzai sect. The most famous koan collections are the Wu-men-kuan (Jap. Mu-mon-kan) or "Gateless Gate" and the Pi-yen-lu (Jap. Heki-gan-roku) or "Blue Cliff Records." A well-known koan is: "What is the sound of one hand clapping?"

Bibliography

See D. T. Suzuki, Zen Buddhism (1956); I. Miura and R. F. Sasaki, Zen Dust (1966); H. Dumoulin, A History of Zen Buddhism (1989).

References in periodicals archive ?
The stanza opens with a well-known koan question: "What can be said about a Rabbit / Solitary and without context / Set before the mind.
This same sense of koan or paradox can be applied to further understand invitational classrooms.
Ki-bong's major practice is meditation on the koan the Master gives him: "When the moon in your mind waxes beneath the water, where does the Master of my being go?"
This holding of the koan question in reverse place is complicated by the koan itself: the question seems to do all it can to bring about failure, which in this case takes the form of a too-hasty answer.
En los primeros dos versos, Janes crea su propio koan, "Uno son todos los caminos, / una y plural la musica." La unica manera de entender la contradiccion aparente de estos versos es a traves de una vision que muestra la unidad permanente de estos elementos en todo momento.
As I think about the questions you've posed about the liminal object, I think about koans. In Zen, the teacher gives the student this spiritual question to explore, to take the student into the nature of things, to stop the rational mind dead in its tracks and reveal the true nature, the essence of things.
"Joshu Sees Through the Old Woman." The Book of Equanimity: Illuminating Classic Zen Koans. Somerville, MA: Wisdom
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philosophy, especially koans and the variety of interpretations their
Zen Sand: The Book of Capping Phrases for Koan Practice.
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Some of most important public works include White Koan at the University of Warwick