A Koan on Life and Death and What is Permanent

I came upon this koan this morning, and it felt like a perfect follow-up to yesterday’s post:

Groundhog Day and the serious problem of impermanence

May this koan be a gentle nudge, or thunderclap, that leads to awakening—just this.

Coming empty-handed, going empty-handed — that is human.
When you are born, where do you come from?
When you die, where do you go?
Life is like a floating cloud which appears.
Death is like a floating cloud which disappears.
The floating cloud itself originally does not exist.
Life and death, coming and going, are also like that.
But there is one thing which always remains clear.
It is pure and clear, not depending on life and death.
Then what is the one pure and clear thing?

from Zen Master Seung Sahn


About Steven Goodheart

"I have made a ceaseless effort not to ridicule, not to bewail, not to scorn human actions, but to understand them." Spinoza

2 Responses to “A Koan on Life and Death and What is Permanent”

  1. being nobody
    being nothing,
    just Now Here,
    AM everything.


  1. Zen Wisdom-The State of No-Mistake is Called Nowness « Metta Refuge - 2010/05/03

    […] A Koan on Life and Death and What is Permanent […]

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