Tag Archives: koan
Hakuin Ekaku - Hotei on a Boat

Some Helpful Suggestions on Working with the “What is this?” Koan

Recently, I have been focusing on working with the Zen koan, “What is this?” This is not really a question to be answered with the conceptual mind or mental analysis, but more of a way of being with things with an openness and inquisitiveness into “what is.” This “What is this?” path or practice is […]

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Moon over River

The Bodhisattva Vow-the whole thing is hopeless, but we’ll do it

A hazy autumn moon, solitary and full, falls as it may on the winding river ahead.
 There are those who seek perfect clarity,
 yet sweep as you may, you cannot empty the mind. (The Capping Verse to Dongshan and Shenshan Cross the River) “You can’t teach someone to walk a tightrope wire by telling them […]

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127 Featured Image

Zen Wisdom-The State of No-Mistake is Called Nowness

After my heart teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh, one of the first Zen teachers I read and studied extensively was Roshi John Daido Loori. Founder of the Mountains and Rivers Order of Zen Buddhism, Roshi Loori is considered one the great American masters of the Zen koan system.  Although he recently passed on, you can find […]

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Reaction to Seung Sahn-the Buddha laughed!

Yesterday’s post, “True God, True Buddha” sparked a lot of visits. Any time you have something like “true God” in a title, that’s sure to pique people’s interest. Some come out of curiosity. Some come to argue and defend the “true faith.” And some just wonder what in the heck a Buddhist site might be […]

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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 […]

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Ox-herder

The Ten Ox-herding Images of Zen

I thought I’d do something different and fun in this post, and take a look at probably the most beloved images in Zen Buddhism. Known as The Ten Ox-herding Pictures, they have been the source of endless commentary and inspiration in Zen since at least the 12th century. From the first time I saw them, […]

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The Buddha laughed-Zen humor

The Buddha laughed-Zen Humor My recent post about about the enlightened Zen monk Tanzan: Now-and-Zen-Are you still carrying her? led a visiting friend to ask if I knew more Zen humor. Well, I’ve got lots in my personal database, but it’d be faster if you just visited a very fun website called Zen Humor at […]

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