Kōan

For other uses, see Koan

The kōan Script error: No such module "Zh".;[1] Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:Language/data/iana scripts' not found. are groupings of related questions and answers which are a paradox.[2] The kōan may be a story which cannot be understood or explained easily.

The kōan can be a special kind of metaphor with a hidden meaning,[3] such as "the sound of one hand clapping".[4]

History

Kōans originate in the sayings and events in the lives of wise men and legendary figures.

A kōan can refer to a story selected from Buddhist historical records and sutras.

The kōan is a fundamental part of the history and practice of Zen Buddhism.[5]

Select examples

  • "Firewood becomes ash and it does not become firewood again".[6]
  • "The verbal and the nonverbal are like vines clinging to a tree".[7]

Classical kōan collections

  • Blue Cliff Record or Account of the Blue Montains Script error: No such module "Zh".; Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:Language/data/iana scripts' not found.,[2] is a collection of 100 kōans compiled in 1125 by Yuanwu Keqin (圜悟克勤 1063–1135).
  • The Book of Equanimity or Book of Serenity Script error: No such module "Zh".; Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:Language/data/iana scripts' not found.[8] is a collection of 100 Kōans compiled in the 12th century by Hongzhi Zhengjue (宏智正覺 1091–1157)[9]
  • The Gateless Gate of the Gate with no Entrance Script error: No such module "Zh".; Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:Language/data/iana scripts' not found.[2] is a collection of 48 kōans and commentaries published in 1228 by Chinese monk Wumen (無門 1183–1260). The title may be more accurately rendered as Gateless Barrier or Gateless Checkpoint.

References

  1. The English word comes from the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese characters.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Kōan" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 535.
  3. Loori, John Daido. (2005). Sitting with Koans: Essential Writings on the Zen Practice of Koan Study, p. 128; Wu, Kuang-Ming. (2001). On Metaphoring: A Cultural Hermeneutic, p. 656.
  4. Crowley, Richard J. and Joyce C. Mills. (2001}. Therapeutic Metaphors for Children and the Child Within, p. 8.
  5. Nussbaum, "Zen-shū" at pp. 1072-1073.
  6. Dogen, Eihei. (2011). Dogen's Genjo Koan: Three Commentaries, p. 68.
  7. Heine, Steven and Dale S. Wright. (2000). The Kōan: Texts and Contexts in Zen Buddhism, p. 186.
  8. Shōyōroku Template:Fremdsprache
  9. Hongzhi Zhengjue is also known as Wanshi Shōgaku

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