(J) a seemingly impossible riddle such as ‘what was your face before the birth of your parents?' or ‘where is the silence?' used during meditation to try to achieve sudden enlightenment.
a riddle that cannot be solved by intellectual thinking used in Rinzai Zen meditation; one's own particular delusion(s).
Literally "public case." Koans are usually brief stories about the Masters and their disciples that are employed by the Zen student as the basis for intense questioning. Since koans cannot be solved by the discursive intellect, they force the student to leap beyond him- or herself. Because of this they are a very helpful method of practice for students with a strong desire to resolve fundamental existential questions.
A technical term used in Zen Buddhism referring to enigmatic or paradoxical questions used to develop intuition. Also refers to religious problems encountered in daily life.
Conundrums or propositions used as an aid to Buddhist meditation and enlightenment.
a paradoxical annecdote or a riddle that has no solution; used in Zen Buddhism to show the inadequacy of logical reasoning
a conundrum, a paradoxical phrase which an individual is assigned to "work on
a kind of non-sense puzzle to which there is no rational answer
a metaphysical question or riddle used to lead students of Zen to enlightenment
a mind puzzle with no easily reachable or speakable answer
a multi-level structural device that is used in Zen practice Tantric Buddhism - Tantric Sex - Quotations by Zen Master Rama, Dr
a multi-level structural device that is used in Zen practice Tibetan Buddhism - Clear Light - Quotations by Zen Master Rama, Dr
an absurd puzzle
an impossible puzzle
a parable of paradox that clears away conscious thought in order to elevate one's mind to a higher plane
a paradoxical statement that is usually used in Zen Buddhism as a meditation aid
a puzzle that cannot be answered in ordinary ways
a puzzle which annot be answered in ordinary ways because it is paradox ical
a puzzle which has no answer, and they were told to find out the answer, "and when you have found it, come
a puzzle without any clue
a puzzling, often paradoxical statement or story, used in Zen Buddhism as an aid to meditation and a means of gaining spiritual awakening and usually one of the sayings of a great Zen master of the past
a question, a situation, that cannot be solved by the mind
a question in the history and lore of Chan (Zen) Buddhism, to which the answer is inaccessible to
a question or a story that is puzzling in some way
a question that you can not unravel without unraveling everything
a riddle devised by the Chinese Zen masters to stop budding Buddhist minds from wandering
a riddle, mostly in the form of a paradox, used in Zen Buddhism as a means of gaining intuitive knowledge
a riddle of sorts, put to a student of Zen by his master
a riddle or question, but one that has no correct answer - it is a paradox to be meditated upon as a way of getting away from pure reason
a riddle which cannot be solved -- but you have to think about it
a riddle which is not soluble
a riddle with no apparent logical answer used in hopes of exhausting the mind into a state of release or satori
a riddle with no clear answer
a saying which challenges the habitual and rational thought processes of the mind
a simple question or statement expressed with the intention of knocking you out of your normal state of mind and, even briefly, into a more abstract and illogical state
a sort of riddle that seems to have no answer
a statement made by an old Zen master, or an answer of his
a Zen Buddhist question designed to tax the rational facilities so much that enlightenment is achieved
a Zen riddle which reveals an aspect of enlightenment when uncovered)
a Zen riddle whose solution is the simultaneous awakening to the secret of Zen - one's own true nature
word or phrase creating a problem that cannot be solved by the intellect or pure reason or thought, but one which requires intuitive understanding, a leap of faith
A paradoxical, and often senseless, question posed in Ch'an Buddhism to aid in meditation. “What is the sound of one hand clapping” is a well known koan. N O U V W X menu
A riddle, tale, or short statement used by Zen masters to bring their students to sudden insight.
Literally, a 'public record' pointing to realization in a Zen teaching context, usually involving interaction. Short Example: A monk asked Joshu, 'Does a dog have Buddha nature?' Joshu replied, 'Mu.' (literally: without or lacking) Koans may be used discursively or as objects of meditation.
A riddle with no logical answer used in the Rinzai sect of Zen to confound the conscious mind and allow the aspirant to achieve spontaneous insight. (Japanese)
(Japanese) A paradoxical anecdote or story; used to bring Zen students to realization and to help clarify their enlightenment.
a perplexing paradox that points to ultimate truth
Riddle containing a hidden truth.
A question given to a Zen student by a master during an interview. The student goes over the question in his or her mind while meditating. The koan system of a series of interviews with the master is a means of testing the student to find his or her state of mind and to lead the student to awakening. With a clear mind a koan can be answered in an instant; with a muddled mind it might take years. Examples: "Does a dog have buddha-nature?" "What is the sound of one hand clapping?"
A seemingly paradoxical riddle or statement that is used as a training device in Zen practice to force the mind to abandon logic and dualistic thought.
Specific words and experiences of the ancients that cannot be solved by logic or rational thought. People of Zen training use them to cut dualistic thinking, awaken to their Buddha nature, and rid themselves of ego. (Return)
A riddle-like puzzle used for teaching in Zen Buddhism. It cannot be solved by reason, but instead forces the student to solve it through a flash of insight. A well-known example is the question, "What is the sound of one hand clapping?" For a collection of koans, click here.
(kung-sn): Words, phrases, questions, riddles, or statements used as objects of meditation. Essential to a koan is paradox, i.e. that which is beyond thinking, which transcends the logical or conceptual. Through contemplation of the koan, the student is brought to great awareness of reality. Used by the Ch'an or Zen School.
in Zen Buddhism, the Japanese term for the posing of baffling riddles or exercises that cannot be solved in a discursive or rational manner. They are intended to force the student into a corner, as it were, so that he/she will be open to the immediacy of enlightenment, or satori, as a subjective experience of one's own Buddha nature.
A kÅÂ·an (å…¬æ¡ˆ; Japanese: kÅan, Chinese: gÅng-Ã n) is a story, dialogue, question, or statement in the history and lore of Chan (Zen) Buddhism, generally containing aspects that are inaccessible to rational understanding, yet that may be accessible to intuition. A famous koan is, "Two hands clap and there is a sound; what is the sound of one hand?" (oral tradition, attributed to Hakuin Ekaku, 1686-1769, considered a reviver of the koan tradition in Japan).