Author Topic: Koans  (Read 6159 times)

Offline rogerology

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Koans
« on: November 30, 2009, 08:54:58 am »
I'm looking for some good books on Koans, any suggestions?

Offline Dae Bi

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Re: Koans
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2009, 12:26:21 pm »
The Mumokan,  the Blue cliff record fo starters.
I am he as you are he and we are all together.
                                                                           The Beatles

First there is a mountain then there is no mountain,
then there is.
                       Donovan

Offline Optimus Prime

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Re: Koans
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2009, 01:38:52 pm »
I liked this story that I was recently reading, related by Master Hsuan Hua:

The Great Master Yung Chia became enlightened while studying the Nirvana Sutra. Then he wrote the Song of Enlightenment; it contained songs that he sang. Although he had become enlightened, not many people could understand the deep principles he was expounding. Therefore, he put his songs together to describe some of his states. When he heard that the Sixth Patriarch was propagating the Mind Dharma at Ts’ao Hsi Monastery, he went to draw near to the Sixth Patriarch and to ask for his seal and certification. When he first arrived at Ts’ao Hsi, he circumambulated the Patriarch’s seat three times, plunked his tin staff on the ground, and then stood erect to one side. He didn’t even bow to the Patriarch. The Sixth Patriarch said,

“Shramanas adhere to three thousand awesome comportments and 80,000 subtle practices. Today you come in here and give rise to great arrogance. You don’t have the first bit of good manners. What are you trying to prove?”

The Master Yung Chia said, “Birth and death are big affairs; impermanence comes quickly.” He was implying that the matter of birth and death was so important there was no time for things like courtesy.

The Sixth Patriarch said, “Why not embody non-production and understand that which is not quick?” The meaning here was “Why don’t you get to the bottom of this and truly understand the principles of non-production and quickness?”

Dharma Master Yung Chia replied, “The body itself is not produced; fundamentally there is no quickness.” He had quick retorts to the Patriarch’s questions. The Master understood that originally there is no birth and death. If there is not even birth and death how can impermanence come quickly? He had arrived at the attainment wherein all dharmas are seen as neither produced nor destroyed, neither pure nor defiled, neither fast nor slow.

The Sixth Patriarch said, “So it is; so it is!” He couldn’t help praising Master Yung Chia saying, “Right! This is good work!”

Great Master Yung Chia then made obeisance with perfect awesome comportment. A short while later he announced that he was leaving, but the Sixth Patriarch entreated him to stay overnight. From this famous occasion Dharma Master Yung Chia was called, “The One Enlightened Overnight.” This was because he was certified to having obtained the Mind-Seal Dharma during his overnight stay at Ts’ao Hsi Monastery. 


m0rl0ck

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Re: Koans
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2009, 07:07:58 am »
Im currently working on a chan huatou and have also worked on a zen koan. imo these practices need to be done with a teacher, there are pitfalls for the unwary.

Offline rogerology

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Re: Koans
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2009, 08:23:59 am »
What sort of pitfalls? How would a novice go about it safely?

m0rl0ck

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Re: Koans
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2009, 09:27:46 am »
What sort of pitfalls? How would a novice go about it safely?

There is probably no harm in reading about them but if you are going to do serious practice with them you need to see a teacher imo. Novice or not, i dont think its a good idea to practice them without some guidance. I would rather not get into specifics because your experience coud differ from mine and a specific caution might do more harm than good. You might think you were more prepared than you actually were. 

 


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