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koan
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Post by koan »

Everything Is Best

When Banzan was walking through a market he overheard a conversation between a butcher and his customer.

"Give me the best piece of meat you have," said the customer.

"Everything in my shop is the best," replied the butcher. "You cannot find here any piece of meat that is not the best."

At these words Banzan became enlightened.
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Post by koan »

Zen in a Beggar's Life

Tosui was a well-known Zen teacher of his time. He had lived in several temples and taught in various provinces.

The last temple he visited accumulated so many adherents that Tosui told them he was going to quit the lecture business entirely. He advised them to disperse and to go wherever they desired. After that no one could find any trace of him.

Three years later one of his disciples discovered him living with some beggars under a bridge in Kyoto. He at once implored Tosui to teach him.

"If you can do as I do for even a couple of days, I might," Tosui replied.

So the former disciple dressed as a beggar and spent a day with Tosui. The following day one of the beggars died. Tosui and his pupil carried the body off at midnight and buried it on a mountainside. After that they returned to their shelter under the bridge.

Tosui slept soundly the remainder of the night, but the disciple could not sleep. When morning came Tosui said: "We do not have to beg food today. Our dead friend has left some over there." But the disciple was unable to eat a single bite of it.

"I have said you could not do as I," concluded Tosui. "Get out of here and do not bother me again."
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Post by koan »

Muddy Road

Tanzan and Ekido were once traveling together down a muddy road. A heavy rain was still falling.

Coming around a bend, they met a lovely girl in a silk kimono and sash, unable to cross the intersection.

"Come on, girl" said Tanzan at once. Lifting her in his arms, he carried her over the mud.

Ekido did not speak again until that night when they reached a lodging temple. Then he no longer could restrain himself. "We monks don't go near females," he told Tanzan, "especially not young and lovely ones. It is dangerous. Why did you do that?"

"I left the girl there," said Tanzan. "Are you still carrying her?"
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Post by koan »

The Voice of Happiness

After Bankei had passed away, a blind man who lived near the master's temple told a friend:

"Since I am blind, I cannot watch a person's face, so I must judge his character by the sound of his voice. Ordinarily when I hear someone congratulate another upon his happiness or success, I also hear a secret tone of envy. When condolence is expressed for the misfortune of another, I hear pleasure and satisfaction, as if the one condoling was really glad there was something left to gain in his own world.

"In all my experience, however, Bankei's voice was always sincere. Whenever he expressed happiness, I heard nothing but happiness, and whenever he expressed sorrow, sorrow was all I heard."
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Post by koan »

Fire-Poker Zen

Hakuin used to tell his pupils about an old woman who had a teashop, praising her understanding of Zen. The pupils refused to believe what he told them and would go to the teashop to find out for themselves.

Whenever the woman saw them coming she could tell at once whether they had come for tea or to look into her grasp of Zen. In the former case, she would server them graciously. In the latter, she would beckon to the pupils to come behind her screen. The instant they obeyed, she would strike them with a fire-poker.

Nine out of ten of them could not escape her beating.
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Post by koan »

Not A Fish

One day Chuang-tzu and a friend were walking along a riverbank. "How delightfully the fishes are enjoying themselves in the water!" Chuang-tzu exclaimed.

"You are not a fish," his friend said. "How do you know whether or not the fishes are enjoying themselves?"

"You are not me," Chuang-tzu said. "How do you know that I do not know that the fishes are enjoying themselves?"
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Post by koan »

A Parable

Buddha told a parable in sutra:

A man traveling across a field encountered a tiger. He fled, the tiger after him. Coming to a precipice, he caught hold of the root of a wild vine and swung himself down over the edge. The tiger sniffed at him from above. Trembling, the man looked down to where, far below, another tiger was waiting to eat him. Only the vine sustained him.

Two mice, one white and one black, little by little started to gnaw away the vine. The man saw a luscious strawberry near him. Grasping the vine with one hand, he plucked the strawberry with the other. How sweet it tasted!
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Post by Nomad »

koan wrote: A Parable



Buddha told a parable in sutra:



A man traveling across a field encountered a tiger. He fled, the tiger after him. Coming to a precipice, he caught hold of the root of a wild vine and swung himself down over the edge. The tiger sniffed at him from above. Trembling, the man looked down to where, far below, another tiger was waiting to eat him. Only the vine sustained him.



Two mice, one white and one black, little by little started to gnaw away the vine. The man saw a luscious strawberry near him. Grasping the vine with one hand, he plucked the strawberry with the other. How sweet it tasted!




If only we could live all of our moments as if a tiger were chasing us. Im trying but its difficult not to be absorbed by the nuances of daily life.
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OpenMind
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Post by OpenMind »

These are great Koan.:-6
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Post by koan »

No Water, No Moon



When the nun Chiyono studied Zen under Bukko of Engaku she was unable to attain the fruits of meditation for a long time.

At last one moonlit night she was carrying water in an old pail bound with bamboo. The bamboo broke and the bottom fell out of the pail, and at that moment Chiyono was set free!

In commemoration, she wrote a poem:

In this way and that I tried to save the old pail

Since the bamboo strip was weakening and about

to break

Until at last the bottom fell out.

No more water in the pail!

No more moon in the water!
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Post by Bez »

Hope you don't mind if I add something from time to time Koan.



"Misfortune comes from one's mouth and ruins one, but fortune comes from one's heart and makes one worthy of respect."



Nicherin Daishonin :-6
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Post by koan »

Bez wrote: Hope you don't mind if I add something from time to time Koan.






Absolutely not. I control nothing here, nor would I wish to. :-6
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Post by Bez »

koan wrote: Absolutely not. I control nothing here, nor would I wish to. :-6


I didn't want to hi-jack your thread. I'm finding it very interesting. I practise the buddhism of Nicherin Daishonin. :yh_yinyan
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Post by Nomad »

SnoozeControl wrote: If only we could appreciate the strawberry as if knowing it would be the last thing we'd ever taste.


Ill assume this is sarcasm. Why ?

This is your life. Your life can be anything. It can be dull and boring or it can be lived to the extreme. Either way its a choice that begins with attitude and perception. Why is wanting to wring every ounce of purpose out of life deserving of sarcasm ?
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Nomad
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Post by Nomad »

SnoozeControl wrote: That is definitely NOT sarcasm, that's how I interpreted the parable.



I don't feel life should be lived feeling like a tiger is chasing you... how stressful would that be? It should be appreciated like every bite of the strawberry might be the last.



Did that make sense?


Yes. I assumed wrong, I apologize.
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Nomad
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Post by Nomad »

Im probably being too literal here but what I meant by living life as if the tiger were chasing you was that life is the tiger, the tiger is what motivates us to enjoy the strawberry. Not to imply that we should be panicked but rather to be aware that time flows, that life is constantly pushing us to the edge of that cliff. Awareness is the key that opens the doors so that we can "see"
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Post by spot »

He was a great man, Lobsang Rampa, you shouldn't mock. He changed the lives of thousands of people, fraud or otherwise. He had to flee England eventually, and died in Calgary in 1981. Maybe our local cowgirl met him?

I never saw the least reason to regard him as a fraud at all.
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Post by Nomad »

Diuretic wrote: Mysticism hasn't been the same since dear old Lobsang Whatisname was exposed as a fraud.....




I fail to see how parables could be construed as mysticism. Help me out here.
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Post by Tariki »

Thanks for the thread, very enjoyable, if not "enlightening" :wah:

I gain much, or lose it, by comparsiosns and similarities between faiths, and the tiger story made me think of a Jewish one...............well, yes, I know this is the "Eastern Religions" section, but when do we actually hit the "east"?

Anyway, a guy is walking along a mountain path, his foot slips and he goes over the edge. He manages to grasp hold of an over-hanging branch, but can't hold on for long. It's a long long drop! He calls out........"If there is anybody up there, help me!!!" A great big voice calls out from the heavens above and says......"There is somebody up here. I will help you. Just let go of the branch and the eternal arms shall lift you high" The Jewish guy considers this, then looks down at the drop.......and then cries out again..."Is there anybody else up there?"

"East" or "west" ?

Anyway, my apologies. To get back on track...................a traditional Zen Koan.........."A clearly enlightened person falls in the well. How is this so?"

:)
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Post by Tariki »

Diuretic wrote: :wah: - I love Jewish humour, I was listening to a radio documentary on it one night driving home after work and nearly ran off the road laughing so hard....sorry...back on track with us all then :)


Diuretic,

Glad to find another who shares my own love of Jewish humour. Have you heard the one about the.............................................oops! :lips:

I have always loved the following story..................("koan" or not!)

A newly enlightened Westerner is strolling through the monastery with an old Zen Master. The Master speaks only a simple form of broken English. At each of the images on display of the Buddha the old Master stops and then bows deeply in reverence. The Westerner observes this for a while, but then can keep silent no longer........."I say, don't you think that we are both above this sort of thing now? Speaking for myself, I think I would just as soon spit at these images as bow to them". To which the old Master replies........"OK. You spit. I bow"

:)
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Post by Tariki »

And another story..........................

Master Shaku Soen liked to take an evening stroll through a nearby village. One day he heard loud lamentations from a house and, on entering quietly, realized that the householder had died and the family and neighbours were crying. He sat down and cried with them. An old man noticed him and remarked, rather shaken on seeing the famous master crying with them: "I would have thought that you at least were beyond such things." "But it is this which puts me beyond it," replied the master with a sob.

(From "The Wisdom of the Zen Masters")

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