Accuracy of internet koans

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shanyin
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Accuracy of internet koans

Post by shanyin » Wed Jun 27, 2018 4:14 am

Are some koans on the internet innacurate (imperfect)?

Is this an accurate koan?

Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868-1912), received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen.

Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor's cup full, and then kept on pouring.

The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. "It is overfull. No more will go in!"

"Like this cup," Nan-in said, "you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?"

I found it here.

http://www.ashidakim.com/zenkoans/1acupoftea.html

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Aryjna
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Re: Accuracy of internet koans

Post by Aryjna » Wed Jun 27, 2018 12:20 pm

shanyin wrote:
Wed Jun 27, 2018 4:14 am
Are some koans on the internet innacurate (imperfect)?

Is this an accurate koan?

Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868-1912), received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen.

Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor's cup full, and then kept on pouring.

The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. "It is overfull. No more will go in!"

"Like this cup," Nan-in said, "you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?"

I found it here.

http://www.ashidakim.com/zenkoans/1acupoftea.html
I don't know if they pasted an actual koan on this website or if it is just made up. But this website is a joke.

There i also a youtube channel. For example:


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Astus
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Re: Accuracy of internet koans

Post by Astus » Wed Jun 27, 2018 1:51 pm

shanyin wrote:
Wed Jun 27, 2018 4:14 am
Are some koans on the internet innacurate (imperfect)?
Many are usually from "Zen Flesh, Zen Bones", like that story you quoted. If you want to know the classical koans, check classical collections (the three most popular that are available in English: Wumenguan, Biyanlu, Congronglu). But there are several large collections of Zen stories, both canonical and extra-canonical.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

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Meido
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Re: Accuracy of internet koans

Post by Meido » Wed Jun 27, 2018 2:21 pm

Astus beat me to it.

The stories in Reps' Zen Flesh, Zen Bones are not koan, but a genre of Buddhist parable found in Japanese literature.

It is a common error, since Western authors in the past have called every short anecdote that seemed Zen-like a koan.
It is relatively easy to accomplish the important matter of insight into one’s true nature, but uncommonly difficult to function freely and clearly [according to this understanding], in motion and in rest, in good and in adverse circumstances. Please make strenuous and vigorous efforts towards this end, otherwise all the teachings of Buddhas and patriarchs become mere empty words. - Torei

The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice

Korinji Rinzai Zen Monastery [臨済宗 • 祖的山光林禅寺] - http://www.korinji.org

shanyin
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Re: Accuracy of internet koans

Post by shanyin » Sat Jun 30, 2018 6:42 am

Can someone give me a koan from one of those books?

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Anders
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Re: Accuracy of internet koans

Post by Anders » Sat Jun 30, 2018 12:55 pm

shanyin wrote:
Sat Jun 30, 2018 6:42 am
Can someone give me a koan from one of those books?
I think the best way to receive a koan is face to face with a teacher who can point out to you how the koan reflects your own present situation and together you work with it through that.

Reading about koans, to my mind, is just brain play really. I guess in that sense you could say that all Internet koans are inaccurate, since the authentic form of the koan is a living and deeply intimate matter. Wiser heads may differ.
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra

shanyin
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Re: Accuracy of internet koans

Post by shanyin » Sat Jun 30, 2018 2:55 pm

I'm not asking to read about koans I'm asking to use them.

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Astus
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Re: Accuracy of internet koans

Post by Astus » Sat Jun 30, 2018 5:52 pm

shanyin wrote:
Sat Jun 30, 2018 6:42 am
Can someone give me a koan from one of those books?
"Daily life itself is a hwadu, so there is no need to receive a hwadu from others or to give a hwadu to others. Your very existence is a hwadu. Thus, if you are continuously holding on to a hwadu someone else gave you, when will you be able to solve your original hwadus? Trying to solve another person's hwadu is like turning empty millstones or spinning a car's wheels without moving forward.
Your body itself is a hwadu. Birth itself is a hwadu. Work itself is a hwadu. The vast universe is a hwadu. If you want to add more hwadus to these, when will you be able to taste this infinitely deep world we live in?"

(Daehaeng Kun Sunim: No River to Cross, p 55)
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

SunWuKong
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Re: Accuracy of internet koans

Post by SunWuKong » Sat Jun 30, 2018 10:38 pm

Why did Monkey King come from the East???
"We are magical animals that roam" ~ Roam

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Dan74
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Re: Accuracy of internet koans

Post by Dan74 » Sat Jun 30, 2018 10:49 pm

Astus wrote:
Sat Jun 30, 2018 5:52 pm
shanyin wrote:
Sat Jun 30, 2018 6:42 am
Can someone give me a koan from one of those books?
"Daily life itself is a hwadu, so there is no need to receive a hwadu from others or to give a hwadu to others. Your very existence is a hwadu. Thus, if you are continuously holding on to a hwadu someone else gave you, when will you be able to solve your original hwadus? Trying to solve another person's hwadu is like turning empty millstones or spinning a car's wheels without moving forward.
Your body itself is a hwadu. Birth itself is a hwadu. Work itself is a hwadu. The vast universe is a hwadu. If you want to add more hwadus to these, when will you be able to taste this infinitely deep world we live in?"

(Daehaeng Kun Sunim: No River to Cross, p 55)
:good:

No need and yet sometimes helpful.

shanyin
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Re: Accuracy of internet koans

Post by shanyin » Tue Jul 03, 2018 2:21 am

What's a hwandu?

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Astus
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Re: Accuracy of internet koans

Post by Astus » Tue Jul 03, 2018 7:53 am

shanyin wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 2:21 am
What's a hwandu?
Wikipedia: huatou.
Jogye website: What is Hwadu?
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

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seeker242
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Re: Accuracy of internet koans

Post by seeker242 » Tue Jul 03, 2018 12:32 pm

shanyin wrote:
Sat Jun 30, 2018 2:55 pm
I'm not asking to read about koans I'm asking to use them.
Koan practice is normally done with a teacher. It's near impossible to do it without a teacher because you'll never know if you understand some particular koan if you have no one to go to to verify it.
One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!

shanyin
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Re: Accuracy of internet koans

Post by shanyin » Wed Jul 04, 2018 12:03 am

seeker242 wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 12:32 pm
shanyin wrote:
Sat Jun 30, 2018 2:55 pm
I'm not asking to read about koans I'm asking to use them.
Koan practice is normally done with a teacher. It's near impossible to do it without a teacher because you'll never know if you understand some particular koan if you have no one to go to to verify it.
There is no Buddhist centers in where I live. I am thinking of moving to a place where there may be some Buddhist community. Moving has been on my mind for a long time because where I live I view myself as being treated as a second class citizen, and subhuman.

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Anders
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Re: Accuracy of internet koans

Post by Anders » Wed Jul 04, 2018 7:03 am

shanyin wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 12:03 am

There is no Buddhist centers in where I live. I am thinking of moving to a place where there may be some Buddhist community. Moving has been on my mind for a long time because where I live I view myself as being treated as a second class citizen, and subhuman.
What's your general area? Maybe we can help? Long distance is not ideal of course (I'd know, my teacher is on another continent), but it can be made to work.

Actually, I think the role of the teacher in koan practice is more crucial in the work of figuring for yourself how to grapple with the koan than to have someone who can judge your answer. I liken it a bit to client centered therapy, where the therapist does not apply a framework of analysis on the situation but facilitates the client's process of developing his own organic understanding of the situation. The work proper is done by the client himself, yet it is doubtful that the same result would have been reached without the dynamic cooperative work with the therapist. Koan work is in similar ways a cooperative process.
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra

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seeker242
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Re: Accuracy of internet koans

Post by seeker242 » Wed Jul 04, 2018 12:53 pm

shanyin wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 12:03 am
There is no Buddhist centers in where I live. I am thinking of moving to a place where there may be some Buddhist community. Moving has been on my mind for a long time because where I live I view myself as being treated as a second class citizen, and subhuman.
Even just traveling to a center once in a while is useful, especially if you go for a retreat with a teacher that teaches koan practice. The first center I ever visited was a 2.5 hour plane ride away. I just kept saving money until I had the money to go. Totally worth it! :meditate:
One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!

shanyin
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Re: Accuracy of internet koans

Post by shanyin » Wed Jul 04, 2018 2:35 pm

There is a Theravada monastery that I am going to that's an 8 hour bus ride away. I'm going in August.

Maybe I could find a Zen Centre in Toronto.

In my opinion I need to get back to the basics of Buddhist. With my illness (or with the drugs I'm on) my mind is sort of a blank.

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clyde
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Re: Accuracy of internet koans

Post by clyde » Thu Jul 05, 2018 3:43 am

shanyin wrote:
Sat Jun 30, 2018 2:55 pm
I'm not asking to read about koans I'm asking to use them.
It’s true that koan practice is usually done with a teacher, but John Tarrant, the Director of the Pacific Zen Institute and a Rinzai Zen teacher, has “experimented” using koans online and with small groups.

You might read this interview first: http://tarrantworks.com/2016/05/27/why-play-with-koans/

And then see his online koan course: http://tarrantworks.com/2009/10/20/1-in ... 2-0-means/
“Enlightenment means to see what harm you are involved in and to renounce it.” David Brazier, The New Buddhism

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Meido
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Re: Accuracy of internet koans

Post by Meido » Thu Jul 05, 2018 4:43 am

clyde wrote:
Thu Jul 05, 2018 3:43 am
It’s true that koan practice is usually done with a teacher, but John Tarrant, the Director of the Pacific Zen Institute and a Rinzai Zen teacher, has “experimented” using koans online and with small groups.
Cyde, not to veer off topic, but this is the first time I've seen John Tarrant referred to as a Rinzai Zen teacher, which surprised me. Are you referring to his background practicing within the Sanbo Kyodan tradition?
It is relatively easy to accomplish the important matter of insight into one’s true nature, but uncommonly difficult to function freely and clearly [according to this understanding], in motion and in rest, in good and in adverse circumstances. Please make strenuous and vigorous efforts towards this end, otherwise all the teachings of Buddhas and patriarchs become mere empty words. - Torei

The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice

Korinji Rinzai Zen Monastery [臨済宗 • 祖的山光林禅寺] - http://www.korinji.org

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clyde
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Re: Accuracy of internet koans

Post by clyde » Thu Jul 05, 2018 6:09 am

Meido; I understand your question as John Tarrant’s background is complicated. PZI refers to itself as “in the Rinzai tradition”. John is the Director of PZI and I know that he has referred to himself that way. I can’t say how he presents himself today. Reading his online biography (http://tarrantworks.com/about/), it appears he’s more circumspect (sort of ‘a Zen teacher who uses koans’), even about Sanbo Kyodan. (And really off-topic, I can’t say I understand where Sanbo Kyodan fits into the Zen lineages.)
“Enlightenment means to see what harm you are involved in and to renounce it.” David Brazier, The New Buddhism

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