Since I exploring my “Zen” for the coming year and since I’ve posted this 17th Century Water Color on eBay again; I’m reblogging my own post.



The practice of Zen entails the unraveling of a koan: a master’s statement, anecdote, or question, designed to provoke a student and test their progress.

Koan, Japanese Kōan, in Zen Buddhism of Japan, a succinct paradoxical statement or question used as a meditation discipline for novices, particularly in the Rinzai sect. The effort to “solve” a koan is intended to exhaust the analytic intellect and the egoistic will, readying the mind to entertain an appropriate response on the intuitive level. Each such exercise constitutes both a communication of some aspect of Zen experience and a test of the novice’s competence.

A characteristic example of the style is the well-known koan “When both hands are clapped a sound is produced; listen to the sound of one hand clapping.” Sometimes the koan is set in question-and-answer form, as in the question “What is Buddha?” and its answer, “Three pounds of…

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