Online Zen Koan Study

Brian Eleven, modified 10 Years ago at 10/16/12 9:19 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/16/12 9:19 PM

Online Zen Koan Study

Posts: 221 Join Date: 9/14/10 Recent Posts
I got this in an Email from Unfettered Mind(Ken McLeod) and thought I'd pass it along:

Demystifying the Nature of Mind, an online exploration of zen koans
Dr. Jeffrey Tipp, who is deeply trained in the Korean Zen tradition, has kindly agreed to host the fall discussion at our ning site:

Beginning on Monday, October 22, Jeff will post one koan about the nature of mind each week for six weeks. He invites you to discuss the questions, challenges and insights that arise for you with each koan. In addition, he encourages you to contribute quotations and images from both Buddhist and other sources that resonate with your understanding or insight into the koan, taking this koan exploration beyond the Zen tradition and into your life and understanding.

Reading through some of the previous online study groups on other topics they often seem to be worthwhile. There seems to be a recent increase in Zen style practice on the DhO(or maybe that's just me), so hopefully someone will benefit from this info.


Brian Eleven, modified 10 Years ago at 10/26/12 11:09 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/26/12 11:09 PM

RE: Online Zen Koan Study

Posts: 221 Join Date: 9/14/10 Recent Posts
Koan for week # 1..............................................................................

Everyday Mind Is the True Way (Source: Wu-men Kwan, Case #19; Chinese Ch’an )

When he was a young man, Chao-chou asked Zen Master Nan-ch’uan, “What is the true way?”

Nan-ch’uan said, “Everyday mind is the true way.”

Chao-chou asked, “Should I, then, try to keep it or not?”

Nan-ch’uan replied, “If you try to keep it, you have already made a mistake.”

Chao-chou was confused and questioned, “But if I don’t try, how can I ever understand the true way?”

Nan-ch’uan then said, “The true way is not dependent on understanding or not understanding. Understanding is illusion; not understanding is blankness. If you completely attain the true way of not thinking, it is like space, clear and void. So, why do you make right and wrong way?”

Upon hearing this, Chao-chou was suddenly enlightened.

Checking Questions : (requiring a demonstration of insight as a response)

What is the true way?

“Everyday mind is the true way.” What does this mean?

“It is like space, clear and void.” What does this mean?

What did Chao-chou attain?

Zen Master Seung Sahn’s Commentary

Not eating for three days, you only desire food. Walking in the desert, you only desire water. The baby cries, and wants to see its mother. Everything is clear: many stars in the sky, many trees on the mountainside.

A helpful verse from Longchen Rabjam’s Precious Treasury of the Basic Space of Phenomena “Awakened mind is by nature primordially pure. The true nature of phenomena is such that there is nothing to discard or adopt, nothing that comes or goes, nothing to achieve by trying. Rather, the sun and moon of utter lucidity arise when one rests naturally in the spacious expanse that is the true nature of phenomena.”

And from The Tantra Without Letters :
“the supreme method of resting, which is not brought about deliberately. Do not try to complicate or simplify it. This unique state of resting imperturbably is not one of maintaining stillness, yet there is no going beyond it."

And from The Precious Unborn Treasury :
“Do not contrive, but relax naturally and gently! The uncontrived state is the precious unborn treasury. It is the path blazed by all victorious ones of the three times.”