Koans in Zen (Buddhism) Jun 22, 2016 17:01:41 GMT
Post by donq on Jun 22, 2016 17:01:41 GMT
Last week, I joined one meeting here which discussed the topic on Meditation and Koans.
You might already heard about Koans. In Zen (Buddhism), Koans are riddles or questions, like “What was your original nature before your parents were born?” “How do you continue from the top of a one hundred meter pole?” and “What is the sound of one hand clapping?”
These koans are meant to help the meditator break through to other levels of thought, maybe even to satori, which is the Japanese term for (temporary) enlightenment or “awakening.” And, when it comes to koan, there are no real “right” or “wrong” answers.
Anyway, what I want to tell you is that I was not so impressed much. Though it was great to see someone (the organizers/speakers et al.) who dedicated themselves to help community for free like that, as I knew it took a lot of time, effort and even money to do that. This was really the way of bodhisattva in Mahayana Buddhism. Bodhisattva means anyone who, motivated by great compassion, has generated bodhicitta (the mind that strives toward awakening), which is a spontaneous wish to attain buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings. In other words, Bodhisattva is someone who wants to help other before himself, and he got bodhicitta becuase of that very reason.
Back to my story, what the meeting really impressed me was this: when we were divided into subgroups, to discuss about some koans, I was a bit lucky to be in the same group with some great members. The koans our groups (and all other groups) were discussing were "What was your Original Face, the face you had before your parents were born" and "Do Not Think Good, Do Not Think Not-Good (to answer the question)". What is the answer?
One member of my group suggested about "object and subject" while another one said about, "conditioning". I offered about "the point of connection". Finally our group came up with the answer, "The unconditioning." Again, when it came to koan, there was no right and wrong answer, but somehow this answer really made me of thinking of something else which I've been thinking for more than 35 years, emptiness in Buddhism.
You might ever heard about non-duality, attachment and detachment in Buddhism. Zen also said about "the original mind" which already has the Buddha nature. As the following story:
Huike said to Bodhidharma, “My mind is anxious. Please pacify it.”
Bodhidharma replied, “Bring me your mind, and I will pacify it.”
Huike said, “Although I’ve sought it, I cannot find it.”
“There,” Bodhidharma replied, “I have pacified your mind.”
In other words, you don't need to pacify or do anything with your mind, as the empitness has already been there.
Besides, "How could we undo the conditioning?" (to make detachment) when emptiness has always been there?" And "Why we bother to undo the conditioning (attachment), to get the unconditioning (detachment) when it (emptiness) has always been there all the time?"
And we cannot un-unconditioning, can we?