Zen Buddhist Koans -
The Enlightenment Saga
Zen buddhist koans are stories about nothing else but enlightenment.
- The koan stories describe strange actions of medieval Chinese monks who in one way or another became "deeply enlightened".
This is no koan, not at all.
- Today this process is much more formalised.
The Zen master knows the meaning of all and every koans because (by definition) he's enlightened
The Zen student has to meditate with hundreds of koans in order to become enlightened himself.
Enlightenment is said to be a sudden experienced while meditating about a koan.
These basic believes in buddhist koans and enlightenment are part of the religious orthodoxy
in Zen Buddhism.
The reality of Zen Buddhist Koans
Like always in the realm of religion, Zen believes and faith are different from reality.
How do you answer this koan?
Buddhist Koans are summaries of legends about Buddhist monks in China, created, edited and first written down in 11th century.
The legends main purpose was to prove that Buddhism is not a foreign religion but part of Chinese culture.
Read the full story of Chinese Buddhism here.
The reality of Zen master and Zen student relationship is as murky as the origin of koans.
The master only pretends to guide his student to enlightenment through meditating buddhist koans.
The relationship is about power and exploitation.
Read more about organised Zen here.
Enlightenment isn't achieved through meditating koans.
Normally a Zen student is declared enlightened to establish a new Zen community to enlarge his masters flock.
Read more about Zen enlightenment here.
So far so good.
But even as enlightenment has nothing to do with koans, how to decode these puzzling riddles?
B A N G !
are not too difficult to answer.
Don't worry. Here's an example.
The Zen Koan "What is the sound of one hand clapping?" is rather well-known and often used as an initiation for Zen students.
It sounds difficult because its impossible to clap just one hand, isn't it.
The answer is nevertheless quite simple.
How do you clap both your hands? You lift both arms and clash the hands together, don't you?
Try this movement again, but with one arm and hand only .
That's it, the "sound" of one hand clapping.
There are examples and simple rules how to deal with koans
...and about 30 basic koans and their answers.
You may send your own question about Buddhist Koans and Zen
to me. I'll answer via e-mail.
Find a sample of questions from visitors and my answers (FAQ) here!
Read more about the buddhist koans Chinese origin here
Last but not least: download one of my free ebooks
, that gives you the answers to most popular Zen Buddhist Koans.
Don't forget, koans are stories about action, not talking.
The actors are always a senile and vain know-it-all teacher and you are the clever student.
Make a slap-stick out of every encounter with the master.
The decoding of a Zen riddle or koan is time consuming even with further instructions
A catch phrase of Zen
You may be tempted to read Zen books that comment on Zen koans, one 's smarter than the other.
But you won't find any solutions for a koan but get showered with vain and confusing Zen-talk.
The Zen hierarchies insists on the secrecy of koan solutions.
They still believe in decoding hundreds of koans leads a student's enlightenment
. Ok. Fine. Here is the alternative.
Use the below form of "Free Zen Riddle and Koan Service"
Please fill in your question or Koan!
Goto "Zen Riddles"
Return to Home Page from "Zen Buddhist Koans"
to get a solution (sometimes more than one) for a certain riddle or koan
to discuss the decoding of riddles, koans or a koan answers
to get some more information about riddles or buddhist koans