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Harada Roshi

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What is the origin of the wato What Is This? Is there a koan story behind it? Most teachers seem to use Mu or Sound of One Hand or Original Face as breakthrough koan. How did What is This? come to be used in your tradition?

WHAT IS THIS! has a long tradition. It was often said in Japanese: KORE NANZO! This question approaching the mind of no form, our Buddha nature. You can find it in the Blue Cliff Record case 51, when Seppo opens the gate and greets his monks with open arms saying: What is this ! Genyo Sonja would pound his staff on the ground and pointing at the hole the staff left, he would ask: What is this! There are many examples of this question being used.

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