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Can you please explain how to work on a koan? How does one meditate with a koan during zazen? And how can one practice with it in daily life?
October 28, 2013, 5:46 pm
Whether a Koan becomes a quiz or an experience of awakening is decided by whether the thoughts or the body becomes the Koan. Since Koans are expressed in words, there is an aspect to them which needs to be understood. At first we can perceive the koan and understand which direction it is pointing at. There are different types of koans (Hosshin, Kikan, Gonsen, Nanto Nange, Kojo) and they are not the same. You need to see what type of koan it is you are working on, or else you will misunderstand it. Of course, beginners start with a Hosshin, seeing one´s true mind Koan. With this koan we let go of our ego and receive the life of the Buddha. Receiving the life of the Buddha means that we enter the experience of awakening of the Buddha. This experience is about forgetting the self and becoming one with heaven and earth. That is why you cannot use your thoughts. Thought stay in dualism. Forgetting your thoughts, forgetting your self, and only sit zazen, becoming the sutras, becoming the cleaning. While working creatively on letting no thoughts enter, eventually dualism will stop to enter. When following the koan MU, then your whole being and body becomes this MU. Not only becomes your mind full and taught, and even when needing to use dualism, it does not distract you any longer. When you have this kind of experience, it would be good to follow a true teacher.