Sat, 7 June 2008
Koans - A Brief Introduction, An introduction to koans- Sunya Sensei often discusses koans. This brief introduction to koans is taken from a longer teisho, Chosha's Spring Walk that will follow this podcast. Roshi Kapleau, our teacher's teacher, said in his book The Three Pillars of Zen, that a koan is "a formulation, in baffling language, pointing to ultimate truth."A well-known example is "what is the sound of one hand clapping?" Sunya sensei refers to the most widely used initial koan in our practice - Joshu's Mu. Zen teaches us that all things have Buddha nature. The koan goes, "A monk asked Joshu, Does a dog have Buddha Nature?" Joshu replies "Mu" , which means "no". The student is asked to demonstrate what is mu. Sunya Sensei refers to the dokusan room. Part of our practice is the formal private interview with the teacher, dokusan, during which the student is asked to demonstrate understanding of the koan.