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Gateless Gate & Blue Cliff Record

A thread for discussion on work contained therein.
For those not familiar....
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Gateless_Barrier

Comments

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    So I read about Joshu’s Dog, and the commentary, and I just wondered if anyone else thought that it was a lot of mental gymnastics to get to a feeling of no-mind. It’s a question with no sensible answer, except the answer that is “no-thing”.

  • SocairSocair Veteran

    @Kerome said:
    So I read about Joshu’s Dog, and the commentary, and I just wondered if anyone else thought that it was a lot of mental gymnastics to get to a feeling of no-mind. It’s a question with no sensible answer, except the answer that is “no-thing”.

    Thats koans for ya....

  • TsultrimTsultrim Hawaii Veteran

    I believe koans are meant to get practitioners to give up in a fundamental way, and when they give up they get it.

    TravellerSocair
  • TravellerTraveller East Midlands UK Veteran
    edited May 11

    For me koans are a way of "forcing" the mind out of dualistic thought by giving it a riddle that is impossible to solve by dualistic thinking. Sometimes I use the Korean Hua-dou "What is this?" referring to "myself" and my thoughts just stop - no answer arises. I haven't read through the Gateless Gate in a few years. When I studied Zen with Jundo Cohen it was Shikantaza.

    SocairBuddhadragon
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran

    How could a gate have no gate? If there's no gate, then how could it be a gate? =)

    Socair
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    What is the sound of one gate crashing?

    Socair
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited May 11

    @Traveller said:
    "What is this?"

    What about that ... this is a practice?

    As we know a cohen is a roshi rabbi
    https://patch.com/california/pacificpalisades/not-your-typical-rabbia-sit-down-with-sensei-don-singer

    You sit, you move, you die anyway. o:)

    A diplomat is one who thinks twice before saying nothing.
    – unknown

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    I have to apologise... Just as an addenda, I see the thread title and read 'Cliff Richard'....

    SocairKundo
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @seeker242 said:
    How could a gate have no gate? If there's no gate, then how could it be a gate? =)

    When it’s just a hole in the wall... but seriously, there is a kind of fascination to how the mind goes about trying to find answers to questions which have no good answers, it’s like trying and failing to scratch an itch.

  • SocairSocair Veteran

    @federica said:
    I have to apologise... Just as an addenda, I see the thread title and read 'Cliff Richard'....

    Blue Cliff Richard...from Avatar (the movie)...??
    🤣🤣

  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran

    @Kerome said:
    it’s like trying and failing to scratch an itch.

    I think that's the point of koans. To tie hands behind your back and then give you an itch. What to do then?!

    Reminds me of Case 43 of the Blue Cliff Record

    Case:
    A monk asked Tozan, "Cold and heat come. How can we avoid them?
    Tozan said, "Why don't you go to the place where there is neither cold nor heat?" "
    What is the place where there is neither cold nor heat?" the monk asked.
    Tozan said, "When it's cold, kill yourself with cold. When it's hot, kill yourself with heat."

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran
    edited May 11

    @seeker242 said:

    @Kerome said:
    it’s like trying and failing to scratch an itch.

    I think that's the point of koans. To tie hands behind your back and then give you an itch. What to do then?!

    I suppose that that itch, in meditation, is a clue to the nature of mind. But it seems silly to try to penetrate the meaning of the koan with mind and reason... after all the koan is made to be a question without a good answer.

  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran

    @Kerome said:
    after all the koan is made to be a question without a good answer.

    I’ve done koan practice for years with various teachers. All of the koans have a good answer. =) And of course a bad answer as well. The bad answer is the intellectual answer, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a good one. Doing koan practice with a teacher, you must provide the good answer in order to progress in the practice. One could say that finding the good answer, is itself, the progression.

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @seeker242 said:
    All of the koans have a good answer. =) And of course a bad answer as well. The bad answer is the intellectual answer, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a good one.

    Interesting :) I’ve never done koan practice. Would you say it is a knack? Or is there a common theme?

  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran

    @Kerome said:

    @seeker242 said:
    All of the koans have a good answer. =) And of course a bad answer as well. The bad answer is the intellectual answer, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a good one.

    Interesting :) I’ve never done koan practice. Would you say it is a knack? Or is there a common theme?

    I would say the common theme is seeing true nature, because that's what all koans point to. =)

    ShoshinKerome
  • SocairSocair Veteran

    You have seen Joshu's dog...but what of Hyakujo's fox.. pray tell...

  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran

    @Traveller said:
    For me koans are a way of "forcing" the mind out of dualistic thought by giving it a riddle that is impossible to solve by dualistic thinking. Sometimes I use the Korean Hua-dou "What is this?" referring to "myself" and my thoughts just stop - no answer arises. I haven't read through the Gateless Gate in a few years. When I studied Zen with Jundo Cohen it was Shikantaza.

    I did not read "The Gateless Gate," either.
    But reading koans has taken me beyond being stuck in the intellectual speculation of most Western philosophy and the conditioned response of always striving to come up with a neat answer to everything.
    The key to all answers lies in that baffled nook of nonsense and absurd as the mind shuts up and opens up to the manifold possibilities of non-thinking in rational ways.

    lobster
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    The gateless gate koans as one will find - are tools to open up the mind
    A mind that's full of useless junk- in which the koan is designed to debunk
    But using one's Intellect only locks- for the answer is somewhat paradox
    Solving Zen riddles can be fun-for when you "think" you have it, the answer comes undone
    It's enough to drive you around the bend-which for the intellect... perhaps a good place to send ;) ;)

    paulysolobster
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