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Koans from the Shaseki-shu (Collection of Stone and Sand)

johnathanjohnathan Canada Veteran
edited May 2010 in Arts & Writings
This thread will be to discuss koans from this site:


  • johnathanjohnathan Canada Veteran
    edited May 2010
    1. A Cup of Tea

    Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868-1912), received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen.

    Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor's cup full, and then kept on pouring.

    The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. "It is overfull. No more will go in!"

    "Like this cup," Nan-in said, "you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?"
  • johnathanjohnathan Canada Veteran
    edited May 2010
    <table border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="2" height="100%" width="100%"><tbody><tr><td colspan="3" valign="top">I like the message here. For me it represents that we in the West have placed to much importance on classifying everything into a category... we've allowed words and knowledge to overshadow our spiritual inner nature.

    He is instructing the professor to let go of his knowledge and words to describe everything under the sun to make room for wisdom and spiritual growth and the peace that comes with just being and enjoying all that surrounds us without analyzing it, without defining it, and without making assumptions about it that may or may not be correct. <!-- google_ad_section_end --> </td></tr><tr><td class="windowbg2" colspan="3" align="left" bgcolor="#f6f6f6" valign="bottom"><table border="0" width="100%"><tbody><tr><td align="left">
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  • johnathanjohnathan Canada Veteran
    edited May 2010
    I believe this Koan is representative of what any who wish to learn wisdom from just about any source needs to do before they decide to begin... Especially from those of us westerners who have been raised to learn things with such rigid boundaries and limitations. With our labeling... With our scientific methods...

    We need to empty our minds of all this learning (NOTE: I do not mean to simply forget it as if you'd never learned it, but to set it aside for a time) and make the room necessary for the wisdom to enter and an unhindered mind to process it.
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