Koan Practice

Zen Quote of the Week 

Koan work keeps you honest and humble by making you experience, over and over, what you claim to know already. Thus, instead of becoming dogma, this knowledge ripens into wisdom, a way of life, and is never merely a clever ruse for avoiding the difficulties of life via the creation of an alternate “spiritual” one, that is, an afterlife and those imaginary rules that govern your getting there. The searching, open-ended nature of koan work yields the kinds of answers that frustrate easy analysis, not to mention that most exquisite of all human pleasures: being “right.” Ultimately, koan practice teaches that as long as a question is alive in the world around us, it should not—indeed, cannot—be settled once and for all within us. Koan practice does not put life’s deepest issues “to bed.” It wakes these issues up within us, waking us up in the process.


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