"Heart mind", ground of being, 'the Self (but not the self), Man is God, God is 
Man' (but not man), 'where the shrill of the pheasant swallows the field'... or 
if you like, 'the place where the answer lies before we open our mouths'. All 
of which are perfectly subjective and at the same time universal and thus, as 
I'm sure you will have noticed,  paradoxical. Words, by their very nature, are 
just clumsy (in the sense that they lead to paradoxes) tools (in the sense they 
are just symbols). Koans take us beyond the use of words as tools to a direct 
experience of Reality (or "Heart mind, or ground of being or.....). To explain 
what a koan means is like trying to explain a joke or a poem without losing the 
sense of it - impossible. 

anatmanwave <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:                               ---I've 
taken the time to figure out a few, once you "get it" it 
 makes perfect sense. The reason they may seem confusing is they 
 attempt to break the patterns of logical thought. In Rinzai they 
 would say use your"Heart mind" I believe.
  Like with the story of the monk and his flax. The answer isn't in 
 the verbal but something else.......
 In Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com, "Al" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
 > I realize that there are many interesting stories about Zen Koans. 
 I have
 > found it to be very entertaining reading.
 > However, some of the koans make me wonder if they do not have to be
 > interpreted based on a culture of alcoholism and illiteracy which 
 > back in those days? Some of those stories only make sense if the 
 > involved had been drinking heavily.
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