Just constantly repeating X=X tells us nothing about the truth of Zen. It does not address the monk's question. Joju addressed the question by invoking the answer, not stating a tautology.


On Dec 21, 2008, at 4:39 PM, <> wrote:

Edgar, I have no confusion about this koan. Mu is just mu. Mu is Just
THIS! If you have never worked on this koan however then you are not fully
appreciative of the subtlety of JoJu's teaching technique.

Of course the koan happened between a teacher and a student with whom he was thoroughly intimate. Joju undoubtedly instinctively invoked the response tailored specifically to that particular student. The subtlety of this koan is that it can also address a wide range of beginning students, and that is
why it is usually used in the both Soto and Renzai as the first koan.

By the way, when I was given this koan over 40 years ago I was instructed to 'SHOW me Joju's Mu', not 'WHAT is Joju's Mu' as I've seen it represented in
some of the books of koans.


From: [] On Behalf
Of Edgar Owen
Sent: Sunday, December 21, 2008 8:31 PM
Subject: Re: [Zen] Nature?

Bill and Anthony,

You guys' confusion stems from your lack of understanding that Mu = Buddha nature. Joju was simply invoking Buddha nature in response to the question
of whether a dog has it.


On Dec 21, 2008, at 5:19 AM, <> wrote:


In answering that student's question in the koan your 'no' is absolutely
just as good as my 'whatever'.

I'm not an Asian language expert (although I do speak Thai), but Zhaozhou must have actually said 'wu' since he was Chinese. Joju is ZhaoZhou's name rendered in Japanese, and he is reported to have said 'mu' since this was a
retelling of the encounter in Japanese. Thai's use 'mai' which means
'negative'. It can mean no, it can mean not, it can mean 'nothing'.

The whole koan stems from the 'fact' that Siddhartha Buddha is reported to have said 'all sentient being have Buddha Nature'. JoJu's student then asked Joju: 'Does a dog have a Buddha Nature?' To which JoJu reportedly replied his now famous 'mu'. Now that could have meant 'no', and since the student already knew Buddha said ALL SENTIENT beings have Buddha Nature, it set up a conundrum for him, an un-solvable puzzle - a koan. Why does Buddha say one
thing and Joju say something different? BUT, in the absolutely sublime
response Joju could have also meant 'who cares?', or 'moot', or 'go fish', or maybe today even 'fuck off'. He could have meant anything to get the
student to concentrate so hard on solving the unsolvable that his mind
finally gives up and STOPS - No Mind - and that is KENSHO - an initial
breakthrough. That No Mind is meeting Joju and all the other Buddhas and
teachers face-to-face. That No Mind is Buddha Nature.


From: [] On Behalf
Of Anthony Wu
Sent: Sunday, December 21, 2008 4:34 PM
Subject: RE: [Zen] Nature?


I don't see a difference between my 'no' and your 'whatever'. Both mean 'stop bullshiting about Buddha nature'. Next time you meet Zhaozhou zen
master, give him a better carrot.


--- On Sun, 21/12/08, <> wrote:
From: <>
Subject: RE: [Zen] Nature?
Date: Sunday, 21 December, 2008, 11:32 AM
I have met Zhaozhou face-to-face. His response 'mu' to his student's
question on whether a dog (or duck or maggot) did not mean 'no'. In our
vernacular it could be translated as 'whatever', or 'moot'. If you're
spending all your time or posts speculating about Buddha Nature you're
barking up the wrong tree, or swimming in the wrong pond, or gnawing on the
wrong carrion.

Back in Thailand and lurking no more...Bill!

From: zen_fo...@yahoogrou [mailto:zen_fo...@yahoogrou] On
Behalf Of Anthony Wu
Sent: Saturday, December 20, 2008 3:42 PM
To: zen_fo...@yahoogrou
Subject: [Zen] Nature?


Your missed the point. On the one hand, everything has Buddha nature (your word 'innate' is correct). On the other, you should not attach to that idea. That is why Bill Smart's great grand father Zhaozhou zen master says, 'no',
when asked 'does a dog have Buddha nature?'.


--- On Fri, 19/12/08, Edgar Owen <edgaro...@att. net> wrote:
From: Edgar Owen <edgaro...@att. net>
Subject: Re: [Zen] Ducks Have Buddha Nature?
To: zen_fo...@yahoogrou
Date: Friday, 19 December, 2008, 11:56 PM

It is nonsense to think that humans could convey Buddha nature on to
anything at all by thinking about them. Buddha nature is innate in all

Your ignorant Zhaozhou master needs a duck to teach him about Buddha nature!


On Dec 19, 2008, at 9:47 AM, Anthony Wu wrote:


Ducks have Buddha nature when we have sympathy with them. When you think about them in general terms, they should have no Buddha nature. Otherwise,
you would attach to them. That is a teaching from Zhaozhou zen master.


--- On Tue, 16/12/08, Karin <tortillera77@> wrote:
From: Karin <tortillera77@>
Subject: [Zen] Ducks Have Buddha Nature?
To: zen_fo...@yahoogrou
Date: Tuesday, 16 December, 2008, 4:55 PM
I work at a shopping mall and there is a canal nearby and there are
lots of ducks in the area.. I feed them out of the back of the store
sometimes, and they run towards me and I talk to them. That is fun.

However, many people dislike the ducks because they poop a lot, and I
have seen some people run them over with their cars when they are
driving through the shopping center. They have contempt for the ducks
and think that if the ducks are in the way of the car, it is OK to run
over them. This is very sad to me.

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