My belief about a koan is that your response, verbal and/or non-verbal,
and your body language in particular, confirms in the Zen Master (who
can read you like an open book in any case) as to the state of evolution
of your heart-mind.
--- In Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com, siska_...@... wrote:
> Hi Bill,
> Yes, I suppose I was speaking only for myself. I should really look up
for this 'Mu', it's been mentioned so often in this forum.
> The historical stories of koans are full of verbal responses. Like
'The Oak Tree in the Garden', or 'A dried shit-stick', or the most
famous of all 'Mu' .Bill!
> Hi Bill,
> > They are usually delivered as a question (What is X?) or a request
(Show me Y.).
> This was also mentioned in the article Ed posted. I can't imagine any
words able to represent the responds to all those koans.
> A koan doesn't have to be either historical or a story. Current zen
teachers very frequently create a koan especially tailored to address
what they feel are inadequacies of a particular students.
> These probably wouldn't be delivered in story form. They are usually
delivered as a question (What is X?) or a request (Show me Y.). You
don't read much about these because they are a very personal
communication between the teacher and student.
> The koans generally referred to are historical stories, accounts of
the actions especially interactions of historical zen masters. The two
most referenced works containing koans such as these are THE GATELESS
GATE and THE BLUE CLIFF RECORD.
> The quality that makes a koan a koan is that it is a direct expression
of Buddha Nature.