Koans

The Zen practice of contemplating a question or statement, the answer to which transcends dualistic thinking
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    Green Koans Case 61: The Naked Dharma Paid Member

    CASE #61: The Naked DharmaShardza Tashi Gyaltsen taught: More »
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    Green Koans Case 57: Shakyamuni’s Ignorant Man Paid Member

    CASE #57:    Shakyamuni’s Ignorant ManIn the Dhammapada, Shakyamuni Buddha says:The ignorant man is an ox.He grows in size, not in wisdom.BACKGROUND:Dhammapada     One of the best known texts in the Theravada canon, and embraced by a plurality of Buddhist sects in all traditions, the Dhammapada is said to contain the authentic words of Shakyamuni. Usually translated as Sayings of the Buddha, Dhammapada literally means Dharma Footsteps or Dharma Verses, the word pada suggesting both meanings, since the sayings are rendered in verse. Note that the Dhammapada, which concerns itself primarily with the individual human being, becomes an ecological text the moment we interpret its teachings on wisdom and folly as applying to the species as well. More »
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    Green Koan Case 53: Shakyamuni’s World on Fire Paid Member

    CASE #53:    Shakyamuni’s World on FireShayamuni Buddha taught: “The world is always burning, burning with the fires of greed, anger and foolishness; one should flee from such dangers as soon as possible.”BACKGROUND:The world is always burning     The passage, which appears in the book The Teachings of Buddha, translated into many languages and distributed free of charge around the world by Bukkyō Dendō Kyōkai (The Society for Buddhist Understanding), is an amalgam of statements made by Shakyamuni in diverse sutras. More »
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    Green Koans 46: A Tree Joins the Monastery Paid Member

    CASE #46:    A Tree Joins the Monastery According to Buddhaghosa, the precept against injuring plants and trees came about in the following manner. Once when the Buddha had given permission for an assembly to dwell in the forest outside of the monastery, a certain monk decided to build himself lodging and, seeing a suitable tree for this purpose, began to cut it down. The spirit who inhabited the tree appeared to him carrying a child on her hip. “Please do not cut down my home,” she implored. But the monk answered, “This tree is perfect and I shall not be able to find another like it.” More »
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    Green Koans Case 41: The Meaning of Suffering Paid Member

    CASE #41:    The Meaning of SufferingShakyamuni asked, “What is wisdom?” and when no one could answer, added: “It is the ability to perfectly understand and patiently accept the truth of suffering.”BACKGROUND:Perfectly understand        To understand a thing holistically, from beginning to end, rather than merely in terms of its parts—the latter constituting only knowledge.Patiently accept    To accept without reservation—that is, without any attempt to alter the reality of a given phenomenon.The meaning of suffering        Refers to the foundational teaching of Buddhism—the Four Noble Truths: More »