Koans

The Zen practice of contemplating a question or statement, the answer to which transcends dualistic thinking
  • Tricycle Community 1 comment

    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 »
  • Tricycle Community 19 comments

    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 »
  • Tricycle Community 15 comments

    Green Koans Case 39: The Great Natural Way Paid Member

    CASE #39:    The Great Natural Way Masanobu Fukuoka once wrote: “The more the farmer increases the scale of his operation, the more his body and spirit are dissipated and the further he falls away from a spiritually satisfying life. A life of small-scale farming may appear to be primitive, but in living such a life, it becomes possible to contemplate the Great Way.” BACKGROUND: More »
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    Green Koans Paid Member