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Use koans to put your self to sleep


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#1 Songtsan

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 11:07 PM

Working on a difficult koan is a great way to exhaust the mind and put yourself to sleep.  If you happen to break through the koan though, watch out!  It will wake you up! ;)


Edited by Songtsan, 09 August 2013 - 01:22 PM.

I really have no idea what I am talking about...


#2 ChiDragon

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 11:19 AM

By koan, what does it mean.......???


Edited by ChiDragon, 09 August 2013 - 11:20 AM.

靜觀其變 以靜制動
Beware of the unexpected silently
Handle adversity with calmness

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#3 Songtsan

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 01:24 PM

By koan, what does it mean.......???

 

Mind-stopper!

 

Zen koan - puzzle to produce mind fatigue...the contemplation of something that is that hard to create a connection within the mind will either break the mind through to a new you and mind stoppage, or tire the brain out.


Edited by Songtsan, 09 August 2013 - 03:37 PM.

I really have no idea what I am talking about...


#4 Marblehead

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 01:25 PM

Yes, they would put me right to sleep, similar to watching an "I Love Lucy" program.


Edited by Marblehead, 09 August 2013 - 01:26 PM.

I reserve the right to be wrong.

YIN-YANG.jpg I reserve the right to change my mind. Anarchy4.jpg



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#5 Songtsan

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 01:27 PM

I haven't seen an "I love Lucy" in over 20 years....

 

brings back a bunch of other shows like "Laverne and Shirley", "Three's Company", etc.


I really have no idea what I am talking about...


#6 niveQ

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 02:07 PM

What's an example? I have looked them up to no avail. Every site has different interpretations. I like your description.

#7 Taomeow

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 09:03 PM

What's an example? I have looked them up to no avail. Every site has different interpretations. I like your description.

 

Yun-men asked: "If a person who is difficult to change should come to you, would you receive him?"

The master answered: "Tsao-shan has no such leisure."


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#8 Songtsan

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 11:28 PM

Yun-men asked: "If a person who is difficult to change should come to you, would you receive him?"

The master answered: "Tsao-shan has no such leisure."

 

choose the path of greatest benefit, for time is a-wasting....or also: Don't wrestle with the bears, because they are big and heavy, work on the small ones.


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#9 Taomeow

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 12:52 AM

choose the path of greatest benefit, for time is a-wasting....or also: Don't wrestle with the bears, because they are big and heavy, work on the small ones.

 

Yup.

 

But if you didn't transcend whatever one is supposed to transcend from solving a koan right on the spot, the koan is still unsolved.  So here's a few more possible solutions:  

 

Tsao-shan is a mountain.  If a person who is difficult to change climbs a mountain, will the mountain adapt to his rigid ways?  

 

Or: If the mountain won't come to Mohammed, he shouldn't sit there waiting.  

 

Or: tao is flexible, tao is change.  Whoever won't be flexible and won't change can't follow tao.

 

Or, "I'm busy and you're bothering me with your silly questions."

 

And so on.  Great soporific indeed.  Not only that.  Scientific fact: if you have a song stuck in your head and can't get rid of it, the best way to counteract this is to try solving a riddle.  The song gets turned off! 


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#10 Seeker of Wisdom

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 01:13 AM

A koan is a statement, anecdote or question used as a Zen Buddhist form of vipasanna.

In zazen, there are three main stages. First, achieving shamatha, usually with emphasis on anapana sati. Second, developing some realisation with koan practice. Finally, in shikantaza, which is like Dzogchen non-meditation, letting go of everything without intent to let go, resting in Suchness.

It's possible to skip shamatha as a separate stage and achieve it with koan practice, but IMHO it's easier to achieve shamatha faster with methods designed for it specifically, then make faster progress with koans. It is not possible to jump ahead to shikantaza, as unless there is serious prajna wisdom you will be pushing away clinging while actively trying to let go with an aim in mind.

There are two types of koans - those with answers, and completely nonsensical ones with no answers. "If a tree falls in the forest with nobody around, does it make a sound?" - an example of the former. "What is the sound of one hand clapping?" - an example of the latter.

A person concentrates on the question or concept raised by a koan, not thinking about it but just concentrating on something impossible to solve with the intellect.

This is done in sitting practice and constantly when off the cushion too, to generate Great Doubt. This kind of doubt smashes the obscuration of dualistic ideas and preconceptions about the nature of the koan.

In the case of the latter type of koan, no answer will be realised as there wasn't one, but the practitioner has a shift in perception which may lead to profound realisations.

In the case of the former, the practitioner's innate prajna wisdom bursts forth to solve the koan, with a resulting shift in perception.

Master Nan also said that koans tie up the omnipresent mental factor of intent.

Edited by Seeker of Tao, 10 August 2013 - 01:14 AM.


#11 Jetsun

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 03:09 AM

About the sleep part, ego can use sleep as a defence mechanism, I have experienced it many times in meditation, something the ego doesn't like is coming to the surface or some realisation is about to occur and suddenly you feel incredibly sleepy that you simply can't continue and you need to take a break or have a nap. Don't fall for it's tricks! on the other hand sometimes you are just tired and need sleep, but I wouldn't want anyone to miss an enlightenment experience because of it. 



#12 mike 134

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 01:00 PM

Working on a difficult koan is a great way to exhaust the mind and put yourself to sleep.

 

?????  thinking while trying to sleep (or even thinking in general) sends that heat/chi/kundalini stuff to my head, so I can't sleep.


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#13 Songtsan

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 02:21 PM

Yup.

 

But if you didn't transcend whatever one is supposed to transcend from solving a koan right on the spot, the koan is still unsolved.  So here's a few more possible solutions:  

 

Tsao-shan is a mountain.  If a person who is difficult to change climbs a mountain, will the mountain adapt to his rigid ways?  

 

Or: If the mountain won't come to Mohammed, he shouldn't sit there waiting.  

 

Or: tao is flexible, tao is change.  Whoever won't be flexible and won't change can't follow tao.

 

Or, "I'm busy and you're bothering me with your silly questions."

 

And so on.  Great soporific indeed.  Not only that.  Scientific fact: if you have a song stuck in your head and can't get rid of it, the best way to counteract this is to try solving a riddle.  The song gets turned off! 

 

Yeah I am still in the mode of trying to change people who don't want to change...but I see myself doing it all the time...sometimes I absorb the potential, sometimes not - but I aim to transcend...so I should soon hopefully.  Even a flexible rod trying to break open a large, dense rock can snap - so flexible rods should stick with meddling with other flexible things.

 

This is all really awesome advice you are giving.  I am taking it to heart.


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I really have no idea what I am talking about...


#14 Songtsan

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 02:27 PM

There are two types of koans - those with answers, and completely nonsensical ones with no answers. "If a tree falls in the forest with nobody around, does it make a sound?" - an example of the former. "What is the sound of one hand clapping?" - an example of the latter.
 

 

I always thought that there is a valid answer for 'what is the sound of one hand clapping' and that that was simply that it is 'whatever sound that one hand clapping makes'

 

Its important to know the definitions of the words used in koans...in this case 'clap' can be defined as "to strike with the flat of the hand in a friendly way clapped his friend on the shoulder" in which case one can clap one hand onto anything, including the air itself....


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#15 Seeker of Wisdom

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 11:03 PM

...


Formally the full koan is 'Two hands clapping makes a sound. What is the sound of one hand clapping?'

So 'clap' here refers to the slapping of one hand against another, in which case the idea of 'one hand clapping' is nonsense and this koan has no answer.

And even koans with answers aren't supposed to be solved intellectually ('I always thought that there is a valid answer) - the intellect doesn't do gnosis.

#16 Songtsan

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 07:48 AM

Formally the full koan is 'Two hands clapping makes a sound. What is the sound of one hand clapping?'

So 'clap' here refers to the slapping of one hand against another, in which case the idea of 'one hand clapping' is nonsense and this koan has no answer.

And even koans with answers aren't supposed to be solved intellectually ('I always thought that there is a valid answer) - the intellect doesn't do gnosis.

 

...also, even though two hands clap together, in fact, one hand claps against one hand all the time.  We just don't see it.


I really have no idea what I am talking about...





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