Zen Buddhist Koan Riddle
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04-09-2017, 07:16 PM
RE: Zen Buddhist Koan Riddle
(04-09-2017 09:22 AM)Rockblossom Wrote:  I thought that koans were thought problems meant to stimulate meditation and discussion, but had no single answer. I think the "Westernized" version is something like one we got in a Western Philosophy class: "List a dozen uses for a brick, other than for building a wall." If I remember correctly, our class came up (collectively) with over 3 dozen oddball, but legit, uses.

My first response to your koan is : Imagination. That seems to work for statues and gods, my perfect garden, or the house I would like to build if I had the money and time, and could bend the laws of physics here and there. (Think of a house designed by M. C. Escher. Cool )

The main function of a Koan is to bring about enlightenment. The question is meant to shock the mind awake. This riddle has a single answer.

Your answer is very warm, too.
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05-09-2017, 09:13 AM
RE: Zen Buddhist Koan Riddle
I'd say it's the person's soul.
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10-09-2017, 08:47 AM
RE: Zen Buddhist Koan Riddle
The Buddhist answer to the riddle is: "The Mind is none other than the Buddha” (ji xin ji fo, 即心即佛). Zen Buddhists believe that everyone has the power to bring about their own enlightenment, which is what the riddle is referring to. The Buddha resides in the mind, so one does not have to rely on external influences, such as scriptures or the interpretation of a teacher, to bring about their own salvation.

I really like this koan because it applies to any religion (as noted earlier). Most importantly, it shows that said religion is in the mind of the believer. Belief is obviously what keeps the idea of gods alive.
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13-09-2017, 02:30 PM
RE: Zen Buddhist Koan Riddle
(03-09-2017 10:39 PM)ghostexorcist Wrote:  The following is a Chan Buddhist gong'an (Zen koan) from a 17th-century Chinese fantasy novel. Can you solve this beautiful philosophical riddle? Googling will most likely take you to my article on the source material. If you find the piece, don't spoil it for everyone. I want educated guesses here.

Here's a hint: It applies to any world religion. Just replace the Buddha with your deity of choice.

I have a statue of Buddha, which nobody knows;
He needs no molding or carving;
Nor does he have any clay or color;
No human can draw him; no thief can steal him;
His appearance is originally natural,
And his clarity and purity are not the result of cleaning;
Though only one body,
He is capable of transforming himself into myriad forms

It is the sound of one hand clapping.

--
Dr H

"So, I became an anarchist, and all I got was this lousy T-shirt."
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13-09-2017, 03:13 PM
RE: Zen Buddhist Koan Riddle
(13-09-2017 02:30 PM)Dr H Wrote:  
(03-09-2017 10:39 PM)ghostexorcist Wrote:  The following is a Chan Buddhist gong'an (Zen koan) from a 17th-century Chinese fantasy novel. Can you solve this beautiful philosophical riddle? Googling will most likely take you to my article on the source material. If you find the piece, don't spoil it for everyone. I want educated guesses here.

Here's a hint: It applies to any world religion. Just replace the Buddha with your deity of choice.

I have a statue of Buddha, which nobody knows;
He needs no molding or carving;
Nor does he have any clay or color;
No human can draw him; no thief can steal him;
His appearance is originally natural,
And his clarity and purity are not the result of cleaning;
Though only one body,
He is capable of transforming himself into myriad forms

It is the sound of one hand clapping.

One man crapping?

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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19-09-2017, 02:53 PM
RE: Zen Buddhist Koan Riddle
(13-09-2017 03:13 PM)morondog Wrote:  
(13-09-2017 02:30 PM)Dr H Wrote:  It is the sound of one hand clapping.

One man crapping?

If the pope shits in the woods and a tree falls on him, does it make a sound?

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"So, I became an anarchist, and all I got was this lousy T-shirt."
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19-09-2017, 03:06 PM
RE: Zen Buddhist Koan Riddle
(19-09-2017 02:53 PM)Dr H Wrote:  
(13-09-2017 03:13 PM)morondog Wrote:  One man crapping?

If the pope shits in the woods and a tree falls on him, does it make a sound?

Only if he's a Catholic bear.
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19-09-2017, 06:36 PM
RE: Zen Buddhist Koan Riddle
It sounds awfully Platonic to me.
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