a paradoxical anecdote or riddle, used in Zen Buddhism to demonstrate the inadequacy of logical reasoning and to provoke enlightenment.
- Choose one koan to practice with.
- Sit in any comfortable position. (Do not lay down)
- Close your eyes.
- Watch your breath for several minutes.
- Begin repeating the koan in your mind. Not out loud. You may like to write the koan down and keep it near you in meditation to recall the exact words. Opening your eyes to read the koan is perfectly okay.
- State the koan in your mind, then wait. Allow it to sink in and activate the processes of the mind. This is a riddle that is meant to induce a certain insight. As you practice, you will notice that insight falls in your lap, as opposed to you figuring it out. You receive from the koan, so do not try to “get it.”
- Repeat as many times as you like and if you enjoy a new train of thought that sparked from the koan, follow it. See it through. Then come back if you wish to begin again.
- Practice for as long as you like. Recommended 10 minutes or more.
Enlightenment isn’t real.
Nothing known can be the knowing.
I thought about these words and now they are here.
Me isn’t behind experience. It’s within it.
It sits in the not-middle, with unconditional awareness for and of itself.
These are nobody’s thoughts.