The purpose of koans and a far wider definition
Koans are riddles that are given to students of zen which are unsolvable using logic. The result of this is that students will give all of their effort to solving these puzzles on a logical level and after a while (for the hardcases this can be years) The student breaks and is enlightened. My favorite story along these lines goes:
On a rainy day, a student of zen asked his master ‘what is enlightenment?’The teacher pushed him face down in the mud. The student rose laughing and was enlightened.
A Hackneyed old koan
What is the sound of one hand clapping?
A wide definition of koans
Looking at the attributes of koans it becomes clear that what matters is not the words, but the catharsis which happens when the student gives up solving the question on the level of logic. The result of this is that anything which can not be solved by using logic is worthy of being called some sort of koan. The point I want to put forward is that NOTHING can be understood logically because EVERYTHING is part of one system (the universe)
What do you think?
Step 1 ramble
Here is my take on meditation: Meditation is just a time when you lose your mind, If you want to call it that. You don’t think, you don’t judge, you just be. It is interesting beccause it is so simple it is near impossible. You dont even think about not thinking, you just exist. Now the area that this is leading me into is that there is an incredible degree of spiritual narcissism. Most people when meditating are aiming at doing it to become better, to become more loving, to help others. Meditation begins when motivation ends. even philanthropic causes of meditation and divine thoughts are all unnecessary. I think that many of the people who call themselves gurus are actually just building an identity around the idea of guru-hood. Non-dualistically seeing yourself is what meditation is. That’s it. This reminds me of a speech delivered by Alan Watts. In it he describes the behavior of real gurus. The first thing a guru will say to a new student is…’ Stop pretending you are not god’ If the student stops pretending then its done! The student that insists that he can not understand what the teacher is saying on an experiential level is then given progressively harder tasks (like the koan in Zen) until he breaks and sees that the only answer is that he is ‘god’ Those are my only thoughts for now.