Koan Study?

I’ve never tried Koan study or been to a Zen group. I’m more involved with Tibetan Buddhism.
However, I’m interested in knowing if any of you have tried working with Koans, and if you found it helpful?
When you work with Koans, do you just do it by yourself or must you have a teacher?
Thank you.
The question is about Buddhism not the Koran.


  1. There are usually classes that are held at local mosques. Usually, young children go to sunday school and learn about the Koran and how to read it and understand its meaning. If you are new to the religion and dont know much about it, then it would be much better if you had a teacher along to help…
    hope i answered your question.

  2. There’s more than one way to work with koans. In Soto Zen, for example, it’s sort of just study, like you might work with parables from the Bible. Anyone can benefit from looking deeply into the stories and digging into what they bring up for you.
    Another way of working with them, however, is as a meditation focus. And for that, it is pretty much required to have a teacher. That type of work is a way to jump-start some archetypal psycho-emotional structures; it can be really deeply transformational. (This is the Rinzai Zen approach.)
    Just doing intensive meditation retreats in pretty much any tradition, however, is generally guaranteed to bring your own personal koans to you as well.

  3. Quran (you splelled it wrong) Yes it is right you should go to a techer because it is in arabic language. Al though it’s translation is available in english and other languages, I can read it in arabic and I also have the one in eng. And I find it really interesting, hope you too!

  4. Here are two of my favorites. If I told you how I did it, though, I’d be wrong.
    “Hogen of Seiryo monastery was about to lecture before dinner when he noticed that the bamboo screen lowered for meditation had not been rolled up. He pointed to it. Two monks arose from the audience and rolled it up.
    Hogen, observing the physical moment, said: `The state of the first monk is good, not that of the other.'”
    Tokusan was studying Zen under Ryutan. One night he came to Ryutan and asked many questions. The teacher said: `The night is getting old. Why don’t you retire?’
    So Tukusan bowed and opened the screen to go out, observing: `It is very dark outside.’
    Ryutan offered Tokusan a lighted candle to find his way. Just as Tokusan received it, Ryutan blew it out. At that moment the mind of Tokusan was opened.
    `What have you attained?’ asked Ryutan.
    `From now on,’ said Tokusan, `I will not doubt the teacher’s words.’
    The next day Ryutan told the monks at his lecture: `I see one monk among you. His teeth are like the sword tree, his mouth is like the blood bowl. If you hit him hard with a big stick, he will not even so much as look back at you. Someday he will mount the highest peak and carry my teaching there.’
    On that day, in front of the lecture hall, Tokusan burned to ashes his commentaries on the sutras. He said: `However abstruse the teachings are, in comparison with this enlightenment they are like a single hair to the great sky. However profound the complicated knowledge of the world, compared to this enlightenment it is like one drop of water to the great ocean.’ Then he left the monastry.
    Mumon’s Comment: When Tokusan was in his own country he was not satisfied with Zen although he had heard about it. He thought: `Those Southern monks say they can teach Dharma outside of the sutras. They are all wrong. I must teach them.’ So he travelled south. He happened to stop near Ryutan’s monastery for refreshments. An old woman who was there asked him: `What are you carrying so heavily?’
    Tokusan replied: `This is a commentary I have made on the Diamond Sutra after many years of work.’
    The old woman said: `I read that sutra which says: “The past mind cannot be held, the present mind cannot be held.” You wish some tea and refreshments. Which mind do you propose to use for them?’
    Tokusan was as though dumb. Finally he asked the woman: `Do you know of any good teacher around here?’
    The old woman referred him to Ryutan, not more than five miles away. So he went to Ryutan in all humility, quite different from when he had started his journey. Ryutan in turn was so kind he forgot his own dignity. It was like pouring muddy water over a drunken man to sober him. After all, it was an unnecessary comedy.
    A hundred hearings cannot surpass one seeing,
    But after you see the teacher, that once glance cannot surpass a hundred hearings.
    His nose was very high
    But he was blind after all.

  5. I have been given book about Zen once.I’m an open minded individual but it’s not for me.I know who I am and I don’t need religion of any kind to show me the way.I know were the way is when I can see the way but when I see intolerance just like in any religion there is no need for me to get interested.As far as culture and tradition there are nice and exotic.

  6. I believe teachers are needed to relay any written study
    to the unlearned…I’m not against anyone exercising their
    religious preferences, that is their freewill choice far as
    I’m concerned.
    Personally, I study the Holy Bible and teachers are always
    welcome when I come up on something I can’t grasp on
    my own.


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