101 (101)

101 Koans

Saturday, 10 August 2013 19:51

A Buddha

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In Tokyo in the Meiji era there lived two prominent teachers of opposite characteristics. One, Unsho, an instructor in Shingon, kept Buddha's precepts

Saturday, 10 August 2013 20:00

A Cup of Tea

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Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868-1912), received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen.

Monday, 11 November 2013 05:46

A Drop of Water

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A Zen master named Gisan asked a young student to bring him a pail of water to cool his bath.

Monday, 11 November 2013 05:37

A Letter to a Dying Man

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Bassui wrote the following letter to one of his disciples who was about to die: "The essence of your mind is not born, so it will never die.

Tuesday, 05 November 2013 08:14

A Mother's Advice

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Jiun, a Shingon master, was a well-known Sanskrit scholar of the Tokugawa era. When he was young he used to deliver lectures to his brother students.

Saturday, 10 August 2013 19:47

A Parable

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Buddha told a parable in sutra:

A man traveling across a field encountered a tiger. He fled, the tiger after him. Coming to a precipice, he caught hold of the root of a wild vine and swung himself

Wednesday, 06 November 2013 10:51

A Smile in His Lifetime

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Mokugen was never known to smile until his last day on earth.

When his time came to pass away he said to his faithful ones:

Sunday, 10 November 2013 06:37

Accurate Proportion

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Sen no Rikyu, a tea-master, wished to hang a flower basket on a column.

Saturday, 10 August 2013 19:54


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Tanzan wrote sixty postal cards on the last day of his life, and asked an attendent to mail them. Then he passed away.

The cards read:

Sunday, 10 November 2013 08:41

Arresting the Stone Buddha

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A merchant bearing fifty rolls of cotton goods on his shoulders stopped to rest from the heat of the day beneath a shelter where a large stone Buddha was standing.

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