John Tarrant demystifies Zen koan practice. Yes, it’s paradoxical, poetic, and totally personal. And so is life.
Zen teacher Karen Maezen Miller explains Bodhidharma’s famous practice of wall-gazing.
Each Friday, we share three topical longreads in our Weekend Reader newsletter. This week, Melissa Myozen Blacker, Roshi explores Zen koan practice.
A koan can be anything that disrupts our usual way of being. Have you noticed that happens a lot in life? Eve Myonen Marko and Wendy Egyoku Nakao explain how we can use our personal koans to experience reality in a new way.
If we don’t embrace the often-paradoxical complexity of societal ills, the actions we take to solve them will be merely “Band-Aids.” Kritee on getting to the root of a problem.
Jules Shuzen Harris asks: in the infinity of suchness, how do you achieve spiritual progress?
The practice of koan study isn’t so different from teaching math, says high school teacher Pat Higgiston.
Norman Fischer looks at the koan “Dasui’s Aeonic Fire” and takes on the end of the world. It’s happening right now, he says, but probably not in the way that you think.
Joan Sutherland, Judy Roitman, and Bodhin Kjolhede examine the practice of koan introspection and how different traditions approach it.
The enlightenment stories of the ancient masters are confounding to conventional mind. Their truth, says Melissa Myozen Blacker, is revealed only when our whole being becomes the koan.