What Is Your Real Koan?

25 Sep 2022 2:00 PM | Genpo Roshi (Administrator)

If I was to make any kind of suggestion, it’s see it all as Dharma.  It’s all Buddha manifesting as Dharma, and what that means is that sunyata, or the absolute reality, is manifesting as this very problem you’re facing.  And it’s a learning, it’s a teaching.  The manifestation itself in your life is the teaching. 

We say that’s the real koan, that which manifests in your life in a way that’s challenging, and you don’t have an answer for and you can’t find a way out, that’s the real koan.  The case koans are to help you learn how to become one with the real koan, the genjokoan, the koan of our everyday life.

It’s all right there in the teaching.  The teaching is pretty incredible.  The more I sit, the more I’m in it, the more I have to take my hat off and put my hands in gassho, for these great masters who have discovered so much.  But how’d they discover it?  Same way we’re discovering it, by going through it.  There’s no easy way.

And I’d say this about Big Mind:  Big Mind is an amazing upaya for working with our real koans, it truly is.  I haven’t found a better one — as long as it’s combined with other things, such as case koans and shikantaza and all that that we’re talking about.  But even that doesn’t work always.  Nothing does.   


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