Sound of One Hand
I am also posting it because it resonates well with me.
According to the Inzan school, the correct answer is, “The pupil faces his master, takes a correct posture, and without a word, thrusts one hand forward”. Various Zen schools follow this same discourse, but for the Takujū school, the pupil’s answer may be “The sky is the one hand, the earth is the one hand; man, woman, you, me are the one hand; grass, trees, cows, horses are the one hand; everything, all things are the one hand”. Both the insistence of the non-verbal one hand thrust forward and the eloquence of the voiced response embrace the same notion of universal connectivity and one-ness. The one hand thrust forward represents the essence of all hands, one being no better and no less than any other hand, so that the sound of the one hand is also the sound of every hand. The hand’s representativeness of a universal hand-ness is akin to the cosmopolitan spirit of humanist universalism while also upholding diversity through the uniqueness of the one hand.
I don't think I'll be buying that book. I'll stick to my translations of Gateless Gate and Blue Cliff Records.
Chris Marti wrote: Koans are ripe for over-analyzing. It's so tempting to weave a story around them.
Yeah, they are weird that way. You shouldn't really analyze them, and yet by the same token, they are tests that have a pass/fail aspect that invites finding "an answer".
Thats all I get. Call me dumb
I doubt there is just one sort of "official" answer to every koan. I think they're situational and personal. How we hear them, and how we respond, is also situational and personal. "Passing" is probably not a good way to describe coming to a perception about a koan. I used to re-read the Blue Cliff record about once a year, and those koans changed with each reading. Each koan was about something different, and my response to it had changed, too.
... they are tests that have a pass/fail aspect that invites finding "an answer".
JMHO, of course.
The misquoted version doesn't work as well. It just sounds like a logical problem to me.
It also involves this wrist flicking thing.