Help with a Koan.

Discussion in 'Off Topic Area' started by Yoksha, Oct 4, 2004.

  1. Yoksha

    Yoksha Valued Member

    I'm having trouble with a Zen Koan and would be interested in thoughts of all you enlightened folks out there!

    "As the roof was leaking, a Zen Master told two monks to bring something to catch the water. One brought a tub, the other a basket. The first was severely reprimanded, the second highly praised."

    Help! :bang:
  2. chapskins

    chapskins New Member


    Just wanted to ask, do you meditate, is proberly one of the better ways to understand that or any Koan, turn the mind to mush if you use the logical mind... :)
  3. Yoksha

    Yoksha Valued Member

    Yes (but not as often as I would like). Unfortunately its not working with this one.
  4. chapskins

    chapskins New Member

    Sorry for mentioning this, it's all over here, that supposed Brucie baby quote, was in fact Buddha's, dont focus on the finger, i hope that maybe of some help
  5. ZillaBilla

    ZillaBilla Banned Banned

    I think it may be something to do with 'attachment'.
  6. daftyman

    daftyman A 4oz can of whoop-ass!

    My 2 cents.

    The guy who bought the basket would be able to catch the water, but he would not remain attached to it. By bringing a basket he showed his master his lack of attachment to worldy things.

    By bringing a tub the other student would capture and keep hold of all the water and not allow it to escape.

    Well, it makes sense to me. :)
  7. JohnnyX

    JohnnyX Map Addict

    Are you sure that it was a tub?

    Could it have been another type of vessel that should not have been used for the job in hand. So, because the other monk brought a basket, and although useless for the job, he was praised for not using the other 'wrong' one.

    So it's a positive out of a negative. :confused:

  8. nzric

    nzric on lookout for bad guys

    Maybe the one who brought the tub didn't sweep the courtyard the night before while the one that brought the basket woke up early in the morning to milk the cows.

    The koan doesn't say anywhere that the praise/reprimand is related to the leaking roof :D
  9. Yoksha

    Yoksha Valued Member

    Hmm. Not something that had occurred to me. I had taken it as a metaphor for impeding free-flowing thought. The water being thought and the tub being the impediment. The basket I took as an analogy for a person seeking enlightenment. They allow the thoughts to flow through them but do not attempt to hold them.
  10. Matt_Bernius

    Matt_Bernius a student and a teacher

    Not to be snarky, but I thought that Koan's really don't have definative answers. At best that they contain ideas. But ultimately the solution is dependant on the person themselves.

    Or am I off base?

    - Matt
  11. Fallacio

    Fallacio New Member

    Ultimately all koans have the same one answer. I had this little epiphany recently and it's changed the way that I look at them, as I used to disregard them as a waste of time.

    They're not, they're just extremely frustrating and that's the point. Keep at it, Yoksha. More meditation.
  12. bcullen

    bcullen They are all perfect.

    Very interesting answers so far, and very enlightening.

    Just as long as it doesn't turn into a thread like that other koan did...the koan we cannot speak of for fear it will revive the thread. :eek:
  13. Kosh

    Kosh New Member

    Is it simply because he said catch the water not contain it.
  14. chapskins

    chapskins New Member

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha, i have to second that, stay away fool foolers of the Koan, dessite in your tom-foolery... :eek:
  15. chapskins

    chapskins New Member

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha, i have to second that, stay away foul foolers of the Koan, no to the tom-foolery... :eek:
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2004
  16. chapskins

    chapskins New Member

    What you say is bang on the button Matt..... :)
  17. Knight_Errant

    Knight_Errant Banned Banned

    Maybe he brought the basket to plug the leak? :p
  18. redsandpalm

    redsandpalm shut your beautiful face

    Hey which thread bcullen? The 'one hand clapping' one? Everyone knows that the answer to that is.............
  19. Jeff

    Jeff New Member

    maybe the enlightened yoda could help us out with this one?
  20. Bigfoot

    Bigfoot Smile, laugh, be happy!

    I would presume that the tub would collect all the water in one place, where as the basket would allow many to share in the wealth of the nutrients.

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