Help with a Koan.

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

  1. Jeff

    Jeff New Member

    all of the answers are 'correct' but all specific to how someone sees it...maybe that is the point of a koan ...
  2. daftyman

    daftyman A 4oz can of whoop-ass!

  3. Yoksha

    Yoksha Valued Member

    Quite possibly.

    I am not a practitioner of Buddhism or zen as a whole though I do use koans as a way of "loosening" the mind.

    I was under the impression that koans were given to zen students as a means of achieving a specific "mental" goal. Therefore, as I understand it, the koans have a very specific and definitive "solution" (for want of a better word).

    I could be wrong however.
  4. Yoksha

    Yoksha Valued Member

    I don't think its a question of semantics especially since translation is involved. I believe its more a question of metaphor.

    But that could just be another way of putting my original interpretation of the koan.
  5. Knight_Errant

    Knight_Errant Banned Banned

    Maybe some old chinese guy was watching the junks burning during the opium wars that the british deliberately started and conceived his horrible revenge; he would invent a series of annoying and confusing puzzles and laugh at the westerners for centuries as they tied themselves up in knots trying to solve them :D
  6. Yoksha

    Yoksha Valued Member

    Its distinctly possible. A Hong Kong chinese chap I was at university with told me that Feng Shui translates as "gullible westerner". I thought he was kidding at the time but I'm not so sure now.
  7. AZeitung

    AZeitung The power of Grayskull

    Is it possible that when the tub is full, it would be too heavy to move outside to empty, and the water would just start to spill onto the floor?
  8. Yoksha

    Yoksha Valued Member


    But the basket would do that anyway wouldn't it????

  9. bcullen

    bcullen They are all perfect.

    Shhhhh! He who walks behind the threads will hear you. We don't speak these names in threads with koans, anymore.... *glances around to make sure no one is watching*.... it makes people go mad.
  10. AZeitung

    AZeitung The power of Grayskull

    The basket is small and light, and could probably be emptied outside. When the tub is full, you're going to have a hard time moving it.
  11. redsandpalm

    redsandpalm shut your beautiful face

    I don't know if anyone wants to hear another attempt at logic/reason here but I'll go for it anyway.

    If you caught the water in the tub, as the tub fills up, the water dripping into it would make that really annoying noise - if I was a zen master this would really annoy me while I'm trying to meditate and come up with new and ever stranger koans. Maybe he just wanted something to diffuse the drops so they stopped making annoying noises as they fell to the floor?

    Maybe he was an erratic phsycopath in his spare time?
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2004
  12. AZeitung

    AZeitung The power of Grayskull

    I could see that.

    I was actually thinking bathtub, which is why I said it would get too heavy to empty out, but then that opens up a whole new can of worms - for example, maybe the Zen master was still taking a bath at the time :)

    If I were him, I'd just attach the basket to the leak on the roof. They probably had a thatched roof anyway.
  13. Knight_Errant

    Knight_Errant Banned Banned

    I think we have a winner;
  14. Aegis

    Aegis River Guardian Admin Supporter

    I don't believe that quote has all my original words in it.... ;)
  15. MarioBro

    MarioBro Banned Banned

    You guys cannot see the through this one?

    It says that one brought a basket and the other a tub. It then says that the first was reprimanded and the second praised. It seems obvious to me that the first one to arrive was the guy with the basket. All of you are assuming that the guy with the tub arrived first simply because he was mentioned first. But it does not say that at all....
  16. redsandpalm

    redsandpalm shut your beautiful face

    :rolleyes: :confused: :eek: :cry:

    although in keeping with koan standards and traditions he probably did reprimand the tub guy.
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2004
  17. Knight_Errant

    Knight_Errant Banned Banned

    That's mainly because it probably contravenes the rules about strong language :p
    I'm still holding to my 'the revenge of the chinese' theory :D
  18. InsaneSocrates

    InsaneSocrates New Member

    thats good thinking.
    most koans ive seen are simple in the end
  19. semphoon

    semphoon walk idiot, walk.

    Havent read all the posts but-

    Tub- retains water. Eventually the drips will fill the tub. At that point any more drips will make the tub over flow. The ground will be as wet as it would have been if the tub wasnt there.

    The tub holds everything and eventually that is its failure.

    Basket- better, doesnt try to hold on to the water. Lets a drip land....and then lets go of it.

    Will never over flow, but will always catch the drip.

    Or I could just be beacuse he wanted some action witht the 2nd monk (nudge nudge wink wink)
  20. MarioBro

    MarioBro Banned Banned

    Maybe you guys missed this...

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