Koan – Ordinary Mind

I like koans — they open up the noggin and stir things around and help you make you see things in a way that is probably closer to the truth.

Unless they don’t. If so, you’ll never see the point of reading koans for enjoyment like I do. I’m probably wired wrong in the head, so your mileage may vary.

Joshu earnestly asked Nansen, “What is the Way?”

Nansen answered, “Ordinary mind is the Way.”

Joshu asked, “Should I direct myself toward it or not?”

Nansen said, “If you try to turn toward it, you go against it.”

Joshu asked, “If I do not try to turn toward it, how can I know that it’s the Way?”

Nansen answered, “The Way does not belong to knowing or not knowing. Knowing is delusion. Not knowing is a blank consciousness. When you have really reached the true Way beyond all doubt you will find it as vast and boundless as outer space. How can it be talked about on a level of right and wrong?”

At these words, Joshu was suddenly enlightened.

The Gateless Gate

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