I have a "Zen Calendar". I don't use it as such (what, with F12 and all), but rather as a scratchpad. I just pulled off May 24th, which had been there for quite some time, revealing the following Sunday, which had a wonderful koan which I had seen before, but the power of which had escaped me at the time:

A monk traveled a long way to visit Master Nansen. The monk found him by the side of the road, cutting weeds.

"What is the way to Nansen?" asked the monk.

Nansen answered, "I bought this sickle for thirty cents."

The monk said, "I did not ask about the sickle, I asked the way to Nansen."

Nansen answered, "I use it to full enjoyment."
I like this one a lot. I came to this blog entry because I felt compelled to say how I interpreted it*. It was brilliant! I had to share the experience.

But, as I typed out my thoughts, they lost their meaning... it became difficult to express! Everything I typed seemed to miss the mark. Yet the meaning was still so clear to me!

This is why I love koan.

* Of course, good koan open up to many levels of meanings, sometimes all at once. I don't mean to say this is "the" interpretation of the koan. I also realize that koan are supposed to defy meaning... the "nonsense" of them is supposed to be part of what wakes you up: the swift spiritual kick to the head.

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