Koans are a Rag-bag

Koans are a Rag-bag March 6, 2018

Koans are a rag-bag. They are not schematized. They are a hoard of old sayings that have proven helpful, culled mostly from biographies and sutras, and storied encounters. Yes, we have a ‘curriculum,’ a set of classical koan collections, but they do not represent a graded sequential program. They are a lucky-dip of insights, experiences, tastes and transformations, from 2,500 years of practice. Actually they are alive. They can’t be limited or ‘known’ at all. All we can hope to do is join their ongoing life. And where is that life?

Henry Ryu’un-ken Shukman



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