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If the point of this article was to make the reader conclude that the whole koan thing is just a large pile of bullshit, then it is very successful. Otherwise, the article is atrocious. There is *vastly* more explanation and insight here in the talk page than in the article itself. That, my friends, is a serious problem. Indeed, if one were to delete the entire article and just replace it with the below FAQ, that would be a significant improvement. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:36, 14 June 2019 (UTC)

Contemporary Koans[edit]

I'm sorry, but what exactly does this section add to the article? Is there any evidence that these anecdotes are actually used by any legitimate Zen Teachers as koans? I propoose we delete this useless and silly section. Jikaku (talk) 13:50, 3 August 2009 (UTC)


Is a koan a kind of riddle, puzzle, conundrum, or enigma?
No. The English language has no synonym for koan. The point of a riddle is for one to find an answer. It would be more accurate to say that a koan's purpose is to make one aware of the penumbra in which the question posed in the koan can even exist. As a by product of becoming aware of the penumbra in which the question exists, the question in the koan resolves to a non-question. (Just for clarification: the resolution of a koan is not because the recipient has found an affirmative answer for the now non-existent question. How could the recipient answer a non-question?) As such, there is an entirely different relationship to be realized between the recipient of a koan and the recipient of a riddle. Added by (DAK) Danielkaplan123 (talkcontribs)
Another useful way to understand a Koan in comparison to a Riddle is that the two have the same relationship as an Ordeal to a Challenge. An ordeal and a challenge are both experiences that require effort, but a challenge is overcome by the unchanged individual who undertook it - while an ordeal by definition changes (overcomes) the person who undertook it. So the essence of an ordeal is to be changed by the ordeal, while the essence of a challenge is to overcome the challenge. In this way, a Koan is an Ordeal as a Riddle is a Challenge. If you understand this, it will ease right relationship to a Koan. Added by (DAK) Danielkaplan123 (talkcontribs)
Another English term for relating to a koan is precedent, as koan are the literary precedents established as examples of Zen. In a court of law one compares today's case against the precedents of past cases, and in Zen one compares one's own underlying assumptions about reality against the precedents of the past cases. But while precedent accurately portrays the role and status of koan within Zen, the term does not convey in English quite the usage of koan in the specific context of Zen, since use of the koan as the standard against which one compare's one's experience of Zen evokes the sense of puzzlement of the intellect in the student until he/she gets it (resolves the penumbra surrounding the supposed question) through the intuitive process, and then it doesn't seem puzzling at all (hence a non-question). (GW)
What's the correct answer to this koan?
The correct answer is one's own understanding of the koan. If someone gives you an answer that manages to fool your teacher when you repeat it, what have you learned? And how will you respond to the next one? Perhaps there is no pattern.
However, the word "understanding" presents the problem of intellectualization when translating the psychological process of working with koans into the academic framework of questions and answers. Koan answers are not an intellectual understandings, they are practical or imagistic responses. For example, one Wikipedia entry describes a usage of the term understanding as "A person understands the weather if he/she is able to predict and to give an explanation of some of its features, etc." That is not a proper expression of understanding when working with koans, because the "answers" to koans don't have anything to do with intellectual "explanation" or "prediction" as those terms are usually used. In the context of demonstrating one's understanding of a koan to a teacher, a person shows he/she understands the weather not by explanation or prediction but by showing the opening an umbrella in the rain or removing a coat in the warm sunshine.(GW)
Aren't koans an instrument that people use to reach enlightenment? Skillful means and all that? Why not just come out and say it?
Maybe you are the instrument—consider that. But see Hakuin's "Song of Zazen", which says that cause and effect are the same. Every means is itself an end. Most teachers agree that koans supercede subject-object duality, so the "instrumentalist" view is not helpful.:Koans are instruments in the sense of musical instruments. As some people make devine music with a musical instrument when others just make noise, some people make enlightenment with koans when others just make ignorance or confusion. One works with the instrument to "reach" the result, but the result is not achieved though an "instrumentalist" view because an instrumentalist view is typically limited by the subject-object distinction. The great musician becomes one with the instrument to show the result, and the Zen student becomes one with the koan to show the result. In this sense the instrumentalist view must be transcended.(GW)
In his "Ode to Sitting Meditation" (坐禅和讃, Zazen Wasan) Hakuin doesn't say "cause and effect are the same." He says, "Then opens the gate of the oneness of cause and effect." Saying "cause and effect are the same" implies lack of differentiation, while "oneness of cause and effect" means oneness within the differentiation. In other words, cause and effect are not dissolved into sameness by denial of their difference, instead the essential working of cause and effect is not denied but is realized through an appreciation of their underlying oneness. It is an important nuance that is portrayed in the koan case #2 known as "Baizheng's Fox" (J. Hyakujo) of the Gateless Checkpoint (erroneously translated as the Gateless Gate) (無門關, C. Wumen Guan, J. Mumonkan). (GW, updated 7/03/07)
"...effect and cause are the same" according to Robert Aitken, also published in Taking the Path of Zen, p112-113. Another Aitken translation reportedly has it as "The oneness of cause and effect is clear". Similarly, D.T. Suzuki reportedly has it as "...the oneness of cause and effect". I am curious how Norman Waddell translated it, possibly in his Essential Teachings. --Munge 08:58, 26 January 2006 (UTC)
Some would say this is an example of Zen pedantry and reflects Zen's tendency to obtuseness, obfuscation, and political correctness in refusing to use conventional words in their conventional sense. According to the vast zen literature, many zen students do in fact actually 'use' koans to 'gain' enlightenment whether or not such terms are technically correct from an 'enlightened' point of view. See Philip Kapleau's book Three Pillars of Zen for clear examples of koan 'usage'.
See The Zen Koan (or Zen Dust) by Miura and Sasaki, pxi; "To say that it is used as a subject of meditation is to state the fact incorrectly". See also Zen Keys by Thich Nhat Hanh, p57: "...we cannot say it is a theme or subject of meditation." See also The Koan, p281, where Victor Hori quotes Hee Jin Kim; they both criticize the "instrumentalist" view of koans, that they are a "means" to something. Hori reiterates this understanding in the introduction to Zen Sand. As the article stands right now, "Koans are often induce an experience of enlightenment..." expresses as fact what is actually a particular POV, refuted by these authors, whose lineage and scholarship are not in question. They do not make obtuse statements; they are quite direct, and they are not made in a context of mystical commentary. Some would say Hakuun's statement was not obtuse either, but a straightforward expression that every means is itself an end, a theme reiterated in rational western literature. I suggest this issue could be handled in a subsection of the article. I've tried to make sure that all controversial statements in the 1st half of the article are well documented, as you may have noticed. If teachers make many clear statements that koans are "used" and whatnot, perhaps you'd be so kind as to cite some specific examples, and one of us can write a section on "two attitudes about the use of koans" or something like that, OK? --Munge 04:41, 4 May 2005 (UTC)
Update: I see that on p12 of Three Pillars of Zen, edited by Philip Kapleau, he writes that koan zazen "must not be confused with...fixing one's mind on an idea or object." This is the same page where the book first explains how to practice with koans. I'll stipulate that he sometimes does write "use koans" or "utilize koans" (p6, p64). But evidently, Kapleau's 'usage' comes with qualifications. --Munge 05:18, 6 May 2005 (UTC)
Can any perplexing or paradoxical situation be a koan?
Yes. One point of all koans is to make the recipient aware of their reaction to the koan directly through their experience. When you listen/watch/feel your mind chase the answer to a perplexing or paradoxical situation like a dog chases his tail, that's True (like the computer screen you're reading this on right now) and unlike anything the mind comes up which is just more thought or mind.. When you realize that as the observer of your mind, that you are a separate, larger, entity than your mind (the field in which the mind plays), all koans will make sense to you. When you realize that the mind that chases the koan is the same mind that chases life, then you can live life instead of being lived by your mind. Added by (DAK) Danielkaplan123 (talkcontribs)

Dog's Buddha nature[edit]

I read in a book on koans that the answer wu/mu is also an onomatopoeia of a dog's bark. Anyone has any knowledge of this? Nazroon (talk) 03:00, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

What book? Thinman10 (talk) 08:19, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

In Joe Hyam's "Zen in the Martial Arts" the koan is: A monk asked Chao-chou, "Has the dog Buddha nature or not?" Chao-chou said, "Woof."

- this at least implies that "mu/wu" is onomatopoetical for the sound of a dog's bark.  —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:37, 11 April 2009 (UTC) 
Koans are not games, or tricks, or puzzles, or paradoxes. For "mu/wu" to be onomatopoetical for the sound of a dog's bark would be a bit of fun, a parlor puzzle to amuse and delight. If this is the depth of Joe Hyam's understanding of Zen koans (and I'm not suggesting for a moment that it is), it would be a very shallow pool indeed to swim in. By the way, I had a search for this in Hyam's book on Amazon and couldn't find it. Is it possible he has wisely removed this from some later editions? I have never seen any authoritative translation of this koan claiming Chao-chou said "woof". "Mu" or "wu" is usually translated into English as "no", or "nothing." Thinman10 (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 22:24, 18 April 2009 (UTC).

A koan doesn't need to be "deep", it needs to startle. A disciple like Thinman, who expects "depth" from his koans, would need to be startled by ostensibly shallow ones. The "depth" then comes from your own startled state, not from the philosophical depth in the koan itself. After all "does a dog have Buddha-nature? -- No." isn't intrinsically deep either, it's the answer you would get from any materialist. The answer is only startling because it is given by a Mahayana Buddhist. The student is shocked because the master seems to throw out the central teaching of the entire tradition with a shrug, and this is supposed to get him musing on the semantics of the term "mu", fluctuating between "no", "doesn't exist" and "not applicable", and then confuse him about the nature of "existence" itself, and the relation of reality to semantics, etc.

Now for Jack Kerouac, writing in 1950s America, not 9th century China, answering "no" to the question of "does a dog have Buddha nature" wouldn't startle anyone, the asker would more likely just go "ok, thanks". Not good for a koan. The answer woof for Kerouac's reader may come much closer to the effect of a real koan than giving a sholarly explanation of the medieval situation and its implications. But I agree of course, that the "woof" is Kerouac's original koan, and not an adequate explanation of Zhaozhou's --dab (𒁳) 10:51, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

Rational understanding[edit]

I'm genuinely curious and not trying to light any flames, but in the introduction to the article, we have " ... generally containing aspects that are inaccessible to rational understanding, yet may be accessible to intuition. A famous kōan is: "Two hands clap and there is a sound; what is the sound of one hand?"" Now there is a perfectly rational answer to this which I wrote, tongue-in-cheek, admittedly, but still a rational answer. It was promptly removed and I reinserted the answer with a weak pun added. But the question is (and this time I'm serious): Why is this easy teaser considered deep? Is it something that got lost in translation?

All the best and cheers (talk) 20:07, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

Check out the article's section on interpretation:

The purpose of kōans is for a Zen practitioner to become aware of the difference between themselves, their mind, and their beliefs that influence how they see the world as an aspect of realizing their True nature. Paradoxes tend to arouse the mind for an extended duration as the mind goes around and around trying to resolve the paradox or kōan to an "answer". This is a lot like a dog chasing its tail and, while it's chasing, the mind makes itself more visible. Once a Zen practitioner becomes aware of their mind as an independent form, the kōan makes sense and the teaching point is realized [DAK]

The answer isn't the point, the journey the kōans sends you on and what you get out of that is. There's no real good translation in English, as far as I understand, so it's hard for me to understand exactly. If it was about the answer, someone would just say "nothing" or "if you've got really long fingers, some weird skin against-skin-sound." I must say, I like your answer, if only because it's interesting how one defines clapping, but it's not really appropriate for the question. Hope that helps somewhat, I must admit I do find these things rather unenlightening but, then again, I'm unenlightened. ~ Amory (talk) 23:20, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, very well responded. Yes, the answer isn't the point, I got that. I am also unenlightened myself. But for the spiritual journey to be meaningful, one needs a paradox (as far as I understand it), or as the article states, ... generally containing aspects that are inaccessible to rational understanding. Now this particular example has a rational explanation. I'm not saying all koans do, but this one does. The oft cited similar example of the tree falling in the woods with noone around to listen also has a rational explanation.
I freely admit that there are many instances where there is no particular interpretation. You buy a house, make some changes, then the roof needs to be fixed etc. At what point does the house cease to be the original? (Or the old joke about the carpenter: This is my favourite hammer. I've had it a long time and have had to change the handle thrice and the head twice. :-) A relevant koan might be found in the inflammatory issue of abortion. When does a foetus become a human being? But, to cut a long story short, this particular one does have a definite answer or, if one does not accept that, it is at least no paradox, not even if you make the unspoken assumption that the clapping has to be one hand against the other. All the best and cheers (talk) 15:32, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
P.S. Having thought about it, the nonsensical wrappings might vanish if you replace paradox with open to interpretation. Does that sound reasonable? Cheers (talk) 15:54, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
A monk who could not give a suitable answer would often be slapped in the face. "What is the sound of one hand clapping?" response...SLAP! Andybutler (talk) 14:04, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

Rational understanding requires definitions of terms[edit]

Don't these paradoxes go away when the questioner is required to define his/her terms? Examples:

(1) "Master, a falling tree causes oscillatory vibrations of the surrounding air whether or not someone is present to hear, so if we define sound as the oscillatory vibrations then yes, there is a sound, but if we define sound as the observer's experience then no, there is no sound when there is no observer."
(2) "Master, if we define chicken egg as an egg laid by a chicken then the chicken came before the chicken egg, but if we define chicken egg as an egg containing a chicken embryo then the chicken egg came before the chicken. In both cases, the first chicken was a mutation hatched from an egg laid by a closely related chicken-like species. Or, if we assume creation instead of evolution, then one was presumably created before the other, but the knowledge of which one was created first is lost to unrecorded history, and our lack of that knowledge is no more profound than our lack of knowledge of your great grandmother's 9th spoken word after her 3rd birthday."
(3) "Master, if we define clapping generally as a sound produced by one or more hands and involving at least one hand's palm, then the sound of one hand clapping can be heard on YouTube… it's the sound of fingers striking the palm, and when done well the fingers compress air against the palm, making the sound louder. On the other hand, if we define clapping narrowly as one palm striking another palm, then one hand clapping is simply a logical contradiction in terms, of which many can be easily constructed… for examples, the 4th side of a triangle, the letter between a and b, or the first element in an empty set." At which point, the student is entitled to slap the master's cheek with his palm, saying "Or is this what you meant?"

For me, the most interesting of these paradoxes concerns the question of identity & continuity of a hammer that had at least one part replaced, but it's interesting only because it's related to an important issue for which definition of terms does not provide a satisfactory resolution: Imagine a series of surgical operations that gradually replace small parts of the human brain with equivalent self-repairing artificial components. Would the surgeries make the patient immortal, or would they kill the patient and replace him with a copy? Is the series of surgeries equivalent to constructing an artificial copy of the entire brain in a copy of the body and then killing the original, or does the series provide a degree of continuity that avoids death and provides immortality? If the former, which one of the surgeries killed the patient? Can we conclude anything relevant from the fact that many of the atoms that comprise our brains are continually being replaced? The difference between immortality and surgically-induced early death seems huge, so we can expect that for many people the choice whether to undergo such surgeries would need to be based on something better than arbitrary definitions of terms.
SEppley (talk) 16:30, 26 October 2011 (UTC)

The word "paradox" isn't used on the page at all anymore, which is probably for the best. Most koans I've encountered aren't paradoxes in the usual sense of the word. Pfly (talk) 23:28, 26 October 2011 (UTC)

Languages in lede[edit]

Shouldn't the Korean be given in Hangul (or at least in both Hangul and romanization)? rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 15:40, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

re Etymology and the evolving meaning... section[edit]

(clearing cobwebs) I've been meaning to add Fenyang Shanzhao (Fen-Yang Shan Chao; Fun'yō Zenshō, 947-1024, the fifth generation successor to Linji [Lin-chi, Rinzai]) to the subsection because the 3 sets of 100 cases that are part of the Fen Yang Lu (recorded in Taisho 47, in a section that lists as number 1992) were a key development that may (and the faithful believe) predate the 100 old cases of Xuedou (980-1052, whose collection, together with the later amendments of Yuanwu, form the Blue Cliff Record). The material below is mostly potential footnotes for a concise mention.

In a popular source, A Dictionary of Buddhism, (see here) Damian Keown asserts Fenyang "was the first to compile an anthology of kōans, many of which he composed himself." He's a scholar but I am not aware he's a specialist in medieval Chinese. More definitively, Zen Dust p356 calls the subset of the Fenyang-lu that contain 300 cases "of particular importance since the three collections of kōans became models for later Zen literary productions of a similar type" specifically referring to Fenyang collecting, composing, and commenting on cases. In Zen's Chinese Heritage p327 Fergusson writes "the formal collection and incorporation into practice of kōans, is traced to Fenyang. This emphasis on the use of kōans gave rise to their widespread collection...Well known examples of these books, such as the Blue Cliff Record and the Gateless Gate, became widely incorporated into Zen practice."

(Incidentally, in what could be a footnote for the kōan wiki's opening paragraph, on the following page 328 Ferguson remarks regarding Fenyang and later authors, "The writers did not try to directly explain what the public cases meant...their verses contained allegories and subtle information to evoke an intuitive or abstract appreciation and realization.")

More conservatively, in The Kōan p179 Schlūtter doesn't commit himself personally but names a source (the Chan-lin pao shūn) that indicates "the practice of gathering collections of kung-an commentaries began with the Lin-chi master Fen-yang". Victor Hori's mention of Fenyang on p70 of Zen Sand is even less definitive, referring to the Fenyang-lu as "one such early work", an early example of a collection of "old cases"; this is in a context in which Hori points out two pages earlier that regarding kōans "The actual date of uncertain".

I think it may be significant that two occurrences of the string for kung-an appear in the Fenyang lu. Eg browse here and search for 公案. I have an idea those occurrences are within the portion of the text that comprise the 300 cases. munge (talk) 05:51, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

No criticism section? Really?[edit]

Koan's are possibly the asian faith equivilent to batshit insane rantings of tent dwelling incestuous desert nomads who think it's awesome to mutilate their cocks because their god said to. Please treat it with the same respect and neutrality it deserves accordingly, and reflect the millions upon millions of criticisms that have been raised about this nonsensical argumentum ad authoratum reply method of drug fucked gurus to their neophytes. (talk) 13:34, 27 January 2012 (UTC) Five tons of flax.

Great - since there are "millions upon millions" of criticisms, it should be incredibly easy for you to find a few appropriate and valid references, and then you can create the "criticism" section whose absence you bemoan. Or you could just troll article comment sections. You know, whichever. Jikaku (talk) 20:14, 11 October 2012 (UTC)
I'd just offer if you're attached to koans, your reaction to the Truth (Note: the 'meaning' of a koan's content-of-words isn't relevant to the Truth the koan can reveal) that the statement (above) might reveal would make a fair koan for you as it would allow you the opportunity to watch how your mind reacts to the statement. Just a note, if you're not attached to koans, then there would be no palpable reaction to the statement (above)...unless of course you were attached to polite language, which is to say attached to curse words just in reverse, that is you push away from them. added by (DAK) Danielkaplan123 (talkcontribs) 07:36, 14 September 2012‎
Think among yourself. -(No, that is not a grammatical error) ~E (talk) 19:36, 11 October 2012 (UTC)
"I must humbly and respectfully point out an error in my Master's writing: 'Think among yourself' is an incorrectly formed statement."
"Is it not?" was the Master's only response.
~Dialog from Self; ~Eric F (talk) 16:29, 14 October 2012 (UTC)

Chung-feng Ming-pen[edit]


He had a concise and perhaps profound definition, which might be worthy of a quote-box or something?

The koans do not represent the private opinion of a single man, but rather the highest principle ... that accords with the spiritual source, tallies with the mysterious meaning, destroys birth-and-death, and transcends the passions. It cannot be understood by logic it cannot be transmitted in words it cannot be explained in writing it cannot be measured by reason. It is like ... a great fire that consumes all who come near it.

~Chung-feng Ming-pen

Sorry, I can't cite a reference off-hand; that essentially is a copy/paste [no-no!] from here: [1]
~E (talk) 19:29, 11 October 2012 (UTC)

The quote comes from a book which is cited in "Zen Dust" by Miura and Sasaki: "Source: a Zen teaching, quoted in Miura and Sasaki 1966:5" Though "Zen Dust" is a famous publication, personally I wouldn't use this quote without offering a/the context. To me it seems to be a good example of de-contextualized Zen as popularized by D.T. Suzuki. Why did Chung-feng state it this way? Who was he responding to? Dumoulin gives a description of Chung-feng; so does Baroni. According to these sources, Chung-feng was influential on early Rinzai in Japan. He lived in a time when the picture of the Song as the "Golden Age of Zen" had been fully created. That's significant, when using this quote. More info on him can be found in "Chung-feng Ming-pen and Ch'an Buddhism in the Yuan" by Chun-fang Yu, in "Yuan thought: Chinese thought and religion in the Yuan" (see Buswell p369). Joshua Jonathan (talk) 05:20, 12 October 2012 (UTC)
The quote is part of a longer text which is also included in "Sitting with koans" by JohnDaido Loori. The rest of the text is less cheesy (is that the correct word?)
Chung-feng also introduced the term "wild fox slobber"
Griffith Foulk does provide a context for the Chung-feng quote; Griffith Foulk mentions the comparison by Chung-feng of "the records of the teachings" with "government documents".p21 So the quote you propesed seems more like a 'poetic' utterance emphasising the importance and the impact of koans, than a definition of koans.
By the way, it's typical that the text in "Sitting with koans" omits the opening question: "Someone also asked: "Why is it that the [records] of the [teaching] devices and circumstances (chi-yuan) of the buddhas and patriarchs are commonly called kung-an?p21 Omitting this opening question is a subtle way of decontextualizing this text. It also shows, I think, why it is good that Wikipedia asks for secondary, reliable sources.
Joshua Jonathan (talk) 14:38, 12 October 2012 (UTC)
Now that you've done the research, how about an article for Chung-feng Ming-pen? ;) ~Eric F (talk) 23:54, 12 October 2012 (UTC)
Regarding my original query about his quote; perhaps something like: response to a question regarding the purpose of using the word 'koan'. But that would probably require a cite for that summation. ~E (talk) 02:28, 13 October 2012 (UTC) - (Which might indicate a lack of sufficient understanding on my part) ~E (talk) 02:31, 13 October 2012 (UTC)
It seems he also had a significant influence on calligraphy: "[His] style of calligraphy prompted innovative trends in Ming Dynasty China and transmitted current Chinese artistic developments to Japan where it had a major impact on Zen- and tea circles." - A Master of His Own:The Calligraphy of the Chan Abbot Zhongfeng Mingben (1262-1323) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:43, 13 October 2012 (UTC)
Regarding writing an article on Chung-feng Ming-pen: I had the same thought. kind of an obligation, isn't it? Here's a begiining Joshua Jonathan (talk) 05:09, 13 October 2012 (UTC)
Great start - thanks! ~Eric F (talk) 18:54, 13 October 2012 (UTC)

Maybe the quote could be used in a section which stresses the weight Rinzai-Zen gives to koans. It could be seconded by a quote from Hakuin, where he compares koans to "wild foex slobber", a term which comes from Chung-ming, who also revitalized Chán in his times. Would be a nice subtle intertextuality, wouldn't it? But it should also contain a relativization (is that a correct word?), for example Muso on richi and kikan Dumoulin 2005-B, p.164-165. Joshua Jonathan (talk) 04:00, 14 October 2012 (UTC)

One reason that I like that quote is that it can serve as 'Koan in a nutshell' - for dummies like me. ~Eric F (talk) 18:08, 14 October 2012 (UTC)

Binomial hyphenation[edit]

Btw, the binomial hyphenation of the name seems to be preferred / more common; I hope you don't mind if I change it to that. ~E (talk) 19:29, 11 October 2012 (UTC)

Umm, following WP:PINYIN, shouldn't his name be romanized as Zhongfeng Mingben? Keahapana (talk)
Your link seems to suggest such, unless there is a 'common usage' suggesting otherwise; in this case I have no idea. I would be tempted to use: Chung-feng Ming-pen (Zhongfeng Mingben; 中峰明本 ) - [Still no link] But this is outside my normal editing genre. ~E (talk) 01:50, 13 October 2012 (UTC)
So, Zhongfeng Mingben? Given Keahapana's experience in Chinese? Joshua Jonathan (talk) 05:09, 13 October 2012 (UTC)
There is another reference on WP where it is 'Zhongfeng Mingben (Chung-feng Ming-pen)'; next to last entry on table: List of National Treasures of Japan (ancient documents)). Using both might be useful for researchers. ~Eric F (talk) 16:47, 13 October 2012 (UTC)
I already put both in the userdraft. Also create a redirect when the draft is ready for Wikipedia? Joshua Jonathan (talk) 18:07, 13 October 2012 (UTC)
Zhongfang might need a redirect also; Google has quite a few hits for that spelling. ~E (talk) 18:31, 13 October 2012 (UTC)


I've started revising the Etymology section, which still needs polishing. We might want to delete the Foulk quote – gong does not mean "'magistrate' or 'judge'." The closest I found is gongzu 公祖 "(historical) term of respect for the local magistrate". Keahapana (talk) 02:20, 14 October 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for taking up this part, 'mr. etymology' :) Joshua Jonathan (talk) 07:03, 14 October 2012 (UTC)

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Koan in western medicine[edit]

How does the Zen / buddist concept of "kōan" relate to the greek / western medicinal praxis school of "koan"? Wikipedias article on "koan" would need to explain also in breef the classical debate within medicin with focus on diagnosis "knidean" or treating and aiding "koan". — Preceding unsigned comment added by CSjoholm (talkcontribs) 18:12, 12 August 2017 (UTC)

?!? Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 18:52, 14 June 2019 (UTC)