koan definition

  • noun:
    • A puzzling, frequently paradoxical declaration or story, found in Zen Buddhism as an aid to meditation and a means of gaining religious awakening.
    • an account about a Zen master along with his student, sometimes like a riddle, in other cases like a fable, that has become an object of Zen research, and which, whenever meditated upon, may unlock mechanisms in Zen student’s mind leading to satori.
    • A riddle without any answer, familiar with provoke representation in the inadequacy of rational thinking, and induce enlightenment.
    • a paradoxical anecdote or a riddle which has had no solution; utilized in Zen Buddhism to show the inadequacy of logical thinking

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