Zen Koans are short questions, riddles, or dialogue designed to help us find the truth. A catalyst to awaken awareness that’s hidden behind the mind, Koans aren’t logical questions with rational answers, so oftentimes they’re left unanswered. Below is an example:
The student Doken was told to go on a long journey to another monastery. He was extremely upset because he felt the trip would interrupt his studies, so he said to his friend, the advanced student Sogen, “Please ask permission to come with me on this trip. There are so many things I don’t know, but if you come along we can discuss them and I can learn as we travel.”
“All right,” said Sogen. “But let me ask you a question. If you’re hungry, what satisfaction is it to you if I eat rice?”
Is anyone eating rice for you?