Zen Koans Explained: "Nothing Exists"

Imagine two men. Both have swords. As you're imagining that, your cat walks into the room. Your cat is carrying a sword in its teeth. "Where did you get that, kitty?" you ask. Will your cat ever respect you again?

The koan: "Nothing Exists"

Yamaoka Tesshu, as a young student of Zen, visited one master after another. He called upon Dokuon of Shokoku.

Desiring to show his attainment, he said: "The mind, Buddha, and sentient beings, after all, do not exist. The true nature of phenomena is emptiness. There is no realization, no delusion, no sage, no mediocrity. There is no giving and nothing to be received."

Dokuon, who was smoking quietly, said nothing. Suddenly he whacked Yamaoka with his bamboo pipe. This made the youth quite angry.

"If nothing exists," inquired Dokuon, "where did this anger come from?"

The enlightenment: Now that is some Grade-A zen shit. Love it!

This has been "Zen Koans Explained." If you ate it, you would die.

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