Given that religions are essentially mysteries, it is odd that no one has attempted to solve them. It’s a bit much to ask me solve all of them in a morning, but I’ve just about got the patience to deal with Zen Buddhism. Here are the answers to five Buddhist koans. Tomorrow I deal with Islam (cue sense of humour failure and threats of death, etc).
1. “Two hands clap and there is a sound; what is the sound of one hand?”
Answer: a faint wafting.
2. “Without thinking of good or evil, show me your original face before your mother and father were born”
3. “What is the meaning of Bodhidharma’s coming from the west?” Traditional answer: “The cypress tree in the courtyard.”
Answer: Wanderlust and idle curiosity. And don’t call me Bodhidharma. (The only person who calls me that is my mum when she’s angry.)
4. “What is Buddha?” Traditional answer: “Three pounds of flax.”
Answer: Three pounds of flax, and a man with a fondness for heavy linen trousers.
5. “Does a dog have Buddha nature or not?”
Answer: No. Ask yourself, does Buddha does have dog nature? Hey, get off my leg.