Buddhism solved

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”

Winston Churchill (who, as everyone knows, is the model for all unborn children)

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.

6 Responses to “Buddhism solved”

  1. pouletnoir Says:

    I gather that supplying absolute answers to questions is a no-no for Buddhists and that I run the risk of being reincarnated as a fox. This doesn’t seem all that bad.

  2. rivergirlie Says:

    the thought manifested as action
    and the lotus flower opens

    (i’m looking forward to catholicism – i’ve come up with a very compelling reason for allowing priests to marry … no, not that one. i shall blog it soon, if i’m not struck down by a thunderbolt first)

  3. Tom L Says:

    Hang on – you’ve got it all mixed up here.

    There’s no need to provide any further content to Buddhist koans. It’s pretty clear that the sound of one hand clapping is as much the face you had before your mother and father were born as it is the cypress tree in the courtyard.

    Why confuse things, maaan?

  4. pouletnoir Says:

    Well, it’s a joke. It wasn’t intended as a critique of Zen Buddhism, but I don’t believe that Zen Buddhism is beyond criticism either.
    My understanding of the koans is that they are designed to expose the meaninglessness of a certain perspective (that you exist as an individual, for example), but this only works if you accept the premise the Zen Buddhist perspective. They try to defy logic, but actually employ circular logic.
    My pat answers to the questions are actually no more pat than the answers given by the Buddhist scholars, they just happen to point to a different conclusion – that you do exist as an individual. Merely because I do not have an aura of wisdom cultivated by wearing odd costumes and shaving my head does not preclude me from commenting.

  5. Tom L Says:

    You’re in trouble now. Expect a tidal wave of saffron to mysteriously flood Il Casa della Pollo when you least expect it.

  6. SatchelMonkey Says:

    If my mother falls at home and there’s no-one there to help her, does she make a sound?

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