What is the sound of one hand clapping?

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Re: What is the sound of one hand clapping?

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Nov 02, 2012 2:39 am

Greetings,

Kamran wrote:Thanissaro Bikhu says that maybe this famous koan is referring to sights, sounds, smells, and tastes that clap against the mind and cause it to clap back.

Yes - phassa, contact.

For a sutta equivalent teaching, consider this...

SN 12.64 wrote:"Just as if there were a roofed house or a roofed hall having windows on the north, the south, or the east. When the sun rises, and a ray has entered by way of the window, where does it land?"

"On the western wall, lord."

"And if there is no western wall, where does it land?"

"On the ground, lord."

"And if there is no ground, where does it land?"

"On the water, lord."

"And if there is no water, where does it land?"

"It does not land, lord."

"In the same way, where there is no passion for the nutriment of physical food ... contact ... intellectual intention ... consciousness, where there is no delight, no craving, then consciousness does not land there or grow. Where consciousness does not land or grow, name-&-form does not alight. Where name-&-form does not alight, there is no growth of fabrications. Where there is no growth of fabrications, there is no production of renewed becoming in the future. Where there is no production of renewed becoming in the future, there is no future birth, aging, & death. That, I tell you, has no sorrow, affliction, or despair."

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: What is the sound of one hand clapping?

Postby ground » Fri Nov 02, 2012 7:30 am

"Absorbed in this way, the excellent thoroughbred of a man is absorbed dependent neither on earth, liquid, fire, wind, the sphere of the infinitude of space, the sphere of the infinitude of consciousness, the sphere of nothingness, the sphere of neither perception nor non-perception, this world, the next world, nor on whatever is seen, heard, sensed, cognized, attained, sought after, or pondered by the intellect — and yet he is absorbed. And to this excellent thoroughbred of a man, absorbed in this way, the gods, together with Indra, the Brahmas, & Pajapati, pay homage even from afar:
'Homage to you, O thoroughbred man.
Homage to you, O superlative man —
you of whom we don't know even what it is
dependent on which
you're absorbed.'"

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


:meditate:
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Re: What is the sound of one hand clapping?

Postby pegembara » Fri Nov 02, 2012 7:51 am

In a similar tone, here is another zen story.

Zen master Dae Kwang was giving a speech.

Halfway through, the thunder started to sound.. Someone asked a question, he said "can you hear the thunder?" *thunder claps* "that is it! that is the answer from Buddha (laughter)" And five more questions came - what is enlightened person, who can become enlightened, how to practice and become enlightened, all dharmas return to one one returns to what?, etc.

And his answer to each question was, "did you hear the thunder?"

Then it started to rain, it got so loud that he stopped speaking and we just sat there. The rain itself becomes the dharma talk... so everyone sat there in meditation... the zen master sat very still. Just the sound of dripping rain filling the whole universe... the sound enjoying and hearing itself... that's Buddha, clear and blissful.

Then after 20 minutes he began to speak. He said you don't need to remember anything I said... the rain is the best dharma talk. So the talk ended, 15 minutes early.


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'In the seen will be merely what is seen; in the heard will be merely what is heard; in the sensed will be merely what is sensed; in the cognized will be merely what is cognized.'
Bahiya Sutta
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Re: What is the sound of one hand clapping?

Postby Yana » Sat Nov 03, 2012 11:18 am

What is the sound of one hand clapping?

Like whuush waaww whushh wawww but more finer.It depends on how fast i clap.
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Re: What is the sound of one hand clapping?

Postby Ben » Sat Nov 03, 2012 11:20 am

Yana wrote:What is the sound of one hand clapping?

Like whuush waaww whushh wawww but more finer.It depends on how fast i clap.


Can you do it again, but faster?
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Re: What is the sound of one hand clapping?

Postby Yana » Sat Nov 03, 2012 11:25 am

Ben wrote:
Yana wrote:What is the sound of one hand clapping?

Like whuush waaww whushh wawww but more finer.It depends on how fast i clap.


Can you do it again, but faster?


that's strange..

I can hear a sound but i can't put it into words.
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Re: What is the sound of one hand clapping?

Postby daverupa » Sat Nov 03, 2012 6:34 pm

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: What is the sound of one hand clapping?

Postby seeker242 » Sat Nov 03, 2012 7:15 pm

Kamran wrote:Thanissaro Bikhu says that maybe this famous koan is referring to sights, sounds, smells, and tastes that clap against the mind and cause it to clap back. Is the koan referring to the mind that does not clap back and does not react to the senses but just observes them ? That is the mind that we are after.

Ajahn Sumedho thinks the sound of one hand clapping is the sound of silence, also called the nada, which is a pleasant whistling noise from within the ear that meditators often hear and that can be used as a meditation aid.

I am interested to know what others think of this koan.

Thanks.


The koan is referring to the thing that can not be spoken of, even though the thing is not a "thing" per say. All koans point to this no thing thing. So as soon as you open your mouth to say what it is or what it means, you make a mistake. This is why zen is considered a tradition that is "before words and speech". The question definitely has an answer, it's just not a "word, speech" answer.
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Re: What is the sound of one hand clapping?

Postby nem » Wed Nov 14, 2012 6:22 am

My impression from reading many of the Pali suttas, that apart from having heard the Bhudda explain the Dhamma in person with his particular knowledge and skill in teaching, enlightenment is a gradual progression from practicing the path and using the jhanas or insight meditation along with practice in your daily life to realize the truths and penetrate them, internalize or become one with them, and not to something that would dawn on you from a koan for example unless you have already practiced to destroy the taints and had already developed through practice to that point.

What is the understanding of the people who use koans? To use the koan to launch out into the realm of neither perception or non-perception from some near Jhana.
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Re: What is the sound of one hand clapping?

Postby pegembara » Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:06 am

................................................................
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.
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Re: What is the sound of one hand clapping?

Postby Dan74 » Wed Nov 14, 2012 9:21 am

nem wrote:My impression from reading many of the Pali suttas, that apart from having heard the Bhudda explain the Dhamma in person with his particular knowledge and skill in teaching, enlightenment is a gradual progression from practicing the path and using the jhanas or insight meditation along with practice in your daily life to realize the truths and penetrate them, internalize or become one with them, and not to something that would dawn on you from a koan for example unless you have already practiced to destroy the taints and had already developed through practice to that point.

What is the understanding of the people who use koans? To use the koan to launch out into the realm of neither perception or non-perception from some near Jhana.


Hi nem :hello:

If you have a genuine interest in understanding a little of the koan practice, there is the following introduction to Victor Sogen Hori's Zen Sand (it's legal!):

http://nirc.nanzan-u.ac.jp/publications/nlarc/pdf/Zen%20Sand/Zen%20Sand%20%28Introduction%29.pdf

I will quote a bit from it, if I may:

To begin with, like all Buddhist practices, Rinzai kõan practice is religious in nature. This point seems to be forgotten in current accounts. Popular descriptions
of the kõan as “riddles” or “paradoxes” make it seem as if the Zen practitioner is interested in little more than the solving of intellectual puzzles. Those interested in
enhancing the spontaneity of athletic or artistic performance tend to focus on Zen as a training technique for attaining a state of consciousness in which “the dancer is one
with the dance” (Gallwey 1974, Sudnow 1978). Scholars who study Zen as a language game give the impression that the practitioner is basically learning a new set of rules for language (Sellman 1979, Wright 1992). Others insist that the notion of religious experience (Proudfoot 1985) or Zen experience (Sharf 1995a, 1995b) is a concept manufactured and manipulated for ideological reasons, depicting the practitioner as primarily engaged in some form or other of cultural politics. Critics who suggest that the kõan is a form of “scriptural exegesis” (Sharf 1995a, 108) give the impression that the Zen kõan practice differs little from scholarship in general. These kinds of interpretations of Zen practice are misleading at best. The kõan practice is first and foremost a religious practice, undertaken primarily not in order to solve a riddle, not to perfect the spontaneous performance of some skill, not to learn a new form of linguistic expression, not to play cultural politics, and not to carry on scholarship. Such ingredients may certainly be involved, but they are always subservient to the traditional Buddhist goals of awakened wisdom and selμess compassion. In saying this, I am making a normative statement, not a description of fact. The fact is, in most Rinzai monasteries today, many of the monks engage in meditation and kõan practice for a mere two or three years in order to qualify for the status
of jðshoku W4 (resident priest), which will allow them to assume the role of a temple priest. For many of them, engagement with the kõan may indeed consist in little
more than the practice of solving riddles and learning a ritualized language, a fraction of the full practice. In the full practice the Zen practitioner must bring to the
engagement the three necessities of the Great Root of Faith, the Great Ball of Doubt,and the Great Overpowering Will (daishinkon Ø=Í, daigidan Ø”ê, daifunshi Øcƒ).4 The kõan is an arti³cial problem given by a teacher to a student with the aim of precipitating a genuine religious crisis that involves all the human faculties— intellect, emotion, and will.

At ³first, one’s efforts and attention are focused on the kõan. When it cannot be solved (one soon learns that there is no simple “right answer”), doubt sets in. Ordinary
doubt is directed at some external object such as the kõan itself or the teacher, but when it has been directed back to oneself, it is transformed into Great Doubt. To
carry on relentlessly this act of self-doubt, one needs the Great Root of Faith. Ordinarily, faith and doubt are related to one another in inverse proportion: where faith
is strong, doubt is weak; and vice versa. But in Zen practice, the greater the doubt, the greater the faith. Great Faith and Great Doubt are two aspects of the same mind of
awakening (bodaishin ¯). The Great Overpowering Will is needed to surmount all obstacles along the way. Since doubt is focused on oneself, no matter how strong, wily, and resourceful one is in facing the opponent, that opponent (oneself) is always just as strong, wily, and resourceful in resisting. When self-doubt has grown to the
point that one is totally consumed by it, the usual operations of mind cease. The mind of total self-doubt no longer classi³es intellectually, no longer arises in anger or
sorrow, no longer exerts itself as will and ego. This is the state that Hakuin described as akin to being frozen in a great crystal: Suddenly a great doubt manifested itself before me. It was as though I were frozen solid in the midst of an ice sheet extending tens of thousands of miles. A purity filled my breast and I could neither go forward nor retreat. To all intents and purposes I was out of my mind and the Mu alone remained. Although I sat in the Lecture Hall and listened to the Master’s lecture, it was as though I were hearing
from a distance outside the hall. At times, I felt as though I were μoating through the air. (Orategama iii, Yampolsky 1971, 118)
In this state, Hakuin happened one day to hear the temple bell ring. At that moment the ice shattered and he was thrust back into the world. In this experience, called the
Great Death (daishi ichiban Ø‘sŸ), the self in self-doubt is ³nally extinguished and the Great Doubt is transformed into Great Awakening. As Ta-hui says, “Beneath
the Great Doubt, always there is a Great Awakening Ø”î4×ÀØ;.”5 Kenshõ, the experience of awakening, is more than merely the state of concentrated
sam„dhi. When the Great Doubt has totally taken over the self, there is no more distinction between self and other, subject and object. There is no more differentiation,
no more attachment. This is merely sam„dhi and not kenshõ. Kenshõ is not the self’s withdrawal from the conventional world, but rather the selμess self breaking back
into the conventional world. It is only when this sam„dhi has been shattered that a new self arises. This self returns and again sees the things of the world as objects, but
now as empty objects; it again thinks in differentiated categories and feels attachment, but now with insight into their emptiness.
Again, I am speaking in normative terms. The particular aspects of Zen kõan practice on which scholars have concentrated their attentions—its nondual epistemology,
its ritual and performance, its language, its politics—are aspects. They are facets of a practice whose fundamental core is a religious practice.
_/|\_
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Re: What is the sound of one hand clapping?

Postby m0rl0ck » Wed Nov 14, 2012 9:38 am

Ben wrote:Can you do it again, but faster?


Advanced practitioners have actually been known to gain altitude.
"Even if you've read the whole Canon and can remember lots of teachings; even if you can explain them in poignant ways, with lots of people to respect you; even if you build a lot of monastery buildings, or can explain inconstancy, stress, and not-self in the most detailed fashion ... The only thing that serves your own true purpose is release from suffering.

"And you'll be able to gain release from suffering only when you know the one mind."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... eleft.html
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Re: What is the sound of one hand clapping?

Postby BubbaBuddhist » Wed Nov 14, 2012 1:26 pm

Author of Redneck Buddhism: or Will You Reincarnate as Your Own Cousin?
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Re: What is the sound of one hand clapping?

Postby ignobleone » Wed Nov 14, 2012 6:29 pm

The buddha answers the question at the end of the video: http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/rude-buddha/1388804/
:popcorn:
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