I am a 35 year old man from Sweden, who wants to use the
koan MU but don't know how to
go about it. I have practiced zazen for about 2 years,
concentrating on my breathing.
Please help me.
Answer from Master Kosen
it is the horse which must pull the cart, and not the opposite.
People want to use techniques for their personal development
and traditional practices take the ½new age¯ appearence .
One consumes double-quick in the supermarkets of spirituality.
One wants to get rich, to develop oneself spiritually.
It is a totally selfish undertaking. You end up heading south,
although you initially wanted to head north.
Master Dogen says in this respect : "To study the way is to study
oneself, to study oneself is to forget oneself, to forget oneself is
to be certified by all the living beings of the cosmos.¯
You want to use the koan Mu, but it is the koan Mu which
must use you. First of all, what is the koan Mu? ½Mu¯ means ½no¯
Master Joshu was asked whether the dog has buddha nature,
and he answered : "Mu !" It means ½nothing¯ or ½no¯ or ½shit !¯
or ½neither yes nor no¯. Those practices on ancient koans are not
natural. When you concentrate on those, you create an artificial
situation. All the phenomenona of our life are natural and living koans.
Why use artificial koans? It is like trying to smell the perfume of a
Anyway, your idea of Mu is not the true living Mu. If you knew
the true living Mu, it is Mu which would use you, and not the opposite.
* Retour: Kosen online
Mondo On the same theme : Illusions
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You may want to see other themes of this mondo online, or ask your own question : see Mondo online : questions to zen Master Kosen Thibaut