c. “What is the blown-hair sword?”
“Every branch of coral holds up the moon.”
—PZI Miscellaneous Koans, Case 74c & The Blue Cliff Record, Case 100
Those who have used koans have described them as a poetic technology for bringing about awakening, a painful but effective gate into the consciousness of the Buddha, an easy method of integrating awakening into everyday life, the most frustrating thing they have ever done, an appalling waste of time, a tyranny perpetrated by Zen masters… Well, you get the idea — about koans, opinions differ. Article by John Tarrant published in Shambhala Sun magazine, May 1 2003.