Quickly, without thinking good or evil, what is your original face before your parents were born?
—Gateless Gate, Case 23
John talks about the warm intimacy of the ‘the dark’ – the uncolonized zone where koans work with us. Intimacy in teachings is used often as an equivalent for enlightenment. Koans open gates and bring us inside that mystery. Some categories of koans: Predicament koans, Heart Changing koans, Inquiry koans and more.
The great Chan teacher Luopu’s deathbed story, and his emphasis on the importance of a “direct meeting with the source” outside the teachings—you can’t just read about it. “Don’t grasp principles with words.” The story features the Book of Serenity’s compassion for the whole process toward enlightenment, for these wonderful teachers. Dharma talk in Fall Sesshin. Video as recorded 2019.
John Tarrant talks about the bond between Daoism and Chan Zen. See transcription with same name https://www.pacificzen.org/library/knock-on-any-door-daoist-masters-zen-koans/