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The Zen Koan is a written or verbal puzzle used in the teaching of Buddhism to bring the student to the level of satori or enlightenment According to D T Suzuki in An Introduction To Zen Buddhism the word Koan now denotes some anecdote of an ancient master or a dialogue between master and monks or a statement or question put forward by a teacher all of which are used as the means for opening ones mind to the truth of ZenSuzuki 102 Koans are often in the form of statements that seem at first to make little or no sense This aspect of a Koan is intended to help the student concentrate on the words and pull meaning from them in the same way that they must pull meaning from themselves in order to achieve satori Koans sometimes seem to be constructed of two contradicting concepts which may be true from the standpoint of the dynamics of language This joining of two opposing concepts is meant to show the student that all concepts are actually a part of one another since they exist in the same world Koans are intended to join the opposing concepts within the student which is the oneness of Zen Buddhism Zen masters by this means would force the evolution of the Zen consciousness into the minds of their less endowed disciplesSuzuki 102 The real self of Zen lies in the harmony of opposites To those who pay more attention to the actual written words of the Koan Koans will never make sense Koans are deliberately meant to defy the logic that exists in the world outside the self the world of government and social constructs They are meant to help the student see the world undistorted by these learned concepts The language of a Koan also uses simple concepts and objects that are universal Keeping the subject simple the student does not have to worry themselves over the
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