Online Dictionary

koan Explained

koan at English => English (English Etymology) Of Explained:

Zen paradox, 1946, from Jap. ko "public" + an "matter for thought." ///

koan at English => English (The Britannica Concise) Of Explained:

In Zen Buddhism, a brief paradoxical statement or question used as a discipline in meditation. The effort to solve a koan is designed to exhaust the analytic intellect and the will, leaving the mind open for response on an intuitive level. There are about 1,700 traditional koans, which are based on anecdotes from ancient Zen masters. They include the well-known example "When both hands are clapped a sound is produced; listen to the sound of one hand clapping."

koan at English => English (WordNet) Of Explained:

n : a paradoxical annecdote or a riddle that has no solution;
used in Zen Buddhism to show the inadequacy of logical

koan at English (WD) Of Explained:

Inter: was wotd » 2010|September|23
Inter: wikipedi » a

Alternative forms

* kōan


From Inter: etyl » ja Inter: term » sc=Jpan|lang=ja|公案 (Inter: term » sc=Jpan|lang=ja|こうあん), which was from Inter: etyl » zhx|en Inter: term » 公案||official business|tr=gōng'àn|lang=cmn|sc=Hani.


* Inter: a » UK Inter: IPA » /ˈkəʊ.ɑːn/
  • Inter: a » US Inter: IPA » /ˈkoʊ.ɑn/
  • Inter: audio » en-us-koan.ogg|Audio (US)


    Inter: en-nou » n

  • Inter: context » Zen Buddhism A story about a Zen master and his student, sometimes like a riddle, other times like a fable, which has become an object of Zen study, and which, when meditated upon, may unlock mechanisms in the Zen student’s mind leading to satori.
    1. 1979, Douglas R. Hofstadter, Category: wikipedia - :Gödel, Escher, Bach|Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid
    2. : Achilles: Let me tell you a kōan about an imitator.
    3. :: Zen master Gutei raised his finger whenever he was asked a question about Zen. A young novice began to imitate him in this way. When Gutei was told about the novice’s imitation, he sent for him and asked him if it were true. The novice admitted it was so. Gutei asked him if he understood. In reply the novice held up his index finger. Gutei promptly cut it off. The novice ran from the room, howling in pain. As he reached the threshold, Gutei called, “Boy!” When the novice turned, Gutei raised his index finger. At that instant the novice was enlightened.
    4. A riddle with no solution, used to provoke reflection on the inadequacy of logical reasoning, and to lead to enlightenment.
    5. 1973, Category: w - :Thomas Pynchon|Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow
    6. : Gibberish. Or else a koan that Achtfaden isn’t equipped to master, a transcendent puzzle that could lead him to some moment of light.
    7. 2001, Category: w - :Joyce Carol Oates|Joyce Carol Oates, Middle Age : A Romance (Fourth Estate, paperback edition, 303)
    8. : As always the koan “Why, Why am I here, why here” begins in her head, but she beats it back like a housewife with a broom.


      Inter: trans-top » zen story

  • Chinese:
  • : Min Nan: Inter: t- » nan|公案桌|tr=kong-àn-toh|sc=Hans, Inter: t- » nan|無頭公案|tr=bô-thâu-kong-àn|sc=Hans
  • Hungarian: Inter: t- » hu|koan

  • Inter: trans-mi » d
    • Irish: Inter: t- » ga|cóán|m
    • Russian: Inter: t- » ru|коан|m|sc=Cyrl

    Inter: trans-botto » m
    Inter: trans-top » riddle without solution
    • French: Inter: t+ » fr|aporie
    • Hungarian: Inter: t- » hu|koan

    Inter: trans-mi » d
  • Italian: Inter: t+ » it|aporia
  • Spanish: Inter: t+ » es|aporía

  • Inter: trans-botto » m


    * kaon, KAON
    • NKAO



    Inter: etyl » ja|fr Inter: term » sc=Jpan|tr=kōan|lang=ja|公案, from Inter: etyl » zhx|fr Inter: term » sc=Hani|tr=gōng'àn|lang=cmn|公案 (literally, "public case").


    Inter: fr-noun-inv » m
  • koan


    * kaon

  • Category: Category:fr:Buddhism -



    From Inter: etyl » en|hu Inter: term » koan|lang=en, from Inter: etyl » ja|hu Inter: term » sc=Jpan|tr=kōan|lang=ja|公案, from Inter: etyl » zhx|hu Inter: term » sc=Hani|tr=gōng'àn|lang=cmn|公案 (literally, "public case").


    * Inter: IPA » /ˈkoɒn/|lang=hu


    Inter: hu-noun » ok
  • koan

  • Category: Category:hu:Buddhism -
    Translation: br » koan
    Translation: et » koan
    Translation: eo » koan
    Translation: eu » koan
    Translation: fr » koan
    Translation: ko » koan
    Translation: ka » koan
    Translation: mg » koan
    Translation: pl » koan
    Translation: ru » koan
    Translation: ta » koan
    Translation: vi » koan
    Translation: vo » koan

    kōan at English (WD) Of Explained:

    Inter: also » koan



    Inter: en-nou » n
  • Inter: alternative spelling of » koan

  • Category: Category - :English terms spelled with Ō|koan

    Related words:

    koan-hē  koan-sim  köande  koanlike  koanok  koans  koantenn