Traffic sounds. Like when Bart was being taught by Lisa the wisdom of the ages (to better prepare him for a mini-golf tournament):. Village Gate, One Hand Clapping The sound of one hand clapping is nothing. Is it two people trying to discover the sound of one hand clapping, but standing too close to each other? More to the point, the style of writing used in koans has been influenced by a variety of Asian literary devices, as well as many Buddhist principles. The concept of clapping implies that a sound is being produced by two surfaces coming into contact, even if only one of them is actually moving. sound of one hand clapping must be the same as the sound of two hands clapping, a wall), then in actual fact you are not clapping, you are slapping. The sound of one hand clapping is loneliness. For one hand to clap, it would need to be two flat surfaces. The student of Zen is supposed to meditate … The Sound of the One Hand. We use this idea a lot in teaching Huna. So no: no hearer, no sound. The Sound of One Hand. Koans are the epistemological and ethical tools of Chan and Zen Buddhists, as well as many other mystics around the world. The one hand is made complete only by the other, so that even in its individuality, the one hand claps with the other." The concept of clapping implies that a sound is being produced by two surfaces coming into contact, even if only one of them is actually moving. In this way, Buddhist masters, and other scholars are able to use koans to ridicule those who claim to know everything. This can then trigger a spiritual breakthrough in some practitioners, leading to an epiphany, or even a full-blown theophany, in the most extreme cases of peak experience. As such, Tanzan graciously offered to help. So, Ekido confronted Tanzan further up the road, asking: You see, the point of nearly every koan is to examine all those fuzzy gray areas, between the letter of the law and the spirit of the law. other person to make the first move toward reconciliation you could start the Thus, koans are codes of conduct. Another answer to the question: "What is the sound of one hand clapping?" I have my reasoning, I … Coming … One hand doesn’t need the other to move in order to make the sound. The question would be better posed: “What is the effect of one hand clapping?” Ah! Zen Buddhist masters use these paradoxical stories or questions to force their pupils to slough reason in favor of sudden enlightenment. Riddle: What is the sound of one hand clapping? If this answer makes no … No sound, no clapping; no second surface, no sound. In a strained global relationship, assuming our theory is valid (which means For instance, in third-level healing ‘Why did you hit me and burst my eardrum?’ ‘Because that,’ I said, ‘is the sound of one hand clapping. There is also The Gateless Gate, consisting of forty-eight koans and commentaries, published in 1228 by Wumen. A hand clap by definition needs both hands, therefore the sound of one hand clapping (although impossible) would be silence. "The sound of one hand clapping cannot be heard. rethink (or redream) our relationship with one or both countries involved. Right hand and left hand. Sounds like a Zen riddle to me. The aim of a “break-through koan” is to see the non-duality of subject and object, for instance. This is a truly Zen moment, and koans are designed to try and capture this kind of experience, over and over, again and again. What Am I? is a philosophical Zen riddle. This answer embodies much of Zen philosophy. So you can go to an imaginary garden and make changes to symbols of your life These days it seems that just about everyone is familiar with the famous Zen koan: “What is the sound of one hand clapping?”. In some Zen training, this riddle of the "sound of one hand clapping" is given to novices starting to master Zen. The Record of the Temple of Equanimity With the Classic Odes of Venerable Tiantong Jue and the Responsive Commentary of Old Man Wansong is a collection of one hundred koans, by Hongzhi Zhengjue, compiled with commentaries by Wansong Xingxiu. Another answer to the question: "What is the sound of one hand clapping?" This is no riddle. If in fact you are clapping against something (e.g. : Mumon). The student of Zen is supposed to meditate on this The one hand is made complete only by the other, so that even in its individuality, the one hand claps with the other." is a philosophical Zen riddle. The sound of one hand clapping is, he posits, the same as that of two hands clapping. toward you without a word being spoken. Yet, the riddle definitely states that there is a sound and that there is clapping. Undeniably, the question, "What is the sound of one hand clapping?" Teaching Hut side of that relationship and the other side has to change because the Actually, the waving of one hand is one answer to the question. A koan is a problem that logic won’t solve, so no one can tell you what a koan means. They are paradoxical riddles that are used to demonstrate the inadequacy of logical reasoning, to provoke enlightenment. Answer: The Sound Of Silence. It's a subtle but which implies that everything is in a relationship to everything else. The sound of one hand clapping is the sound of the other hand, the absent or invisible hand that claps because one hand cannot clap, there can … Author: Christian Garcia. In fact, the purpose of koans is to free oneself from the constraints of rational thought, by offering something different from formal logic. phrase is "nane huna," a hidden riddle or conundrum): "What is the sound of one The monks and nuns built up vast collections of fabulous tales, in this way. One might be that the sound of one hand clapping is silence…unless met by another hand. Before you dismiss this as simply a bit of cleverness or a waste of time, let Even if only one hand changes its position relative to another, unmoving hand , Therefore, my answer follows logically. person thinks or does (it simply doesn't work), but you can use imagined Lisa: What is the sound of one hand clapping? The rather peculiar proverbs that they tell, about their monastic lifestyle, are often intentionally incomprehensible, and sometimes even totally contradictory in nature. Although no longer an active student of Zen, I was recently meditating of the Therefore, my answer follows logically. A man traveling across a field encountered a tiger. Church Benediction in Honor of Saint Aretha Franklin, I Brought More People To Church Once I Left, ‘With You in the Spirit’: A Brief Theology of Togetherness. One really old example of this is the Blue Cliff Record, which is a set of a hundred koans that were compiled in the year 1125, by Yuanwu Keqin. The sound of one hand clapping is every sound that takes the place of the non-clapping hand where ever you are at that time. Or, the same as three hands clapping, but only 1/3 as loud. My answer is that one hand can not clap because clapping takes two hands and therefor one hand clapping does not produce sound. The thing to By all means, study the words of the great Zen masters and I guarantee that you will learn more than you ever thought possible. When clapping both hands one sound is heard. I was born from the death of something large and hot. So are koans serious or fun? That is the answer to your question. Contact Us. Is it two people trying to discover the sound of one hand clapping, but standing too close to each other? sound of one hand clapping?" Observe the use of rationality, eagerness and logic to find the answer of the riddle. After the revelation that the Now what do you think would happen if you applied this idea to the whole of Share On: Comment . The concept of clapping implies that a sound is Better yet, it’s supposed to be a question without an answer. What is the sound of one hand clapping? "The sound of one hand clapping cannot be heard. believe, is what you get. Wind in the trees. So, in the end, I guess the takeaway from all of this is that a great many saints, monks, and nuns have graciously given us these powerful, paradoxical puzzles to piously play with, so we should. “What is the sound of one hand clapping?” Possibly one of the most famous Koan, a Zen riddle given by Zen masters to students to pounder on. Another answer to the question: "What is the sound of one hand clapping?" In a strained personal relationship, for example, instead of waiting for the do ask)? This is a question I can sink my teeth into. Change one There are more Koan examples and simple rules how to deal with these riddles on a special page.. ISBN 978-0-465-08079-3 This book contains examples of how some Zen practitioners answer the koans "correctly". Riddle: I am not a person nor an animal. One Hand Clapping . me tell you about the rest of the meditation. No sound, no clapping; no second surface, no sound. Theoretically, of course, it ought to take only one person to make a change. Riddle: What is the sound of one hand clapping? Koans are problems that don’t require solutions. Undeniably, the question, "What is the sound of one hand clapping?" riddle of one hand clapping when I got an answer that might be useful to difficulties, they will know it and they will begin to change their behavior To do this, Chan Buddhists incorporated Taoist ideas into their philosophy. - Space Edition. At that time, little more than fifty generations ago, renowned spiritual masters started telling stories about each other, to better teach their students about the ways of the world. They are meant to lead people to particular ways of thinking about the world, as well as their place within it. Is it one hand clapping against a face? The sound of one hand clapping is nihilism. And in first level healing, where we The questions are intentionally rhetorical. Each hand is making the sound of one hand clapping. The sound only seems as one, but it is actually the sum of two sounds. The Japanese term Zen refers to meditation and intuition. Try this movement again, but with one arm and hand only . That's it, the "sound" of one hand clapping. ‘I have finally discovered the answer.’ Several other Buddhists in the room laughed out loud, at this point. Right hand and left hand. by Serge Kahili King. Clapping is defined as the process of two flat surfaces (usually hands) striking one another. A reference to a zen koan, worn threadbare and meaningless by endless repetition in the media. As a classic example of the power of a koan, according to a popular story regarding the practice of non-attachment, one day, two monks named Tanzan and Ekido were walking along a muddy road together. On As in any form of A Parable. But it's not a logical answer that you could explain to someone else. that there is no right answer. your life? Show Answer Hide Answer . The basic principle states that there are no limits, say that if you change one dream you automatically change all related dreams. A characteristic example of the style is the well-known koan “When both hands are clapped a sound is produced; listen to the sound of one hand clapping.” Sometimes the koan is set in question-and-answer form, as in the question “What is Buddha?” and its answer, “Three pounds of flax.” We do not have the physical capacity to hear the sound of one hand clapping. I know they wanted to humiliate me, and now they had me trapped – because there is no answer to that question. relationship has changed. The list goes on and on, spreading out to include Soto priests, among other mystics. we might be able to get together even in a smallish group and and Sorry, you can't control with your imagination what the other Clapping is defined as the process of two flat surfaces (usually hands) striking one another. The thing was that, based on monastic law, monks were not supposed to be near women. In no time at all, legendary encounters between the old adepts and their young disciples, as well as other interlocutors, were also being commented on during spiritual lessons. Yet, the riddle definitely states that there is a sound and that there is clapping. riddle definitely states that there is a sound and that there is clapping. In second-level healing work I have the answer now, and you are deaf.’ ’Indeed’ he said. it struck me that this was a nice metaphor for two of the corollaries of the if you smile and hug a lot you will tend to get a lot more smiles and hugs From MeFi (especially this comment) comes what is the sound of one-hand clapping? The backfire creates compression waves—not sounds. persuasion just as you might in a face to face meeting. No sound, no clapping; no second surface, no sound. Ask this question and see what answer one will give. For instance, The Iron Flute was compiled in 1783, and these are only but a few of the timeless classics. Once she agreed, he lifted the woman up and carried her across the street. “What is the sound of one hand clapping?” The thing is that this is actually a statement, not a question. where we assume that everything is telepathically linked, we say that if you workable). relationship to participate before bringing about beneficial change. "The sound of one hand clapping cannot be heard. Second Principle of Huna. When clapping both hands one sound is heard. Each hand is making the sound of one hand clapping. Yet, the The author of a post on that site, Serge Kahili King,* suggests an answer to the riddle. a clapping sound will be produced. The correct answer is Mooooo, uttered in a sort of plaintive bellow. According to Yoel Hoffman in "The Sound of One Hand: 281 Koans with Answers," the acceptable answer is for the novice to face the Zen master, take a correct posture, and silently extend one hand forward. He fled, the tiger after him. There is a famous Zen koan (philosophical riddle) which asks, "What is the sound of one hand clapping?" Koans reach beyond reason. Anyway, Frank, I’m glad you brought up the subject. The thing is that this is actually a statement, not a question. remember, in this context, is that you are trying to change how you think or There are more Koan examples and simple rules how to deal with these riddles on a special page.. You want more? The tricky part is This has given way to thousands of different koans, throughout the ages and across the lands. work where we assume that everything is a dream and everything is dreaming, we They do this on purpose because by framing their invaluable lessons as absurd anecdotes, the sages teach us how to better cope with ambiguity in life. ‘I am deaf, but I am smarter. The sound of one hand clapping is the same as the sound of two hands clapping, but only half as loud. Sharing Options . We don't have to wait for both sides of a The one hand is made complete only by the other, so that even in its individuality, the one hand claps with the other." One hand cannot clap without the other. What you are, or what you know, or what you Koans are designed to be nonsensical, shocking, or humorous. being produced by two surfaces coming into contact, even if only one of them is Yes, I know, the answer to a koan is The sacred texts are invaluable processes, as well as products. This Zen koan or paradoxical riddle, composed by the Japanese Zen Master Hakuin, has been the source of many interpretations with even Bart Simpson adding to the list of possible answers (proceeding to close and open his hand quickly, thus creating a slight clapping sound at best). By puzzling over these eternally cold cases, many monks and nuns are able to better internalize their faith. other person, or by imagining the two of you getting along with all of your I heard it on the simpsons, and i thought to myself, that is the dumbest question i ever heard asked. In line with this, the term “kōan” is the Sino-Japanese reading of the Chinese word “gong’an”, or the Korean “gong-an”. In other words, you can't look up the answer to this one. The sound of one hand clapping is a koan. riddle until some degree of insight or enlightenment occurs. The right (and formerly dominant) arm is near 100% paralyzed. Then, he … process in your own mind, either by purposely creating a better opinion of the Either way, proper koans always emphasize the non-conceptional insight that various different Buddhist teachings are pointing to. There is an answer, but not one you can grasp mentally. What is the sound of one hand clapping? actually moving. In addition to this, sages tend to link verses in a sustained string, based on occult connections, such as regional seasonal imagery or mythological references. ", Copyright by Aloha International 2001 Etymologically, “koan” is a compound word, consisting of the characters for “official-law”. There are 30 basic Koans, lots of ancient Koans and the famous 48 Koans of 13th century Chinese master Wumen Hukai (jap. What is the sound of one hand clapping? assume that everything is separate but potentially interactive, we teach that So now you know how I came up with the catchy name for my blog, “The Sound of One Hand Clapping.”. How could that be, you ask (for the sake of this article I am assuming that you In the interest of technical accuracy I should mention that the conventional spelling is Mu, which is Zen Buddhist for “a question too dumb to be worth answering.” However, Mooooo works better for us midwesterners. For one hand to clap, it would need to be two flat surfaces. Originally published in Japan almost a century ago as a critique of fossilization of Zen, that is formalization of koan practice. [claps with one hand] Lisa: No, Bart, it's a 3000-year-old riddle with no answer.It's supposed to clear your mind of conscious thought. This is possible only if you hit one part of your hand against another, and I'm certain that's not the answer you're looking for. So, if there is no sound, what sound is there? differences. It has no 'answer' unless, as in definition (1) above, the answerer redefines the term 'clapping', thus entirely missing the point. important difference, and it applies to people as well as countries. persuasion, however, the more your persuasion is based on a benefit to the Sometimes they wave one hand through the air listening for the answer. We do not have the physical capacity to hear the sound of one hand clapping. So, generally speaking, a koan is pretty much any statement, dialogue, question, riddle or story, that can be used to provoke what Zen Buddhists call the “great doubt”. The time-honored practice first began, centuries ago, during the Tang dynasty in ancient China. begin to silently bless and forgive people with whom you are having The sound of one hand clapping is the same as the sound of two hands clapping. It's simple, I reply. In line with this, a number of Buddhist masters continue to develop bewildering philosophical thought experiments for their followers. Basic Books, 1975. produce a very small change, so the more people the better. Answer: Answer: The Sound Of Silence. If this idea catches on we can introduce a Huna koan (the actual Hawaiian Those stories are collectively known as “gongan”, which can be translated as “public cases”. ‘I know the sound of one hand clapping,’ I said. implies that if you change one side of a relationship you change both sides. These saffron bastards have been teasing us with it forever. This can be translated as “the point beyond which speech exhausts itself”. The sound only seems as one, but it is actually the sum of two sounds. That's it, the "sound" of one hand clapping. If you meditate on this long enough, claim the Zen Buddhists, you will come up with an answer. Sounds like a Zen riddle to me. share. No sound, no clapping; no second surface, no sound. Soon, they saw a female traveler, unable to make her way, up ahead of them. experience, and your life experience will change. Yes, I know, the answer to a koan is supposed to be beyond logic, but rest assured that … It’s a koan, or question designed to measure a student’s progress in their study of Zen. supposed to be beyond logic, but rest assured that the answer came intuitively. the other hand, the change of one person's relationship to a country might only What is the sound of one hand clapping? This Zen koan or paradoxical riddle, composed by the Japanese Zen Master Hakuin, has been the source of many interpretations with even Bart Simpson adding to the list of possible answers (proceeding to close and open his hand quickly, thus creating a slight clapping sound at best). This is possible only if you hit one part of your hand against another, and I'm certain that's not the answer you're looking for. Bart: Piece of cake. Similarly, there is no sound of one hand clapping. It is immediate, nonverbal, spontaneous, and intuitive, and so is creative thinking. I have a real problem with this question. Yet, the riddle definitely states that there is a sound and that there is clapping. other person, the more successful it is likely to be. For instance, koans often make use of things such as indirect references, allusions, and homophonic wordplay, among various other things. Therefore, a koan is a paradox. This is hard for some people to understand. Technically though the word “koan” contradicts itself, because “ko” means the same, while “an” means different. There is a famous Zen koan (philosophical riddle) which asks, "What is the Try this movement again, but with one arm and hand only. The logic came after. Better yet, it’s supposed to be a question without an … Sounds are things that ears and brains turn compression waves into. back, even from people who don't normally smile or hug. As part of this, the lessons are meant to help one achieve a state of non-dual thinking. person loving? On January 30, 2018, I was one of about forty speakers before an audience of over two hundred, in public hearings of the US FDA Opioid Policy Steering Committee, at Silver Spring, MD. Only one hand has to move to make the sound of clapping. For this and so many other reasons, koans are easily one of the greatest treasures of Eastern wisdom there has ever been. Birds chirping. 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One side of that relationship and the other side has to change because the relationship changed! The question: `` What is what is the sound of one hand clapping riddle answer sound of one hand clapping ”... Designed to be a question I ever heard asked question: `` What is the sound of hand... These saffron bastards have been teasing Us with it forever their pupils slough! Be that the sound of one hand clapping? am smarter me, and your experience... In Japan almost a century ago as a critique of fossilization of Zen, that is not What koan... Way, proper koans always emphasize the non-conceptional insight that various different Buddhist teachings are pointing to there... Nor an animal across a field encountered a tiger go to an imaginary and... Carried her across the lands it two people trying to discover the sound one. Has given way to thousands of different koans, throughout the ages and across the lands to... Koan is a compound word, consisting of the characters for “ official-law ” famous 48 koans of century. For the answer has given way to thousands of different koans, throughout the (! These paradoxical stories or questions to force their pupils to slough reason in favor of sudden enlightenment ancient koans the! Vast collections of fabulous tales, in this way on and on, spreading out to include priests... It ought to take only one hand clapping everything else I ever heard asked answer. ’ Several other in! No second surface, no sound, no clapping ; no second surface, sound.