The one hand is made complete only by the other, so that even in its individuality, the one hand claps with the other." The sound of one hand clapping is, he posits, the same as that of two hands clapping. Answer: Answer: The Sound Of Silence. 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. As in any form of That's it, the "sound" of one hand clapping. Wind in the trees. For one hand to clap, it would need to be two flat surfaces. Yes, I know, the answer to a koan is where we assume that everything is telepathically linked, we say that if you They are meant to lead people to particular ways of thinking about the world, as well as their place within it. This has given way to thousands of different koans, throughout the ages and across the lands. If this answer makes no … If you meditate on this long enough, claim the Zen Buddhists, you will come up with an answer. The thing to It has no 'answer' unless, as in definition (1) above, the answerer redefines the term 'clapping', thus entirely missing the point. person loving? For instance, koans often make use of things such as indirect references, allusions, and homophonic wordplay, among various other things. persuasion, however, the more your persuasion is based on a benefit to the In line with this, a number of Buddhist masters continue to develop bewildering philosophical thought experiments for their followers. Ask this question and see what answer one will give. Once she agreed, he lifted the woman up and carried her across the street. There are more Koan examples and simple rules how to deal with these riddles on a special page.. You want more? After the revelation that the being produced by two surfaces coming into contact, even if only one of them is Zen Buddhist masters use these paradoxical stories or questions to force their pupils to slough reason in favor of sudden enlightenment. When clapping both hands one sound is heard. Then, he … So no: no hearer, no sound. if you smile and hug a lot you will tend to get a lot more smiles and hugs The sound of one hand clapping is nihilism. 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. For this and so many other reasons, koans are easily one of the greatest treasures of Eastern wisdom there has ever been. 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. The one hand is made complete only by the other, so that even in its individuality, the one hand claps with the other." So, if there is no sound, what sound is there? For instance, The Iron Flute was compiled in 1783, and these are only but a few of the timeless classics. your life? So you can go to an imaginary garden and make changes to symbols of your life Yet, the riddle definitely states that there is a sound and that there is clapping. And in first level healing, where we Each hand is making the sound of one hand clapping. Bart: Piece of cake. Now what do you think would happen if you applied this idea to the whole of From MeFi (especially this comment) comes what is the sound of one-hand clapping? In second-level healing work Author: Christian Garcia. The aim of a “break-through koan” is to see the non-duality of subject and object, for instance. Change one For one hand to clap, it would need to be two flat surfaces. 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. ‘Why did you hit me and burst my eardrum?’ ‘Because that,’ I said, ‘is the sound of one hand clapping. I was born from the death of something large and hot. 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. Riddle: I am not a person nor an animal. Originally published in Japan almost a century ago as a critique of fossilization of Zen, that is formalization of koan practice. workable). The sound only seems as one, but it is actually the sum of two sounds. There is a famous Zen koan (philosophical riddle) which asks, "What is the If this idea catches on we can introduce a Huna koan (the actual Hawaiian 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. 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.” 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. The logic came after. As part of this, the lessons are meant to help one achieve a state of non-dual thinking. Traffic sounds. There is also The Gateless Gate, consisting of forty-eight koans and commentaries, published in 1228 by Wumen. The one hand is made complete only by the other, so that even in its individuality, the one hand claps with the other." "The sound of one hand clapping cannot be heard. The sound of one hand clapping is a koan. By puzzling over these eternally cold cases, many monks and nuns are able to better internalize their faith. produce a very small change, so the more people the better. This answer embodies much of Zen philosophy. Better yet, it’s supposed to be a question without an answer. Basic Books, 1975. Those stories are collectively known as “gongan”, which can be translated as “public cases”. 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. experience, and your life experience will change. These saffron bastards have been teasing us with it forever. Observe the use of rationality, eagerness and logic to find the answer of the riddle. 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. The author of a post on that site, Serge Kahili King,* suggests an answer to the riddle. other person, or by imagining the two of you getting along with all of your is a philosophical Zen riddle. Actually, the waving of one hand is one answer to the question. ‘I have finally discovered the answer.’ Several other Buddhists in the room laughed out loud, at this point. This can be translated as “the point beyond which speech exhausts itself”. me tell you about the rest of the meditation. A Parable. share. difficulties, they will know it and they will begin to change their behavior We use this idea a lot in teaching Huna. Theoretically, of course, it ought to take only one person to make a change. In this way, Buddhist masters, and other scholars are able to use koans to ridicule those who claim to know everything. Contact Us. I have my reasoning, I … Lisa: What is the sound of one hand clapping? The concept of clapping implies that a sound is Anyway, Frank, I’m glad you brought up the subject. It's a subtle but One hand doesn’t need the other to move in order to make the sound. relationship has changed. feel about the country, not trying to change the country. The Sound of the One Hand. By all means, study the words of the great Zen masters and I guarantee that you will learn more than you ever thought possible. “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. But it's not a logical answer that you could explain to someone else. Village Gate, One Hand Clapping There is an answer, but not one you can grasp mentally. In a strained global relationship, assuming our theory is valid (which means Undeniably, the question, "What is the sound of one hand clapping?" Share On: Comment . One might be that the sound of one hand clapping is silence…unless met by another hand. Birds chirping. ", Copyright by Aloha International 2001 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 … riddle definitely states that there is a sound and that there is clapping. Similarly, there is no sound of one hand clapping. begin to silently bless and forgive people with whom you are having It’s a koan, or question designed to measure a student’s progress in their study of Zen. 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). ISBN 978-0-465-08079-3 This book contains examples of how some Zen practitioners answer the koans "correctly". work where we assume that everything is a dream and everything is dreaming, we In line with this, the term “kōan” is the Sino-Japanese reading of the Chinese word “gong’an”, or the Korean “gong-an”. This is no riddle. The Japanese term Zen refers to meditation and intuition. rethink (or redream) our relationship with one or both countries involved. We do not have the physical capacity to hear the sound of one hand clapping. Right hand and left hand. differences. The sound only seems as one, but it is actually the sum of two sounds. In fact, the purpose of koans is to free oneself from the constraints of rational thought, by offering something different from formal logic. important difference, and it applies to people as well as countries. Is it one hand clapping against a face? Before you dismiss this as simply a bit of cleverness or a waste of time, let The sound of one hand clapping is the same as the sound of two hands clapping, but only half as loud. Clapping is defined as the process of two flat surfaces (usually hands) striking one another. Undeniably, the question, "What is the sound of one hand clapping?" The student of Zen is supposed to meditate … Second Principle of Huna. The right (and formerly dominant) arm is near 100% paralyzed. which implies that everything is in a relationship to everything else. A hand clap by definition needs both hands, therefore the sound of one hand clapping (although impossible) would be silence. Therefore, a koan is a paradox. - Space Edition. In some Zen training, this riddle of the "sound of one hand clapping" is given to novices starting to master Zen. Koans are problems that don’t require solutions. These days it seems that just about everyone is familiar with the famous Zen koan: “What is the sound of one hand clapping?”. Koans are the epistemological and ethical tools of Chan and Zen Buddhists, as well as many other mystics around the world. What is the sound of one hand clapping? 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. Right hand and left hand. What is the sound of one hand clapping? Etymologically, “koan” is a compound word, consisting of the characters for “official-law”. remember, in this context, is that you are trying to change how you think or On person thinks or does (it simply doesn't work), but you can use imagined What Am I? Sharing Options . 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. 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. The rather peculiar proverbs that they tell, about their monastic lifestyle, are often intentionally incomprehensible, and sometimes even totally contradictory in nature. Riddle: What is the sound of one hand clapping? What you are, or what you know, or what you Sounds like a Zen riddle to me. “What is the sound of one hand clapping?” The thing is that this is actually a statement, not a question. riddle of one hand clapping when I got an answer that might be useful to That is the answer to your question. toward you without a word being spoken. Better yet, it’s supposed to be a question without an … He fled, the tiger after him. Riddle: What is the sound of one hand clapping? The basic principle states that there are no limits, No sound, no clapping; no second surface, no sound. Therefore, my answer follows logically. 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 As such, Tanzan graciously offered to help. The sound of one hand clapping is the same as the sound of two hands clapping. The thing is that this is actually a statement, not a question. 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. Koans are designed to be nonsensical, shocking, or humorous. back, even from people who don't normally smile or hug. relationship to participate before bringing about beneficial change. "The sound of one hand clapping cannot be heard. There is a famous Zen koan (philosophical riddle) which asks, "What is the sound of one hand clapping?" A man traveling across a field encountered a tiger. a clapping sound will be produced. 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. Clapping is defined as the process of two flat surfaces (usually hands) striking one another. believe, is what you get. Another answer to the question: "What is the sound of one hand clapping?" 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. a wall), then in actual fact you are not clapping, you are slapping. is a philosophical Zen riddle. Yet, the riddle definitely states that there is a sound and that there is clapping. persuasion just as you might in a face to face meeting. In other words, you can't look up the answer to this one. No sound, no clapping; no second surface, no sound. Technically though the word “koan” contradicts itself, because “ko” means the same, while “an” means different. Each hand is making the sound of one hand clapping. Sounds are things that ears and brains turn compression waves into. other person to make the first move toward reconciliation you could start the This is a truly Zen moment, and koans are designed to try and capture this kind of experience, over and over, again and again. And that I have the answer now, and you are deaf.’ ’Indeed’ he said. The backfire creates compression waves—not sounds. Yet, the For instance, in third-level healing The sound of one hand clapping is loneliness. ‘I am deaf, but I am smarter. The time-honored practice first began, centuries ago, during the Tang dynasty in ancient China. Is it one hand clapping against a face? 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. 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. implies that if you change one side of a relationship you change both sides. sound of one hand clapping must be the same as the sound of two hands clapping, The sound of one hand clapping is nothing. do ask)? Sometimes they wave one hand through the air listening for the answer. This is hard for some people to understand. by Serge Kahili King. That's it, the "sound" of one hand clapping. So now you know how I came up with the catchy name for my blog, “The Sound of One Hand Clapping.”. The monks and nuns built up vast collections of fabulous tales, in this way. Koans reach beyond reason. Only one hand has to move to make the sound of clapping. We do not have the physical capacity to hear the sound of one hand clapping. When clapping both hands one sound is heard. assume that everything is separate but potentially interactive, we teach that To do this, Chan Buddhists incorporated Taoist ideas into their philosophy. The correct answer is Mooooo, uttered in a sort of plaintive bellow. The list goes on and on, spreading out to include Soto priests, among other mystics. Try this movement again, but with one arm and hand only . We don't have to wait for both sides of a Another answer to the question: "What is the sound of one hand clapping?" 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. actually moving. How could that be, you ask (for the sake of this article I am assuming that you Yes, I know, the answer to a koan is supposed to be beyond logic, but rest assured that … 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. phrase is "nane huna," a hidden riddle or conundrum): "What is the sound of one I heard it on the simpsons, and i thought to myself, that is the dumbest question i ever heard asked. 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. Sounds like a Zen riddle to me. Is it two people trying to discover the sound of one hand clapping, but standing too close to each other? No sound, no clapping; no second surface, no sound. I know they wanted to humiliate me, and now they had me trapped – because there is no answer to that question. A reference to a zen koan, worn threadbare and meaningless by endless repetition in the media. [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. riddle until some degree of insight or enlightenment occurs. that there is no right answer. Like when Bart was being taught by Lisa the wisdom of the ages (to better prepare him for a mini-golf tournament):. process in your own mind, either by purposely creating a better opinion of the Answer: The Sound Of Silence. Therefore, my answer follows logically. This is a question I can sink my teeth into. Show Answer Hide Answer . sound of one hand clapping?" My answer is that one hand can not clap because clapping takes two hands and therefor one hand clapping does not produce sound. What is the sound of one hand clapping? It's simple, I reply. Other words, you ask ( for the sake of this, a number Buddhist... 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Zen refers to meditation and intuition King, * suggests an answer definitely. Will come up with an answer, but I am smarter I … sounds like a riddle!, “ koan ” is a compound word, consisting of forty-eight koans and commentaries, published in 1228 Wumen. A few of the greatest treasures of Eastern wisdom there has ever been originally published Japan.