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Q. I feel a great peace within when I try to solve the Zen question, but I don’t know why. The voice in my head is very frustrated about how nonsensical it is but my body is somehow calm, which is a strange disconnect from how it usually reacts to my mind being frustrated. Can anyone tell me if I’m on the right path?

A.‘The voice in my head is very frustrated about how nonsensical it is’ makes sense. In fact, many people, when considering a Zen question, koan, think of it as nonsensical and have the same trouble as you do because it sounds illogical and unreasonable. The reason why you feel that way is that you have not had enough teaching before tackling the question. You should have been taught logically why you should solve the question and how you should approach the question, which would make you, instead of being frustrated about how nonsensical it is, convinced that the question is reasonable and logical.

After taking a question from a master, you need sufficient communication with him and continuous instruction on how to deal with the question. Anyway, if you continue to feel frustrated about how nonsensical the question is, you had better start again from the beginning since you cannot solve the question with distrust whilst regarding it as nonsensical.

©Boo Ahm

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

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