Monday Meditation: Zen Koan


Happy Monday!

Today I decided to try a different type of meditation, not only because we are all different and you might enjoy doing a different type of meditation too, but also because trying new things is the only way to learn new things.

Today’s meditation is a Zen koan, what is that, you ask? It can be a riddle, a sentence or a short story, by trying to solve it (or understand it) your mind is asked to think in an unconventional way, it’s sent down a different path than the one it normally travels on. While trying to understand the deeper meaning of the koan by meditating upon it, the mind finds calm and begins thinking in a new way.  Anything that captures the mind’s attention in an unusual way is bound to help us unwind and relax because we stop the constant mind-chatter.

Later on, your brain may apply this new way of thinking when solving your every day dilemmas. So this type of meditation will also result in innovative solutions for your every day challenges.

Zen masters have been using these puzzling stories to test their students for centuries. Enlightenment is said to be suddenly experienced while meditating about a koan.

So, this Monday, let’s give our brains something different to mull over. Here are 3 Zen koans, choose one, the one that most resonates with you, and think about it during your day (if you can) or at least while you are riding the bus or the train on your way to work or school.

(Also, if you are a commuter this August in London, my heart is with you, while all the Waterloo Station works are done, moving around in public transport won’t be easy. Hope this koans will give you something interesting to keep your mind occupied)

1.– How do you put on a shirt of empty sky? 

2.– What is your original face, before your mother and father were born?

3.–  Not the Wind, not the Flag:

“The wind is moving the temple flag”, one monk said. The other said: “Just the flag is moving”.

Eno said: “Neither moves. Your mind is moving.” 


Have a lovely day!





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