koan


ko·an

noun \ˈkō-ˌän\

Definition of KOAN

:  a paradox to be meditated upon that is used to train Zen Buddhist monks to abandon ultimate dependence on reason and to force them into gaining sudden intuitive enlightenment

Origin of KOAN

Japanese kōan, from public + an proposition
First Known Use: 1945

Other Religion (Eastern and Other) Terms

Zen, antinomian, avatar, gnosticism, illuminati, ineffable, karma, mantra

Rhymes with KOAN

aeon, add-on, agon, agone, Akan, Ambon, Amman, anon, Anshan, archon, argon, Argonne, atman, axon, bank on, barchan, baton, big on, Bion, blouson, bon ton, bonbon, boron, boson, bouillon, bring on, build on, bygone, caisson, call on, canton, capon, cast on, catch on, Ceylon, chaconne, Charon, chew on, chiffon, chiton, chrismon, Cimon, cistron, clip-on, codon, come-on, cordon, coupon, crampon, crayon, crepon, cretonne, crouton, Dacron, dead-on, Dear John, doggone, Dogon, Don Juan, exon, fall on, flacon, foregone, form on, Freon, fronton, futon, Garonne, get on, Gibran, gluon, gnomon, go on, guidon, hadron, Hainan, hand on, hands-on, hang on, have on, hazan, head-on, Henan, hereon, high on, hit on, hogan, hold on, Huainan, icon, intron, ion, jargon, Jinan, jomon, kanban, kaon, Kashan, keen on, Khoisan, Kirman, krypton, kurgan, Kurgan, lauan, lepton, let on, lock on, log on, look on, Luzon, macron, Masan, Medan, Memnon, meson, micron, Milan, mod con, moron, mouton, Multan, muon, natron, nekton, neon, nephron, neuron, neutron, ninon, Nippon, nylon, odds-on, Oman, Oran, Orlon, paeon, parton, Pathan, pavane, pecan, peon, Phaëthon, photon, phyton, pick on, pion, piton, plankton, pluton, pompon, prion, proton, Pusan, push on, put-on, pylon, python, racon, radon, rag on, rayon, recon, rhyton, run-on, run on, Saint John, Saipan, salon, San Juan, Schliemann, Schumann, Shaban, shaman, shaitan, Shingon, sign on, sit on, slip-on, snap-on, solon, Solon, soupçon, soutane, stand on, stolon, stuck on, Suwon, sweet on, Taiwan, taipan, take on, tampon, taxon, Teflon, Tehran, teston, thereon, Tian Shan, tisane, torchon, toucan, toyon, trade on, trigon, Tristan, triton, trogon, try on, Tucson, turned-on, turn on, Typhon, tzigane, uhlan, Ulsan, upon, wait on, walk-on, witan, whereon, Wonsan, wonton, work on, Wuhan, xenon, Xi'an, Yukon, Yunnan, zircon

koan

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

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.”

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