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Fun / foon Tokyo
Friday, May 28, 2004

Topic: Japanese life
Moo MU

"mu koan"


Chinese master called Joshu in Japanese (Chao-chou (778-897) was asked whether a dog had a Buddha Nature. He answered "Wu!" in Chinese. Since the Japanese pronunciation of wu is mu, I know Joshu was simply making a noise like a cow --"MOO!-- and not answering the question at all. In the "Gateless Gate," the Chinese master called Ekai in Japanese states the unanswerability of the question:

Has a dog a Buddha-nature?
This is the most serious question of all.
If you say yes or no,
You lose your own Buddha-nature.

--Ekai (1183-1260) via 'Zen Flesh, Zen Bones' p.165

Posted by trek/taro at 10:17 AM KDT
Updated: Friday, May 28, 2004 9:28 PM KDT
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