Thursday, October 9, 2008


-Why blind people hate sky diving?
-It scares the shit out of the dogs.
It’s a joke. Do you get it? If you get it you’ll laugh, if you don’t you will be offended, if you are not even offended you’ll just stare confused and ask for an explanation. I had a friend like that, he always asked me to translate my jokes for him. (You know the type ;) So I would go: Blind people have seeing dogs, so if they sky dive they have to drag the poor dogs out of the plane and that makes the dogs very uncomfortable. But of course, when you explain a joke like that, the joke is not funny any longer. So he would go: Aaaha! Like he understood it. But he missed the whole point entirely. I was telling him the joke because I wanted to make him laugh not to give him a hard time.

Two hands clap and there is a sound; what is the sound of one hand clapping?
It’s a koan. Do you get it? If you get it, you got satori, if you don’t you’ll think it is a stupid or absurd question and if you don’t even think that it is stupid or absurd, you’ll just stare confused and ask for an explanation. So I’ll give you the answer: Silence – You need two hands to clap. You need silence to have sound, and sound to have silence. One cannot exist without the other, like the two sides of a coin or two ends of a rope. Technically speaking pure pressure on your year drums will sound like nothing at all. You need the constant switching between pressure and no pressure to make a sound. Two hands pressed together make no sound either. You have to clap. It's the yin yang thingy! But of course when a koan is explained like that you miss the whole point entirely.

The master has nothing to teach his students that that they already don’t know. (Well at least the real ones) He does not give his student a koan so the students have something to study, understand and learn, because there is nothing to study, understand or learn.
I know you purists out there will go: So how come you are doing this? Because I am a bad teacher. Actually I’m not even a teacher, I’m just a pissed off individual. And I know what you are thinking: So if you call yourself a buddha how come you are pissed off? Aren’t enlightened people suppose to be serene, on a plane above mundane? Oh well... if they choose so.


Don't Feed The Pixies said...

Blind people can actually go skydiving - they know to bend their knees when the leash goes slack...

the sound of one hand clapping is Cl or Ap depending on which hand -or for those more technical: whoosh, whoosh, whoosh - which is the sound of the air being disturbed by the movement. One hand clapping would only be silent in a vacuum - cos as we all know: in space no one can hear you scream!

Thanks for visiting - an interesting insight :)

Christine Vyrnon said...

I recently wrote about the one hand clapping koan on my teandoranges blog. I may be wrong, but I believe that the answer given says something about the individual's current state of comprehension. Years ago, my first answer to that koan was the sound of the four fingers slapping against the palm of the same hand. Seemed pretty logical to me... at the time. Sometimes still does.

This Brazen Teacher said...

An angry Buddhist should be your name! LO-ove that :-D