Meditating with Koans

Koans are not mysterious puzzles or problems to be solved, as depicted in popular culture. Meditation with koans has long been used to break free of limiting habits of mind. They can bring unexpected joy and freedom.

An example of a koan is the phrase, “Not knowing is most intimate.” Meditating with this phrase is not about trying to understand it but making friends with it and seeing where it touches your life.

Traditionally, koan work is done individually, in private with a Zen teacher. Our koan salon follows a lively and informal group process developed by John Tarrant of the Pacific Zen Institute. We are in our fifth year, and it’s been exciting to see ancient wisdom come to life in the midst of our ordinary existence.