magnus's koans
The sun is shining slowly.
The engine is running mystically.
The rocks are, gently.
The trees are growing cruelly.
The book is lying swiftly.
The floor is burning stoicly.
The cat is crying perfectly.

There was a woman who went to a great Zen master near where she lived, hearing that he had a recipe for stew which was of high renown. She asked him to teach her to make this stew which was so famous. He agreed, and began listing off ingredients which she must have to make the stew. He then told her, "Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, then put these two back," holding up the cilantro and ginger. Looking puzzled, she asked, "If I mix the ingredients in the bowl, how can I take them out again?" He nodded and said, "It is not stew that I am feeding you." Many years later, she was enlightened. If all things are mixed up No one can separate them If one person is mixed up She will not be helped
I had a dream that I was trying to get undressed to go to bed. I would take off my clothes, and find that they were still on, so I would try again. Over and over, I removed my clothes, each time finding that they were still there. Eventually, I woke up and found that I was sleeping in my clothes. I guessed that I subconsciously knew that I had my clothes on, and this is why my dream self could not truly remove them. Somewhat bemused, I woke up again, thinking that it was for real this time. How many times must we disrobe to find the real self ? How many times must we wake up to find the real self ? How many times must we fall asleep to find the real self ? How many times must we find the real self ?
What is the sensation of thinking? What is the sensation of not thinking?
One day, a law was passed which required that anyone who was a liar must be arrested. When she heard about this, a student of zen said to the local constable, "I am a liar. You will arrest me now." He said to her in reply, "I do not believe you." "If you do not believe what I say, then you must think I am lying." He arrested himself also.
I was at the airport, checking in at the gate, when the airport employee asked, "Has anyone put anything in your baggage without your knowledge?" I said, "If it was without my knowledge, how would I know?" He smiled and nodded knowingly, "That's why we ask."
A student of Zen asked a museum security guard how old the dinosaur bones were. The guard counted quickly on his fingers and said, "Ninety million and six years."
What is the sound of one hand failing to clap?
The central tenet of Zen is to achieve a feeling of superiority through a false sense of enlightenment. This statement is precisely why it is worthy of our respect, admiration, and study.
Does the idea of buddha-nature have the budda-nature?
While at an art museum, a student of Zen named Ben saw a large piece of plywood with a single splash of paint upon it. "Faugh! They call this art?" he asked. His teacher responded, "Look closer." The wood was not wood, but a painting of wood grain on canvas. When he saw this, he was enlightened. The reality we are is not the reality we see. Would it have been less beautiful had it been wood after all?
Sometimes, when I'm alone in my house, I turn on the TV. And I don't really mean to, but I watch it. It's attractive -- it's the brightest and most colorful thing in the house, and it has lots of motion. It's so bright and colorful, that my life seems a little drab and sterile by comparison. So I turn off my TV. I go do something else. And my whole life gets brighter, more exciting, more colorful. KILL YOUR TELEVISION.