Koan Essays by James

Koan Introspection: A Quick and Dirty Introduction

From the Harada Yasutani Miscelaneous Collection
Stopping that Distant Temple Bell: Miscellaneous Koan
Save A Ghost: Miscellaneous Koans
Inside the Stone Crypt: Miscellaneous Koan

From the Gateless Gate
On the Ordinariness of Mu, Gateless Gate, Case 1
My Life as a Fox, Gateless Gate, Case 2
Zen Master Juzhi & the Matter of the Finger that Wasn’t There. Gateless Gate, Case 3
Zen & the Art of Foolishness, Gateless Gate, Case 4
​Where Is Paradise? Gateless Gate, Case 5
The Flower Sermon: Gateless Gate, Case 6
Creatures of Pain & Joy: Gateless Gate, Case 7
Go Wash Your Bowls: Gateless Gate, Case 7​
Xizhong & His Magical Cart, Gateless Gate, Case 8
As Easy As Falling off a Log, Gateless Gate, Case 9
A Cricket, Singing. Gateless Gate, Case 10
​Ryuyan Calls To Himself, “Master”: Gateless Gate, Case 12
The Last Word. Gateless Gate, Case 13
​A Love Letter from the Deep: Gateless Gate, Case 15
The Bodhisattva Way & a Robe of Many Colors, Case 16
Ordinary Mind is the Way: Gateless Gate, Case 19
Yunmen’s Dried Shitstick, Gateless Gate, Case 21
The One Sermon: Gateless Gate, Case 25
Intimate Intimate: Gateless Gate, Case 26
The Buddha and the Non Believer, Gateless Gate, Case 32 
Knowing. is not the way, Gateless. Gate, Case 34
One Continuous Mistake, Gateless Gate, Case 38
Bodhidharma Sighed, Gateless Gate, Case 41
The Connoisseur of Sadness, Gateless Gate, Case 41
​​Doushuai’s Three Barriers: Gateless Gate, Case 47

From the Blue Cliff Record​
​​No Zen Masters in the West, Blue Cliff, Case 11
A Zen Teaching for the Last Age, Blue Cliff, Case 14 
Following the Scented Flowers, Blue Cliff, Case 36
Layman Pang’s Snowball Fight, Blue Cliff, Case 42
Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head: Blue Cliff, Case 46
Daowu’s Condolences: Blue Cliff, Case 55
Zen & the Boundless Way, Blue Cliff, Case 61
Sixteen Bodhisattvas, Blue Cliff, Case 78
​How Does Guanyin Use Those Many Hands, Blue Cliff, Case 89
The Buddha Takes His Seat, Blue Cliff, Case 92

A Fervent and Necessary Arrangement, Blue Cliff Case 29

From the Book of Serenity
The World in a Blade of Grass: Book of Serenity, Case 4
The Price of Potatoes in Idaho: Book of Serenity, Case 5
​TTheA Baptist Koan: Book of Serenity, Case 28
Creatures of Pain and Joy: Book of Serenity, Case 39

From Entangling Vines
What Will You Do:: Entangling Vines, Case 154​
Buddha’s Teaching & Bodhidharma’s Intention,
Entangling Vines, Case 170

Odds & Ends on Koans
Master Rujing Explains Mu
Dogen’s Fukenzazengi & the Koan of Shikantaza
A Sufi Spills the Beans on What a Zen Koan Is 
The World is On Fire: A Meditation on the Adittapariyaya Sutta as a Zen Koan
Encountering Zen’s Precepts as Koan
Layman Pang is Corrected
A Zen Koan from the Bible
The Great Way is Not Difficult

Rev. James Ishmael Ford, roshi