A man is taking a walk. He comes to a wooden fence with a chalk circle and in the very center of the circle is an arrow. He looks further and sees several more–similar arrows right inside the “bulls-eye.”
He asks several people who walk by who is this remarkable archer, but no one admits to it– until he asks a young girl.
“Sure, that’s me doing it”, she says.
“Remarkable” exclaims the man, “Could you demonstrate?”
She shrugs her shoulders and says, “Sure.”
The girl takes up the bow and arrow, shoots the arrow into the fence, then walks up and draws a circle around it.
Koans 2: Thinking and Not Thinking
Sometimes we think something is mysterious when it needn’t be-and wouldn’t be-with a little more information.
A koan is a question without an obvious answer, a paradox meant to jolt you out of logical patterns of thought. Sometimes the koan is an enigma in your mind but not inanyone else’s. For a long time I had a personal koan going on. It went something like this: “Why is the logo for the active-clothing company “Under Armour” the capital letter H?” There’s no H in “Under Armour”!
That koan was a koan only to me. I never got around to asking anyone else the question and I’m glad I didn’t. Most people would have known the answer without giving it much thought, but my thought-stream can take me to some strange places sometimes.