noun. a paradoxical anecdote or a riddle that has no solution; used in Zen Buddhism to show the inadequacy of logical reasoning.
- 公案 (Japanese)
- 公案 (Mandarin Chinese)
Example sentences of the word koan
1. Noun, singular or mass
Meditating quietly on a koan helps to cut through the intellectual obstacles that stand in the way of enlightenment.
2. Verb, base form
Following Hakuin Ekaku, an influential master who revived the Rinzai school of Zen in the 18th century, koan practice became an important part of Zen study.