Who am I? Am I this human body that is born and dies? Or am I something else? Although we cannot truly know the answer to such questions, we can be guided on a path that will eventually lead us home, to whomever and whatever we really are. Koans are a means to discover this path.
Koans have been used in Zen practice for hundreds of years, to stoke the mind and test the development of Buddhist students. Often counterintuitive in order to challenge our established patterns of thought, koans are teachers, messengers and above all, powerful portals to experiences that transcend any intellectual enquiry, logic or reason.
Garry Bannister presents readers with the first comprehensive translation of Zen koans in both English and Irish, and provides an intriguing investigation into the hidden messages of these foundational texts in the study of Zen Buddhism. As Alan Titley writes in his illuminating foreword, ‘Garry Bannister’s readings are ingenious, provocative, particular and always insightful.’