Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Koan

What is the sound of one hand clapping?

1. Silence.

2. An ear of wheat buffeted by wind.

3. A windshield wiper, back and forth,
temporary glimpses.

4. More silence.

5. Distress. A pesky gnat.

6. Disaster. Help! Frantic gestures.

7. In a field of snow,
a small fire has just been lit.
It is your only chance. Do not
let it go out.

8. Pounding, hammering silence.

9. Air. A whooshing sound. A door

10. We need each other.
What is a mother
without a child?

11. The body’s symmetry
is a glyph of balance.
We need to be whole.

12. The earth waves at the moon.

13. Laughter. Deep, healing laughter.

life, unfolding
Saving Ourselves