The Kannon at Hase – Koan 35

Miura Nobuto, naval commander at Hase, had practised Zen for a long time. He happened to mention to the teacher Hakudo, when he met him on the occasion of a ceremony of confession and absolution at Hokokuji temple, that the Kannon at Hase was a great figure over ten feet high.

The teacher said, ‘What is the difference in weight between Your Honour and Kannon?’

The commander said, ‘The weight is the same.’

The teacher: ‘Your Honour is just over five feet tall. How can your weight be the same as Kannon over ten feet?’

The commander: ‘The weighing was done before I was born.’

The teacher: ‘I’m not asking about before you were born. What is it now?’

The commander: ‘By the power of meditation on Kannon, the weight comes out the same.’


(1) How can the weights be compared before birth?

(2) What really is this saying that with his present body of just over five feet his weight is the same as the ten-foot Kannon?

(3) What is this about the power of meditation on Kannon?

This began to be used as a koan in the interviews of Koho, the 72nd teacher at Kozenji.



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