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What is the sound of one hand clapping?

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"What is the sound of one hand clapping?" is a traditional zen koan -- a question posed by a Zen master to a student.

It is meant to be pondered from within the routine of daily life until the answer opens the true heart of the question. All koans must be answered from within the realm of one's own personal experience, and thus be encountered in the journey of living rather than in the rationalizations of logical thought.

Accordingly, each koan has many answers, answers that will vary both in words and in the stirring of one's mind and emotions.

Even the wisest Zen teacher cannot tell you your own answer. You must find it for yourself, and not in your mind, and not in the comfort of a rational response. Once experienced, the answer is often a life changing experience, and needs no confirmation from anyone else.

Here are responses to the question from a variety of WikiAnswer users:

  • What is the sound of one hand clapping? To know, you must experience those aspects of your own life that create this very soundless sound (emotion) within your own being. People who have truly lived with a koan for an extended period of time come to experience the answer. In my own travels down this path with this particular question, there eventually came to be a certain opening of awareness, and a manifestation of the heart of compassion became tangible within. In my experience, the sound of one hand clapping is the emotion of loneliness deeply felt in an increasingly self centered pursuit of enlightenment Experiencing this "answer" turned me away from relative isolation and the self-centered desire to "know," and towards the world and the practice of metta.
  • The simpler answer- It depends on what the hand is clapping against! The yin and yang of it. The Gestalt. The figure and the ground. The container and the contents.
  • What is the sound of one hand clapping in your own life?
  • The sound of one hand clapping is silence. The silence refers to the essence of being which is nothingness.
  • What is the sound of one hand clapping? Who are you when your thinking is silenced? .
  • Our true nature is stillness. That stillness is the same everywhere in everything. But like he up there... concepts won't teach you anything.
  • The sound of one hand clapping is a tiny sound that can be barley heard by humans.
  • the hand is the human heart and the clapping is emotions the other hand represents the one that makes us whole thus the clapping of both hands is the power of two people's emotions and the hands touching each other is the connection between the two people
  • The sound of one hand clapping is a conversation with someone that never connects with them so you try again and again before realizing you are only talking to yourself - they don't get it. If you never realize that, you are just insane by definition and you will continue to be the one hand that connects with nothingness.
  • Using a sound recording device, clap with one hand. Play back the result
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If you clap with one hand will it make a sound?

no. that is not true because, you have to think "well what can I clap on one hand for it to make a sound?" or "is my clapping metaphorical as in silent applause?" there are

Is it possible to clap with one hand?

YES! I've tried it millions of times. and it has now become a habit. Here is how to do it: Do your hand into a fist and keep moving it back and forth but while moving it back

Can Obama clap with one hand?

no,people can not clap with one hand you have to have to hands so the sound would bounce of or echo of.in geological terms it is hypothedicaley impossible. I find that answe

What makes the sound of one hand clapping?

When clapping both hands one sound is heard. The sound only seems as one, but it is actually the sum of two sounds. Right hand and left hand. Each hand is making the sound of

What is the sound of a one-hand clapping?

This question has 2 answers. Either a one-hand clapping makes a lighter sound than a two-hand clapping when your one hand tries to slap its fingers to its palm. The other answ

What is the sound made by one hand clapping?

This is called a loaded question. Loaded questions contain false or questionable assumptions. The classic example is "Do you still beat your dog?" This question assumes that t

What actors and actresses appeared in The Sound of One Hand Clapping - 1998?

The cast of The Sound of One Hand Clapping - 1998 includes: Tessa Beattie as Moira Heaney Jane Borghesi as Maja Picotti Tahir Cambis as Camp Worker Essie Davis as Jean Jean Fl