April 19, 2018

Caged Tiger Koan.


When your mind and heart are truly open abundance will flow to you effortlessly and easily.


I understand the phrase ‘It’s the silences between the notes that make the music’ and the phrase ‘It’s the empty space inside the vessel that makes the vase’, BUT I cannot grasp the phrase ‘It’s the space between the bars that hold the tiger’.  I have pondered it many times.  Would you please explain it to me?  


Zen koans such as this don’t necessarily have one correct interpretation. They are meant to force the mind out of linear conventional thinking into transcendent insight. This is certainly a good one to ponder for that.


When I consider this koan, I take the caged tiger as a metaphor for the trapped human mind or spirit. The bars represent physical matter and the space between them is our mind space, our non-physical mental tendencies.  In this interpretation, it is not the physical restrictions that cage our spirit, but actually the invisible, non-physical mental conditioning that keeps us contained in our cage.



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  1. Denita McDade


  2. Denita McDade


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