Koan: a paradox to be meditated upon that is used to train Zen Buddhist monks to abandon ultimate dependence on reason and to force them into gaining sudden intuitive enlightenment.  (Merriam-Webster)

The answer to the quintessential ‘What is the sound of one hand clapping’ is (allegedly) the sound of air passing over the hand as it strikes nothing.

I’m sorry, this answer does not strike me as ‘enlightened’.

My favorite Zen Koan is this one.

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A duckling placed in a bottle has grown to full size with only its head sticking out through the neck of the bottle.

How can we free the duck without killing it or breaking the bottle?


There!  [punctuated with a sharp two-handed clap]

It’s out!

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Kindly explain this answer to me.  I’m not in a great hurry, it can be something to ponder after Thanksgiving lunch before your nap.  However, if you cannot come up with an explanation, I will think very little of you.

I know that’s a bit harsh, but I have every confidence.