The Flavor of the Moon: Living the Ch'an Koans Today Pierre Taigü Turlur

- through Francois Leclercq

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The author has published a book, Taming awakening, whose unanimous critics said that it renewed the genre and in which he revisited, in his own way, literary and Zen, the famous oriental tale of the training of the buffalo through ten images which are like so many metaphors of the spiritual journey and the search for self. He gave a practical and modern dimension to these allegories which, under their simplicity, hide a deep message.

At the beginning of the Year of the Earth Boar, Pierre Taigü Turlur, professor of French language and literature in Kyoto, moreover a Zen monk in the Soto branch, publishes a new essay on kôans, these abrupt formulas and stories which, in the Chinese Ch'an then in Japanese Zen schools, served to put the minds of those who listened to them in the face of emptiness and mystery. One of the best known is obviously the famous question: "What was your face before the birth of your parents?" But there are infinitely others like this question from a disciple to his master: "What is the truth?" And this one to answer: “The cypress at the bottom of the garden”. We can explain this one by showing its ecological and sacred dimension, because the cypress can symbolize the force of nature, the beauty of the spring of life and the need for their contemplation to recharge one's batteries.

Here is a variant: “The truth…”, answers the master by asking a new question: “Have you eaten? Yes, said the disciple. “So, go and wash your bowl”… Kôan which makes me think irresistibly of the one, Christian, of Saint Teresa of Avila who says: “My sisters, God is in the pots of your kitchens! It is indeed in the concentration of the present moment that the elusive truth is nestled. Pierre Taigü Turlur takes us on an enigmatic series of questions that he solves in the words of our time with a refreshing talent

photo of author

Francois Leclercq

François Leclercq is the founder of Buddhist News, a website which aims to disseminate information and practical advice on Buddhism and spirituality. François Leclercq was born and raised in Paris. He studied Buddhism at the University of Paris-Sorbonne, where he graduated in social sciences and psychology. After graduating, he devoted himself to his passion for Buddhism and traveled the world to study and learn about different practices. He notably visited Tibet, Nepal, Thailand, Japan and China.

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