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[koh-ahn] /ˈkoʊ ɑn/

noun, plural koans, koan. Zen.
a nonsensical or paradoxical question to a student for which an answer is demanded, the stress of meditation on the question often being illuminating.
(in Zen Buddhism) a problem or riddle that admits no logical solution

Zen paradox, 1946, from Japanese ko “public” + an “matter for thought.”


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