Koan Index

Before Bodhidharma
1. BOS67. The Wisdom in the Flower Garland Sutra
2. BCR92/BOS1. The World-Honored One Takes His Seat
3. BOS4. The World-Honored One Points to the Ground
4. GG32/BCR65. A NonBuddhist Questions Buddha
5. GG42. A Woman Comes Out of Samadhi
6. GG6. Buddha Holds Up a Flower
7. GG22. Kashyapa's Flagpole
8. BCR84/BOS48. Vimalakirti's "The Gate to the One and Only"
9. BCR97/BOS58. The Diamond Sutra's "The Transgression is Wiped Out"
10. BOS3. The Indian King Invites the Patriarch
Bodhidharma, Fu
11. BCR1/BOS2. Emperor Wu Asks Bodhidharma
12. GG41. Bodhidharma Puts the Mind to Rest
13. BCR67. Great Master Fu Concludes His Lecture on the Sutra
b. 638-675: 7th-century Sutras, Huineng, Qingyuan, National Teacher Nanyang
14. BOS45. Four Phrases from the Sutra of Perfect Enlightenment
15. BCR94/BOS88. The Surangama Sutra and "Unseeing"
16. BCR78. Bodhisattvas in the Bath
17. GG23. Think Neither Good Nor Evil
18. GG29. Not the Wind, Not the Flag
19. BOS5. Qingyuan's "Price of Rice"
20. GG17. National Teacher's Three Calls
21. BCR99. Nanyang and the Ten-Bodied Herdsman
22. BOS42. Nanyang and the Water Jug
23. BCR18/BOS85. Emperor Daizong Asks About the Style of the Pagoda
b. 709-720: Mazu, Baizhang, Panshan
24. GG30. Mind is Buddha
25. GG33. No Mind, No Buddha
26. BCR53. Baizhang and a Wild Duck
27. BCR73/BOS6. Mazu and the Hundred Negations
28. BCR3/BOS36. Mazu's "Sun-faced Buddha, Moon-faced Buddha"
29. BOS8. Baizhang and the Fox" (first part)
30. GG2. Baizhang and the Fox (extended)
31. BCR26. Baizhang Sits on the Great Sublime Peak
32. BCR70. Guishan's "I Would Ask You to Say It"
33. BCR71. Wufeng's "Shut Up"
34. BCR72. Yunyan's "Can You?"
35. BCR37. Panshan's "Three Worlds, No Dharma"
b. 738-740: Danxia, Jinniu, Layman Pang, Zhongyi, Wujiu
36. BCR76. Danxia's "Have You Had Your Dinner"
37. BCR74. Jinniu and the Rice Pail
38. BCR42. Layman Pang's "Beautiful Snowflakes"
39. BOS72. Zhongyi's 'Monkey
40. BCR75. Wujiu's Unfair Blows
b. 748: Nanquan
41. BCR63/GG14/BOS9. Nanquan Kills the Cat (part 1)
42. BCR64/GG14/BOS9. Nanquan Kills the Cat (part 2)
43. GG19. Ordinary Mind is the Way
44. GG27. What the Holy Ones Have Not Preached (Briefer)
45. BCR28. What the Holy Ones Have Not Preached (Extended)
46. GG34. Knowing Is Not the Way
47. BCR31/BOS16. Mayu Comes to Zhangjing
48. BCR40/BOS91. Nanquan's "This Flower"
49. BCR69. Nanquan Draws a Circle
50. BOS69. Nanquan's "Cats and Oxen"
51. BOS93. Shizu Does Not Understand
52. BOS23. Luzu Faces the Wall
b. 750-769: Yanguan, Yaoshan, Longtan, Daowu
53. BCR91/BOS25. Yanguan and the Rhinoceros Fan
54. BCR81. Yaoshan Shoots the Great Deer
55. BOS7. Yaoshan Takes the High Seat
56. GG28. Longtan's Name Echoed Long
57. BCR55. Daowu's "I Won't Say"
58. BCR89/BOS54. Yunyan's "The Whole Body is Hand and Eye"
59. BOS21. Yunyan Sweeps the Ground
60. BOS83. Daowu's Nursing the Ill
b. 766-771: Huangbo, Guishan
61. BCR11/BOS53. Huangbo's "Partakers of Brewers Grain"
62. GG40. Kicking Over the Water Jug
63. BCR4. Deshan Visits Guishan
64. BCR24/BOS60. Liu Tiemo, the Old Cow
65. BOS15. Yangshan Thrusts His Hoe Into the Ground
66. BOS37. Guishan's Karmic Consciousness
67. BOS87. Shushan: With or Without
b. 778: Zhaozhou
68. GG1. Zhaozhou's Dog (Mu)
69. BOS18. Zhaozhou's Dog (extended version)
70. GG7/ BOS39. Zhoazhou's "Wash Your Bowls"
71. GG11. Zhoazhou Examines the Hermits
72. GG31/BOS10. Zhoazhou Sees Through an Old Woman
73. GG37/BOS47. The Oak Tree in the Garden
74. BCR2. Zhaozhou's "The Real Way Is Not Difficult"
75. BCR9. Zhaozhou's Four Gates
76. BCR30. Zhaozhou's "A Big Radish"
77. BCR41/BOS63. Zhaozhou and the Great Death
78. BCR45. Zhaozhou's Seven-Pound Hempen Shirt
79. BCR52. Zhaozhou's Stone Bridge
80. BCR57. Zhaozhou's "I Alone am Holy Throughout Heaven and Earth"
81. BCR58. Zhaozhou's "No Justification"
82. BCR59. Zhaozhou's "Why Not Quote to the End"
83. BCR80. Zhaozhou's "A New-Born Baby"
84. BCR96. Zhaozhou's Three Turning Words
85. BOS57. Zhaozhou's "Carry It with You"
b. 780-782: Muzhou, Deshan
86. BCR10. Muzhou's "Empty-Headed Fool"
87. BOS22. Yantou's Bow
88. GG13/BOS55. Deshan Carries His Bowls
89. BOS14. Attendant Huo Offers Tea
b. 788-805: Changsha, Jiashan
90. BCR36. Changsha Went for a Walk
91. GG46/BOS79. Stepping from a 100-foot Pole
92. BOS35. Luopu's Obeisance
93. BOS68. Jiashan Brandishes the Sword
b. 807: Yangshan, Dongshan
94. GG25/BOS90. Yangshan's Dream Sermon
95. BCR34. Yangshan's "Never Been to the Mountains"
96. BCR68. Yangshan Asks Sansheng's Name
97. BOS26. Yangshan Points to Snow
98. BOS32. Yangshan's Mind and Objective World
99. BOS62. Jingzhao Mihu's "Enlightenment"
100. BOS77. Yangshan: As Befits His Portion
101. BCR43. Dongshan's "No Cold or Heat"
102. BOS49. Dongshan and the Memorial Service
103. BOS56. Dongshan, Sengmi, and the Rabbit
104. BOS89. Dongshan's "Place of No Grass"
105. BOS98. Dongshan's "Intimate With It"
106. BOS94. Dongshan Unwell
b. 810-812: Jinhua, Linji
107. BCR19/BOS84. Jinhua's One Finger (Briefer)
108. GG3. Jinhua's One Finger (Extended)
109. BOS86. Linji's Great Enlightenment
110. BCR32. Elder Ding Stands Still
111. BOS13. Linji's "Blind Donkey"
112. BOS38. Linji's "True Person"
113. BOS95. Linji Draws a Line
Touzi, Wu Cho, Xuefeng, Yantou
114. BCR79. Touzi and "Every Voice Is the Buddha's Voice"
115. BCR35. Manjusri's "Threes and Threes"
116. BCR5. Xuefeng's "A Grain of Rice"
117. BCR22/BOS24. Xuefeng's Poinsonous Snake
118. BCR49/BOS33. Sansheng's "The Golden Carp Out of the Net"
119. BCR51/BOS50. Xuefeng's "What Is This?"
120. BOS75. Ruiyan and the Everlasting Truth
121. BOS43. Luoshan's "Apearing and Disappearing"
122. BCR66. Yantou Laughed Loudly
Xiangyan, Xinghua, Ruiyan, Yuezhou, Tongfeng, Luopu, Qinglin, Longya, Daguang
123. GG5. Xiangyan's Man Up a Tree
124. BOS97. Emperor Tongguang's Helmet Hood
125. GG12. Ruiyan Calls Himself "Master"
primary text only 126. BCR85. Tongfeng Roars Like a Tiger
127. BOS41. Luopu at His Death Bed
128. BOS59. Qinglin's "Deadly Snake"
129. BCR29. Dasui and the Kalpa Fire
primary text only 130. BCR20/BOS80. Longya Asks Cuiwei and Linji
primary text only 131. BCR93. Daguang's "You Fox-Devil"
Xuansha, Caoshan
primary text only 132. BCR88. Xuansha's Person of Three Disabilities
133. BOS81. Xuansha Reaches the Province
134. BOS73. Caoshan's Filial Fulfillment
135. GG10. Qingshui the Poor
136. BOS52. Caoshan's "Dharma Body"
Qingshan, Jiufeng, Changqing, Baofu
primary text only 137. BCR56. Qingshan and One Arrow Piercing the Three Barriers
138. BOS96. Jiufeng Does Not Acknowledge
139. BOS66. Jiufeng's "Head and Tail"
primary text only 140. BCR 23. Baofu Points to Myohocho
primary text only 141. BCR 95. Changqing and Baofu Discuss Buddha's Words
primary text only 142. BCR8/BOS71. Cuiyan's Eyebrows
143. BOS40. Yunmen's "White and Black"
primary text only 144. GG16. Sound of Bell and 7-Panel Robe
primary text only 145. GG21. Yunmen's Kanshiketsu
primary text only 146. GG39. Yunmen and a Mistake in Speech
primary text only 147. BCR6. Yunmen's "Everyday is a Good Day"
primary text only 148. BCR14. Yunmen's "Preaching Facing Openness"
primary text only 149. BCR15. Yunmen's "No Preaching on Oneness"
primary text only 150. BCR27. Yunmen's "Golden Breeze"
primary text only 151. BCR39. Yunmen's "Kayakuran"
primary text only 152. BCR47. Yunmen's "Beyond the Six"
primary text only 153. BCR50/BOS99. Yunmen's "Particle After Particle Samadhi"
primary text only 154. BCR54. Yunmen Stretches Out His Hand
primary text only 155. BCR60. Yunmen's Staff Becomes a Dragon
primary text only 156. BCR62/BOS92. Yunmen's "One Treasure"
primary text only 157. BCR77/BOS78. Yunmen's "Kobyo"
primary text only 158. BCR83/BOS31. The Old Buddha and a Pillar
primary text only 159. BCR86. Yunmen's "Everybody Has Her Own Light"
primary text only 160. BCR87. Yunmen's "Medicine and Disease"
primary text only 161. BOS11. Yunmen's "Two Diseases"
primary text only 162. BOS19. Yunmen's "Mt. Sumeru"
primary text only 163. BOS82. Yunmen's "Sound and Color"
164. GG48/BOS61. Yuezhou Qianfeng's One Way
165. GG15. Dongshan Shouchu's Sixty Blows
Jingqing, Luohan ("Dizang"), Zifu, Dalong, Bajiao, Heshan
primary text only 166. BCR16. Jingqing's Instruction on Pecking and Tapping
primary text only 167. BCR46. Jingqing's "Voice of the Raindrops"
primary text only 168. BOS12. Dizang Plants the Rice Field
primary text only 169. BOS20. Dizang's Not Knowing
primary text only 170. BCR33. Zifu Shuts the Door
primary text only 171. BCR82. Dalong and the "Dharma-Body"
primary text only 172. GG44. Bajiao and a Stick
primary text only 173. BCR44. Heshan's "Beating the Drum"
primary text only 174. GG26/BOS27. Two Monks Roll Up the Blinds
175. BCR7. Fayan's "You Are Huichao"
primary text only 176. BOS17. Fayan's Hair's-Breadth
primary text only 177. BOS51. Fayan's "By Boat or Land"
primary text only 178. BOS64. Zizhao's Transmission
primary text only 179. BOS74. Fayan's Substance and Name
Mingzhao, Qingxi, Longji, Baling
primary text only 180. BCR48. Turning Over the Tea Kettle at Zhaoqing
primary text only 181. BOS70. Jinshan Questions the Nature of Life
primary text only 182. BOS30. Longji and the Kalpa Fire
primary text only 183. BCR13. Baling's "Snow in the Silver Bowl"
primary text only 184. BCR100. Baling's Sword Against Which a Hair is Blown
b. 896-908: Fengxue, Tianping, Xianglin
primary text only 185. BCR38/BOS29. Fengxue's Mind Seal
primary text only 186. BCR61/BOS34. Fengxue's "Speck of Dust"
primary text only 187. GG24. Fengxue: Equality and Differentiation
primary text only 188. BCR98. Tianping's Two Wrongs
primary text only 189. BCR17. Xianglin's "Sitting Long and Getting Tired"
b. 909-926: Deshan Y, Xingyang R, Dongshan S, Shousan
primary text only 190. BOS46. Deshan Yuanmi's Completion of Study
191. GG9. A Buddha Before History
192. GG18/BCR12. Dongshan Shouchu's Masagin
193. GG43. Shoushan's Shippei
primary text only 194. BOS65. Shousan's "Bride"
primary text only 195. BOS76. Shousan's Three Phrases
b. 936-980: Lianhua, Zhimen, Xingyang P, Langye
primary text only 196. BCR25. The Hermit of Lotus Flower Peak's Staff
primary text only 197. BCR21. Zhimen's Lotus Flower and Lotus Leaves
primary text only 198. BCR90. Zhimen and the Essence of Prajna
primary text only 199. BOS44. Xingyang P's Garuda Bird
primary text only 200. BOS100. Langye's "Mountains and Rivers"
b. 1024: Wuzu
primary text only 201. GG35. Chien's Soul is Separated
primary text only 202. GG36. Meeting a Man Who Has Accomplished the Way
primary text only 203. GG38. A Buffalo Passes Through a Window
primary text only 204. GG45. Who Is That One?
b. 1044-1132: Doushuai, Yuean, Huguo, Huoan, Songyuan
primary text only 205. GG47. Doushuai's Three Barriers
206. GG8. Xizhong Makes Carts
primary text only 207. BOS28. Huguo's "Three Disgraces"
208. GG4. The Barbarian Has No Beard
primary text only 209. GG20. A Person of Great Strength

This index lists the koans of the three central collections used in Harada-Yasutani lineages of Zen:
  • GG: Gateless Gate (a.k.a. Wumenguan, Wu-men-kuan, Mumonkan) - 48 cases
  • BCR: Blue Cliff Record (a.k.a. Biyan Lu, Pi-yen Lu, Hekiganroku) - 100 cases
  • BOS: Book of Serenity (a.k.a. Book of Equanimity, Congrong Lu, Ts'ung-jung Lu, Shoyoroku) - 100 cases
Some koans appear in more than one collection, and the total number of different koans is 209.* This index now lists all 209 cases, with links to posts providing the text of each case and, for GG, Wumen's comment and verse; for BCR, Yuanwu's introduction and Xuedou's verse; and for BOS, Wansong's introduction and Hongzhi's verse. Where this is all that is included (so far), the note "primary text only" appears. Otherwise, a number of other comments and verses, from ancient as well as contemporary sources, is included in the post. I am gradually adding comments and verses from available sources, removing the "primary text only" tags as I go.

The order of the koans is roughly chronological according the the birthyear of the "main character."

Readers are invited to add their own verse or comment on the koan using the "Post a Comment" function at the bottom of each post.

*Counting duplications is not always straightforward. This index treats these pairs in a single post, despite minor differences:
  • BCR1 and BOS2: different endings
  • BCR84 and BOS48: different endings
  • BCR91 and BOS25: different endings.
  • GG46 and BOS79: The BOS version is longer; the GG is an excerpt, prefaced by phrasing the point as a question.
  • GG13 and BOS55: The GG leaves off the first line of the BOS version.
These pairs, on the other hand, despite similarities, are treated as two separate koans.
  • GG2 and BOS8: "Baizhang and the Fox." GG2 is the long version of which BOS8 is the first part.
  • BCR28 and GG27: "What the Holy Ones Have Not Preached." BCR28 is the long version of which GG27 is the first (and modified) part.
  • BOS18 and GG1: "Zhaozhou's Dog." BOS18 is the long version of which GG1 is the first part.
  • BOS30 and BCR29: "Dasui's 'It will be gone with the other.'" BOS30 is the long version of which BCR29 is the first part.
  • GG3 and BCR19/BOS84: "Jinhua's One Finger." GG3 is the long version of which BCR19/BOS84 is the first part.
  • BCR63 and BCR64: are combined into one koan at both GG14 and BOS9.


Aitken = Robert Aitken. The Gateless Barrier.
Cleary = Thomas Cleary. No Barrier: Unlocking the Zen Koan.
Hinton = David Hinton, No-Gate Gateway
Gu = Guo Gu, Passing Through the Gateless Barrier
Low = Albert Low. The World: A Gateway.
Sekida = Katsuki Sekida. Two Zen Classics.
Senzaki = Nyogen Senzaki. Eloquent Silence.
Shibayama = Zenkei Shibayama. The Gateless Barrier.
Yamada = Koun Yamada. The Gateless Gate.
Verses from Various Chinese Masters: fr. Thomas Cleary, No Barrier: Unlocking the Zen Koan.


Hakuin = fr. Thomas Cleary, trans, Secrets of the Blue Cliff Record.
Rothenberg = David Rothenberg. Blue Cliff Record: Zen Echoes.
Sekida = Katsuki Sekida. Two Zen Classics.
Tenkei = fr. Thomas Cleary, trans, Secrets of the Blue Cliff Record.
Xuedou = fr. Thomas & J.C. Cleary, trans, The Blue Cliff Record. Or fr. Sekida, Two Zen Classics.
Yamada = Koun Yamada. Teisho on Hekiganroku (unpublished. Teisho)
Yuanwu = fr. Thomas & J.C. Cleary, trans, The Blue Cliff Record. Or fr. Sekida, Two Zen Classics.


Hongzhi = fr. Thomas Cleary, trans, Book of Serenity. Or fr. Wick, Book of Equanimity.
Wansong = fr. Thomas Cleary, trans, Book of Serenity. Or fr. Wick, Book of Equanimity.
Wick = Gerry Shishin Wick. The Book of Equanimity.
Yamada = Koun Yamada. Teisho on Shoyoroku. (unpublished. Teisho)
Sturmer = Richard von Sturmer, Book of Equanimity Verses (Puriri Press)
Verses from Various Students of Reb Tenshin Anderson, Koan Class Tribute.

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