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“The coin lost in the river is found in the river.” – Yunmen

This was the first koan I heard at an open mind retreat about 5 years ago.

What is lost? So much these days feels gone forever.  I’ve been worrying that I’m losing my mind for decades, and now more than ever. With the pandemic, forgetfulness has increased. Last night, unable to sleep, I took a lozenge to aid me, taking my night guard out, briefly. I woke, needing to pee, thinking I’d not been asleep and moments later, realized, ‘no night guard’. Where’d it go? Unable to find it in the dark, I worried I had sleep walked and thrown it out or put it in the refrigerator. I scoured bedside table, floor, bathroom, sink—nothing, lost! This morning found in the bed covers!
What is lost?  What is found?

I want to add that I did not hear what preceded this koan—that it was Yunmen responding to a student, who asked, “What is meditating and just seeing things as they are?”  “A coin lost in the river is found in the river,” said Yunmen.

I look forward to discovering and exploring together.

 

Alison

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