A monk, taking a bamboo stick, said to the people, “If you call this a stick, you fall into the trap of words, but if you do not call it a stick, you contradict facts. So what do you call it?”
Answer: At that time a monk in the assembly came forth. He snatched the stick, broke it in two, and threw the pieces across the room.
I have recently been corresponding with a guy I met through orkut. I noticed in his profile that he is a member of several Zen groups, so I thought I would check them out as I had no idea what Zen is. After reading through those groups, and doing some further googling, I still have absolutely no comprehension of Zen. Look at the above koan (a kind of Zen parable). What the hell is that supposed to mean? From what I have seen, even most Zen practicioners have no understanding, when understanding is reached it is called Enlightenment, and that is a Zen practicioner’s lifelong goal.
It seems possible that Zen is a scam, where people are made to feel unworthy and made to try and achieve an impossible goal for their whole lives. I just can’t work out where the scammers get their money.