Religiosity of Hwadu (Koan) Meditation

Category: Buddhism, Meditation, Yoga
Last Updated: 11 Feb 2021
Pages: 4 Views: 365

Hwadu means a Korean word for koan. A koan can be pronounced as, which is a dialog, a question, a story or a statement in the history and lore of Zen Buddhism. Generally containing aspects that are inaccessible to rational understanding, yet that may be accessible to intuition. Human beings are made perfectly. It has the body, soul and spirit which other creatures here on land do not possess. It has the capacity to rationalize things happen around. The human beings are created as the most intelligent and superior creature here on earth but the argument is how can a human being considered as superior when he/she does not aware of his/her own mind? Perhaps, if a human being ponders and seeks what’s really in his/her mind, he/she will be able to comprehend his true nature.                      .

A human being who comes to that deep realization and awakening is regarded as a Buddha (Enlightened or Awakened One), a master of all things and a noble man indeed. He or she is one who transcended the commonplace and was awaked from the shared “bad dream” that we call as normal waking reality. All human beings are perceived as Buddhas in spirit as they are born. But if the mind of a Buddha is obscured by "normal" upbringing or trauma, he or she will lose awareness of Buddhahood and function as a sentient being.

As long as one is only concerned with the body and enslaved by the idea of separation, desire and dependence on satisfaction from the environment, this world will remain as a "defiled" realm, full of uncertainty, fear and suffering. But upon awakening to one's inherent Buddhahood, this very same world becomes a ”Pure  Land”. The purpose of practicing Zen meditation is to awaken the mind. This practice doesn’t involve just sitting quietly and trying to calm and pacify the mind. It doesn’t also entail contemplating the breath. Instead it involves direct inquiry into a hwadu. An example of a hwadu would be a question such as asking of things (what is this? or what is this mind?).

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What you are searching for can be called by many different names -mind, spirit, soul, true nature, and so forth -but such designations are merely labels. You should put aside all of these names and reflect on the fact that the true master of the body is more than just the label mind. The master of the body is not the Buddha (awakened), for it is not yet awakened nor is it anything material, because it cannot be physically given away or received, nor is it simply empty space, for empty space cannot pose questions or have knowledge of good and evil. There are many ways how hwadu meditation being practiced.

Korean Buddhism was able to formulate and developed unique characteristics that will only be found in them. The foremost part of its characteristics is that Korean Buddhism is Seon (Zen: Japanese pronunciation of Chinese character Buddhism. Seon Buddhism follows the tradition of Juaseon or sitting meditation with Hwadu (Koan) practice. The foremost part of its characteristics is that Korean Buddhism is Seon (Zen: Japanese pronunciation of Chinese character Buddhism. Seon Buddhism follows the tradition of Juaseon or sitting meditation with Hwadu (Koan) practice. It aims to bring the human being into his or her own Buddha nature without to study complicated teachings of Buddhism. 1 (Korean Buddhism Basis of Japanese Buddhism, The Soul Times, May29, 2004).

The other way is the yogic exercise. Yogic exercise involves not only the mind per se but also it involves body movements like in the form of exercise. There are lots of yogic exercises such as hatha yogic exercise which is known as yoga; physical exercises like jogging, walking, swimming and doing household chores; and yogic breathing. In yogic breathing just combine the three body positions –sitting, standing and lying on the back. To complete it, combine all the three parts- abdominal, middle and upper parts of the chest in a wave-like movement.

After exhaling completely, begin to inhale, letting the abdomen come out a little, and filling the lower part of the lungs, then expanding the ribs, while slightly drawing in the stomach until finally the top part of the lungs is filled. Yogic exercise has lots of benefits not only it provides good relaxation but most of all you enjoyed it. The view points of dependent origination especially the religiosity of hwadu meditation is believing and doing the things as they are. Dependent origination is a doctrine that believing the entire teaching of Buddha. They believe in meditation practice especially in tranquility and insight.

Buddha taught also breathe, visualization practice and among other as conducive to mental cultivation... Peaceful reflection then gives rise to happiness or bliss, which in turn leads to a state of “Samadhi” or deep unshakeable concentration. In dependent origination, human being is believed to be anxious and struggle to fulfill their desire which is impossible for anyone to do. The more they search, the more anxious they become. Suffering follows all the way. There is no balance and fulfillment because people's minds are dominated by Ignorance. Therefore, imperfection will always be present.

Zen Buddhists are generally known as the “meditation Buddhists”. Zazen is a particular kind of meditation which is unique to Zen that functions centrally as the very heart of the practice. Basically, zazen is the study of the self.


  1. Korean Buddhism Basis of Japanese Buddhism. The Seoul Times, May 29, 2004. The Seoul  Times, May 29, 2004
  2. On Dependent Origination” by Ryuei Michael McCormick  2002.
  4.   yogic_breathing.shtm

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Religiosity of Hwadu (Koan) Meditation. (2017, Mar 03). Retrieved from

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