A NASA Zen Poem

An ice cream koan on a hot day

Abstract for the 27th Australian Conference on Newly Discovered Zen Literature.

This one came to me on a hot drive up to Armidale. (My appologies to any Zen masters.)

An ice cream koan on a hot day

copyright Des Pensable, 2010 *


see also icecream koan3 / 53 and icecream koan4 below on right.

According to the Wikipedia, a koan is a fundamental part of the history and lore of Zen Buddhism. It consists of a story, dialogue, question, or statement, the meaning of which cannot be understood by rational thinking but may be accessible through intuition. The kōan is both the object being sought and the relentless seeking itself. They are studied by students and Masters alike as mental exercises.

Author's Note : A problem associated with the above definition is how to define knowledge gained through intuition. Some percieve intuition as knowledge received through divine sources and yet others see intuition as heuristics that is rules of thumb gained through experience but expressed through the subconscious.

If we believe that intuition is from divine sources then it should be infallible but there are many instances of the fallibility of intuition in the literature. If we believe that heuristics form the basis of intuition then is it easier to believe that the intuition could be wrong as if the information leading to the creation of the intuitive rule of thumb might have been faulty or incomplete.

Perhaps then a koan is an exercise to provoke a person to think creatively or more completely. To think of the concepts beyond the mere words which can change meaning with sentence structure and context. To allow the subconscious to refine its heuristics.

My koan plays on the concepts behind words, sentence structure and context. Will understanding it improve your mind? You tell me. I hope that you like it.

Updated 26th May, 2014

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Selected mischief



Spiritual Makeover

I used to be an Activist

Tits Should be Out and About

A Natural Ice Cream Koan

Ice Cream Koan3 and 53

Stardust to Destiny

Bill's Caught a Virus

Dodgy Dick

Fleopatra's Sealion

What would YOU say?

New Recruit

The Plight of the Mighty Hawkesbury River

No Not In MY Backyard

Why Didn't Our Politicians Gruntle Us This Year

Iím Just a Scientist Maybe I See Things Different to You


Is it all natural?

Who cares, woof.

A Classic Koan is as follows.

If you meet Buddha on the road, kill him.

There are many interpretations of what it means. check it out on Google here.

My Variation of this famous koan is shown below.

Koan 4

If you meet Buddha on a hot day on the road and you offer him an ice cream cone instead of killing him. Would it be natural?