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A kōan is a story in the history and lore of Zen Buddhism. It can also be a dialogue, question, or statement rather than a story.

A kōan generally containing aspects that are inaccessible to rational understanding, yet may be accessible to intuition.

Kōans collectively form a substantial body of literature studied by Zen practitioners and scholars worldwide.

One example is "What is the sound of one hand clapping?"

Includes CC-BY-SA content from Wikipedia's Kōan article (authors)