Status: Moderated


The student will be able to recall three facts about Ch'an


  • Ch’an Worksheet
  • Ch'an Worksheet - Master
  • Bell (optional, borrow from minister or install an app to play sound)
  • Wooden Stick (optional, dowel at least 4 feet long)
  • Koan Writing Worksheet


  • Print out sufficient copies of the Worksheets. Place in order.
  • Put Bell and Stick at front of class


  1. Opening Gassho.
  2. Introduction
    1. Ask what the students where they are in our journey following the path of Buddhism? (Maybe 30 seconds)
    2. Ask what the students know about Zen?
  3. Exposition
    1. Pass out Ch’an Worksheet
    2. Read the Master. Have students fill out the Worksheet as you read.
    3. Write the words on a white board
  4. Practices
    1. Sitting Meditation
      1. Explain the purpose (Clear the mind, listen to the mind & body, think about concepts). Today, the purpose is to clear the mind for 5 min
      2. Use the Bell to signify when to go into meditation.
      3. The students are to breath 5 count breath in, hold, 5 count breath out hold.
      4. You should patrol the room. Tell them that if they need, you will tap their shoulder with the stick. Demonstrate to a volunteer.
      5. After 5 minutes, ask for “Gassho”
      6. Ask what they felt and thought.
      7. Repeat after giving them a prompt “to think about the chain of causal events”(To think about all the things that let them be here today, then think about
    2. Koan
      1. Explain what is a “Ko-an” Buddhist Riddle to get the mind thinking about Buddhism. By confusing the mind and having the mind come up with a “solution,” it brings eventual clarity of mind. It is NOT to know the solution, the important thing is to work out an “solution” on your own.
      2. Listening and thinking about it (in quiet meditation)
      3. Share any “solutions”
      4. Writing our own Koan. Work thru the worksheet.
  5. Review & Summarize
  6. Closing Gassho


During Review ask what the students find memorable


If time permits, the students can share make more Koans.


Mas Nishimura,, San Jose Betsuin, 2018

Ch'an Worksheet

Koan Worksheet

Ch'an Worksheet - Master