In Zen, there is a teaching tool known as a “koan” – a question that serves as the object of meditation, and is intended to reveal something about teachings like mindfulness and interconnectedness. Western observers sometimes mistake these for riddles, non-sequiturs, or nonsensical statements, but if you look at them carefully, they are questions or stories intended to prompt the listener to see things as they really are.
A riddle is something like this:
Q: “How does a Zen monk know his pizza is enlightened?”
A: “It’s one with everything.”
Here is a koan:
A novice monk approaches his teacher and asks, “Is this a bull market or a bear market?”
The teacher replies, “If it is a warm day, and I say that it is winter, will you still wear your heaviest coat?”