Huineng’s flag – A Zen Koan

A Koan is a story, parable, statement or question and comes from the tradition of Zen Buddhism. Not open to rational understanding and solving, they force the reader to a more intuitive and pondering approach. They are said to reflect the awakened state of a person, and can also be used during meditation to focus attention.
Two monks were watching a flag flapping in the wind. One said to the other, “The flag is moving.”
The other replied, “The wind is moving.”
Huineng overheard this. He said, “Not the flag, not the wind; mind is moving.”
Should you like this, here another Zen Koan about the mind.

11 thoughts on “Huineng’s flag – A Zen Koan

  1. stillhere4u says:

    I think Zen can be contrasted with the modern culture of presumption. You might enjoy the short Zen tale I just posted at

  2. Wind, flag, mind moves,
    The same understanding.
    When the mouth opens
    All are wrong.

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  10. […] feet to tell my body what naturally feels right, I’m connecting with the ancients. In an old Zen story, two monks are arguing over a flag flapping in the wind. The first monk says the flag is moving. […]

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