Thursday, August 24, 2006

Word of the Day

ko·an (kän)

A puzzling, often paradoxical statement or story, used in Zen Buddhism as an aid to meditation and a means of gaining spiritual awakening.

[Japanese kan : k, public (from Middle Chinese kw) + an, matter.]

This was used in the editor's message in the September-October 2006 issue of Utne magazine:

While I bemoan the fact that the single-title publishing business model has become a koan - one that I, for one, have been unable to crack - I am deeply grateful that we have found such a compatible ally in Ogden.

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