“When Zhuang-Tzu’s wife died, his friend the philosopher Hui Shih went to his house to console him and found him not weeping and wailing as one might expect, but laughing and singing. Asked how he could be so ungrateful to his wife, the sage replied :”When she has just died, I could not help being affected. Soon, however, I examined the matter from the very beginning. At the very beginning, she was not living, having no form, not even substance. But somehow or rather, there was then her substance, then her form and then her life. Now by a further change, she has died. The whole process is like the sequence of the four seasons – spring, summer, autumn and winter. While she is thus lying in the great mansion of the universe, for me to go about weeping and wailing would be to proclaim myself ignorant of the natural laws. Therefore I stop.” From this story we learn that the key to happiness is non-attachment, and the secret of ono-attachment is right understanding.”
“METHOD OF PRACTICE
A common method to help the student lessen his attachment is the koan method of Rinzai Zen. The koan is a philosophical topic given to a Zen student for meditation by the Zen master. It may consist of a single word, a phrase, a sentence or a short passage. A most famous koan is called “the sound of one hand clapping.” Everybody knows what the sound of two hands clapping is like, but what it the sound of one hand clapping ? That is the koan. The student meditates on it until he can hear the sound of one hand clapping. Many of us have heard the sound of silence. If we can hear that sound, then we can hear the sound of one hand clapping also. This koan does not stop with hearing of not hearing, but goes further. If we can hear the sound of one hand, why can we hear it, and how can we hear it ?
If not, why not ? Where does the sound come from, and where does it go ? What is the nature of the sound, and what is the nature of the sound, and what is the nature of hearing ? If their koan is solved, the meditator may consider that he has experienced kensho.”
Source : Zen Philosophy, Zen Practice, Dharma Publishing, College of Oriental Studies, 1975, PP104-112.
These excerpts are from Non attachment, an excellent article in non-attachment.