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A Scientific Koan: What Is the Cause of Cystic Fibrosis?

Bruce K. Rubin
Author and Funding Information

Affiliations: Winston-Salem, NC
 ,  Dr. Rubin is Professor and Vice-Chair for Research, Department of Pediatrics, Professor of Medicine, Medical Engineering, Physiology and Pharmacology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

Correspondence to: Bruce K. Rubin, MD, FCCP, Department of Pediatrics, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Medical Center Blvd, Winston-Salem, NC 27157-1081; e-mail: brubin@wfubmc.edu



Chest. 2003;123(6):1792-1793. doi:10.1378/chest.123.6.1792
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In the Zen Buddhist tradition, a koan is a “Zen presentation in the form of a Zen challenge.”1 Cleary2 has described the koan as follows: “These stories and sayings contain patterns, like blueprints, for various inner exercises in attention, mental posture, and higher perception, summarized in extremely brief vignettes.” Among the most famous of the koans is the teaching to reflect on the sound of a single hand clapping. In commenting on this koan, Yamamba is quoted as saying:

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