On Sat, Apr 2, 2011 at 3:14 AM, Nathan Grange <nathan@xxxxxxxxx>
"Yes" and "I think so"...
that is the bit I was thinking of. specifically:
Is that a misprint, or am I reading it wrong? (Under the mondo section it doesn't say anything about you stating anything out loud.)
"and you'll be forced to state your theory out loud "
You are reading it wrong. That part is specifically about the case where you mondo to get a stone in order to make a guess.
As an example, let's say I'm looking over the board, and I notice that the white koans all have either 3, 5, or 7 pyramids, while the black koans all have 4, 6, or 8. My initial thought is that koans with an odd number of pieces have the Buddha nature, and i wish to guess that. But I have no stones.
An easy mondo would be to put down a tree and mondo. There are other trees of various colors out there, so voting white is a virtual sure thing.
An alternative, trickier mondo would be to put down two pieces and mondo. There are no 2-piece koans, so this provides information about the 2-piece case. By the even-odd theory, your vote is black.
With the tree mondo, everyone votes white and gets a voting stone. You state confidently "A koan has the Buddha nature if it has an odd number of pyramids." The Master builds three nests, puts them next to each other, and plops a black stone next to it. Now everyone knows it's not an odd number of pyramids, and has the nice three nest example to work with.
With the two piece mondo, some players vote black, some vote white. The master reveals a white stone. Your guess was wrong, and people can suspect your guess was wrong. They don't know what your guess was, so the only additional information they have is that your two piece koan has the Buddha nature.
I guess another way to rephrase the advise would be:
A) Don't play a mondo except when you are ready to make a guess, lest you give other players unearned guessing stones.
B) When you play a mondo because you are ready to make a guess, use it to try to falsify your theory rather than an easy confirmation it. If your koan is an easy confirmation of an incorrect theory, you will find out it's incorrect by guessing, rather than mondoing, and you will have to spend a stone and inform the rest of the players of your incorrect theory.
And the rest of the explanations make a lot of sense. thanks