From “Awakening the Buddha Within” by Lama Surya Das:
The Korean Zen master I studied with, Nine Mountains, used to exclaim with gusto, “What is it?” This, his main koan or Zen conundrum, was boldly calligraphed in Korean as a hanging scroll on the wall. This is an intense, heartfelt, visceral question: “What the hell is it?” That was his whole teaching. What the hell is going on? What is this? Who is this? This is a fundamental existential question, turning our exploration inward. What is this presenting itself right now?