Zen Stories

Sozan, the Chinese Zen master known for his poetry and calligraphy, was about to start a talk with his students. Just then, a student asked him, “Teacher, what is the most valuable thing in the world?”

Without any hesitation, Sozan responded, “A dead cat’s head.”

The student was baffled. Perhaps his Master hadn’t heard the question correctly. He repeated the question.

“Master, I asked, what is the most valuable thing in the world?”

Again Sozan promptly replied, “A dead cat’s head.”

By this time, all of Sozan’s students were puzzled.

“Why is a dead cat’s head the most valuable thing in the world?” a student inquired.

Sozan simply said, “Because no one can name its price!”

Does the demand and use of an object determines its true value?

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