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Tag: Zen Stories

  • Zen Stories ☯

     Zen teachers train their young pupils to express themselves. Two Zen temples each had a child protégé. One child, going to obtain vegetables each morning, would meet the other on the way. “Where are you going?” asked the one. “I am going wherever my feet go,” the other responded. This reply puzzled the first child […]

  • 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 […]

  • Zen Stories

    Once a division of the Japanese army was engaged in a sham battle, and some of the officers found it necessary to make their headquarters in Gasan’s temple. Gasan told his cook: “Let the officers have only the same simple fare we eat.” This made the army men angry, as they were used to very […]

  • Zen Stories ☯

    Joshu began the study of Zen when he was sixty years old and continued until he was eighty, when he realised Zen. He taught from the age of eighty until he was one hundred and twenty. A student once asked him: “If I haven’t anything in my mind, what shall I do?” Joshu replied: “Throw […]

  • Zen Stories

    zen stories

  • Zen Stories

    Nature of things ☯ Two monks were washing their bowls in the river when they noticed a scorpion that was drowning. One monk immediately scooped it up and set it upon the bank. In the process he was stung. He went back to washing his bowl and again the scorpion fell in. The monk saved […]

  • Zen Stories

    In Your Hands ☯ A young man caught a small bird, and held it behind his back. He then asked, “Master, is the bird I hold in my hands alive or dead.” The boy thought this was a grand opportunity to play a trick on the old man. If the master answered “dead”, it would […]

  • Zen Stories

    Full awareness ☯ After ten years of apprenticeship, Tenno achieved the rank of Zen teacher. One rainy day, he went to visit the famous master Nan-in. When he walked in, the master greeted him with a question, “Did you leave your wooden clogs and umbrella on the porch?” “Yes,” Tenno replied. “Tell me,” the master […]

  • Zen Stories ☯

    Little miracles While Bankei was preaching quietly to his followers, his talk was interrupted by a Shinsu priest who believed in miracles, and thought salvation came from repeating holy words. Bankei was unable to go on with his talk, and asked the priest what he wanted to say. ‘The founder of my religion,” boasted the […]

  • Zen Stories

    The Stonecutter There was once a stonecutter, who was dissatisfied with himself and with his position in life. One day, he passed a wealthy merchant’s house, and through the open gateway, saw many fine possessions and important visitors. “How powerful that merchant must be!” thought the stonecutter. He became very envious, and wished that he could be […]