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Tag: zen

  • Zen Stories

    A farmer got so old that he couldn’t work the fields anymore. So he would spend the day just sitting on the porch. His son, still working the farm, would look up from time to time and see his father sitting there. “He’s of no use any more,” the son thought to himself, “he doesn’t […]

  • Zen Stories

    There is the story of a young martial arts student who was under the tutelage of a famous master. One day, the master was watching a practice session in the courtyard. He realized that the presence of the other students was interfering with the young man’s attempts to perfect his technique. The master could sense […]

  • Zen Stories

    There lived an old farmer who had worked on his fields for many, many years. One day, his horse bolted away. His neighbors dropped in to commiserate with him. “What awful luck,” they tut-tutted sympathetically, to which the farmer only replied, “We’ll see.” Next morning, to everyone’s surprise, the horse returned, bringing with it three […]

  • Zen Stories

    A soldier named Nobushige came to Hakuin, and asked: “Is there really a paradise and a hell?” “Who are you?” inquired Hakuin. “I am a samurai,” the warrior replied. “You, a soldier!” exclaimed Hakuin. “What kind of ruler would have you as his guard? Your face looks like that of a beggar.” Nobushige became so […]

  • Zen Stories

    Buddha was once threatened with death by a bandit called Angulimal. “Then be good enough to fulfill my dying wish,” said Buddha. “Cut off the branch of that tree.” One slash of the sword, and it was done! “What now?” asked the bandit. “Put it back again,” said Buddha. The bandit laughed. “You must be […]

  • Zen stories

    Yamaoka Tesshu, as a young student of Zen, visited one master after another. He called upon Dokuon of Shokoku. Desiring to show his attainment, he said: “The mind, Buddha, and sentient beings, after all, do not exist. The true nature of phenomena is emptiness. There is no realization, no delusion, no sage, no mediocrity. There is no […]

  • Zen Stories

    One day there was an earthquake that shook the entire Zen temple. Parts of it even collapsed. Many of the monks were terrified. When the earthquake stopped the teacher said, “Now you have had the opportunity to see how a Zen man behaves in a crisis situation. You may have noticed that I did not […]

  • Zen Stories

    Chuang Tzu and his friend were walking along a river bank and stopped for a moment to gaze at the water. Chuang Tzu exclaimed, “Look at those fish, how they’re enjoying themselves!” “How would you know? You aren’t a fish to know if they’re having a good time!” snorted the friend. “You aren’t me either,”said […]

  • Zen Stories

    The Difference Between Pain and Suffering There is a Buddhist teaching that says that when you get hurt, say, by an arrow, that is pain. The arrow hitting your arm, it hurts. Pain. However, there is a second arrow, which is your reaction to the arrow, the getting angry, the planning revenge, that is beyond […]

  • Zen Stories

    No Objective World Once there was a monk who specialized in the Buddhist precepts, and he kept to them all his life. Once when he was walking at night, he stepped on something. It made a squishing sound, and he imagined he had stepped on an egg-bearing frog. This caused him no end of alarm […]