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Zen Stories
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Bearses



Joined: 21 Apr 2005
Posts: 1776
Location: in ma bear cave

PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2007 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eleven is really good too...

Quote:
The Story of Shunkai

The exquisite Shunkai whose other name was Suzu was compelled to marry against her wishes when she was quite young. Later, after this marriage had ended, she attended the university, where she studied philosophy.

To see Shunkai was to fall in love with her. Moreover, wherever she went, she herself fell in love with others. Love was with her at the university, and afterwards, when philosophy did not satisfy her and she visited a temple to learn about Zen, the Zen students fell in love with her. Shunkai's whole life was saturated with love.

At last in Kyoto she became a real student of Zen. Her brothers in the sub-temple of Kennin praised her sincerity. One of them proved to be a congenial spirit and assisted her in the mastery of Zen.

The abbot of Kennin, Mokurai, Silent Thunder, was severe. He kept the precepts himself and expected his priests to do so. In modern Japan whatever zeal these priests have lost of Buddhism they seem to have gained for their wives. Mokurai used to take a broom and chase the women away when he found them in any of his temples, but the more wives he swept out, the more seemed to come back.

In this particular temple the wife of the head priest became jealous of Shunkai's earnestness and beauty. Hearing the students praise her serious Zen made this wife squirm and itch. Finally she spread a rumor about Shunkai and the young man who was her friend. As a consequence he was expelled and Shunkai was removed from the temple.

"I may have made the mistake of love," thought Shunkai, "but the priest's wife shall not remain in the temple either if my friend is to be treated so unjustly."

Shunkai the same night with a can of kerosene set fire to the five-hundred-year-old temple and burned it to the ground. In the morning she found herself in the hands of the police.

A young lawyer became interested in her and endeavored to make her sentence lighter. "Do not help me," she told him. "I might decide to do something else which would only imprison me again."

At last a sentence of seven years was completed, and Shunkai was released from the prison, where the sixty-year-old warden had become enamored of her.

But now everyone looked upon her as a "jailbird." No one would associate with her. Even the Zen people, who are supposed to believe in enlightenment in this life and with this body, shunned her. Zen, Shunkai found, was one thing and the followers of Zen quite another. Her relatives would have nothing to do with her. She grew sick, poor, and weak.

She met a Shinshu priest who taught her the name of the Buddha of Love, and in this Shunkai found some solace and peace of mind. She passed away when she was still exquisitely beautiful and hardly thirty years old.

She wrote her own story in a futile endeavor to support herself and some of it she told to a woman writer. So it reached the Japanese people. Those who rejected Shunkai, those who slandered and hated her, now read of her live with tears of remorse.

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Bearses



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2007 10:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Number 12! XD

Quote:
Happy Chinaman

Anyone walking about Chinatowns in America will observe statues of a stout fellow carrying a linen sack. Chinese merchants call him Happy Chinaman or Laughing Buddha.

This Hotei lived in the T'ang dynasty. He had no desire to call himself a Zen master or to gather many disciples around him. Instead he walked the streets with a big sack into which he would put gifts of candy, fruit, or doughnuts. These he would give to children who gathered around him in play. He established a kindergarten of the streets.

Whenever he met a Zen devotee he would extend his hand and say: "Give me one penny."

Once as he was about to play-work another Zen master happened along and inquired: "What is the significance of Zen?"

Hotei immediately plopped his sack down on the ground in silent answer.

"Then," asked the other, "what is the actualization of Zen?"

At once the Happy Chinaman swung the sack over his shoulder and continued on his way.

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Bearses



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 7:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Talk about low standards for a figerative martyr. o_0

#13

Quote:
A Buddha

In Tokyo in the Meiji era there lived two prominent teachers of opposite characteristics. One, Unsho, an instructor in Shingon, kept Buddha's precepts scrupulously. He never drank intoxicants, nor did he eat after eleven o'clock in the morning. The other teacher, Tanzan, a professor of philosophy at the Imperial University, never observed the precepts. When he felt like eating, he ate, and when he felt like sleeping in the daytime, he slept.

One day Unsho visited Tanzan, who was drinking wine at the time, not even a drop of which is supposed to touch the tongue of a Buddhist.

"Hello, brother," Tanzan greeted him. "Won't you have a drink?"

"I never drink!" exclaimed Unsho solemnly.

"One who does not drink is not even human," said Tanzan.

"Do you mean to call me inhuman just because I do not indulge in intoxicating liquids!" exclaimed Unsho in anger. "Then if I am not human, what am I?"

"A Buddha," answered Tanzan.

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Bearses



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hooray for bending rules! XD

#14

Quote:
Muddy Road

Tanzan and Ekido were once travelling together down a muddy road. A heavy rain was still falling.

Coming around a bend, they met a lovely girl in a silk kimono and sash, unable to cross the intersection.

"Come on, girl," said Tanzan at once. Lifting her in his arms, he carried her over the mud.

Ekido did not speak again until that night when they reached a lodging temple. Then he no longer could restrain himself. "We monks don't do near females," he told Tanzan, "especially not young and lovely ones. It is dangerous. Why did you do that?"

"I left the girl there," said Tanzan. "Are you still carrying her?"

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Elemiah



Joined: 28 Apr 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The Most Golden Gifts

Many years ago, a Zen master came to a small village that stood on the side of a great and bitterly cold mountain.

When he arrived, he encountered many poor and unfortunate people.

Not long before entering the town, a small boy asked him if he may have some food. The master gave the boy a small bowl of rice, the only food he had.

After walking on a little further, he was stopped by a young girl who asked if he had something that may keep her warm. The master shed off his clothes and gave them to the little girl.

That night, a blizzard struck the village. Those with homes retreated to them, and all slept. The master, naked and without food, left the village and travelled to a desolate valley further down the mountain.

It was there that he sat and meditated. By dawn, the snow had stopped and the master was dead.

The boy who was given the food ate it and was relieved of his hunger. With his new found strength, he left the village and worked in a market in a city at the base of the mountain. Years later, he returned and brought his home village out of its depression with his acquired fortune.

The young girl who was given his clothes learned to mend them in order to fit her small body into them. After much practice, she became a famous tailor and seamstress. Eventually, she worked in the employ of the Emperor, who placed his blessings on her home village.

Finally, the body of the master made the dirt and soil of the barren valley rich. Soon, the mountain was filled with plants of all colors and uses. Even animals and insects returned to the once dead mountain.

It is said that where the master sat and meditated is a circle of beautiful golden flowers.




There are so many morals and messages in that that it could make your head hurt.[/quote]
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Bearses



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 6:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really like that one!

Thanks Elemiah! ^_^

---------------------

number 15! XD

Quote:
Shoan and His Mother

Shoun became a teacher of Soto Zen. When he was still a student his father passed away, leaving him to care for his old mother.

Whenever Shoun went to a meditation hall he always took his mother with him. Since she accompanied him, when he visited monasteries he could not live with the monks. So he would build a little house and care for her there. He would copy sutras, Buddhist verses, and in this manner receive a few coins for food.

When Shoun bought fish for his mother, the people would scoff at him, for a monk is not supposed to eat fish. But Shoun did not mind. His mother, however, was hurt to see the others laugh at her son. Finally she told Shoun: "I think I will become a nun. I can be a vegaterian too." She did, and they studied together.

Shoun was fond of music and was a master of the harp, which his mother also played. On full-moon nights they used to play together.

One night a young lady passed by their house and heard music. Deeply touched, she invited Shoun to visit her the next evening and play. He accepted the invitation. A few days later he met the young lady on the street and thanked her for her hospitality. Others laughed at him. He had visited the house of a woman of the streets.

One day Shoun left for a distant temple to deliver a lecture. A few months afterwards he returned home to find his mother dead. Friends had not known where to reach him, so the funeral was then in progress.

Shoun walked up and hit the coffin with his staff. "Mother, your son has returned," he said.

"I am glad to see you have returned, son," he answered for his mother.

"Yes, I am glad too," Shoun responded. Then he announced to the people about him: "The funeral ceremony is over. You may bury the body."

When Shoun was old he knew his end was approaching. He asked his disciples to gather around him in the morning, telling them he was going to pass on at noon. Burning incense before the picture of his mother and his old teacher, he wrote a poem:

For fifty-six years I lived as best I could,
Making my way in this world.
Now the rain has ended, the clouds are clearing,
The blue sky has a full moon.

His disciples gathered about him, reciting a sutra, and Shoun passed on during the invocation.

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Whitecrab



Joined: 06 Mar 2002
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First off - does anyone have a website with a list of koans? (Stories "that cannot be solved with the discriminating intellect.")

Elemiah wrote:
Quote:
The Most Golden Gifts

Many years ago, a Zen master came to a small village that stood on the side of a great and bitterly cold mountain.
<master>
It is said that where the master sat and meditated is a circle of beautiful golden flowers.


There are so many morals and messages in that that it could make your head hurt.


I heard a variant of that story where the master ends up being tricked by monsters of the forest into giving away his limbs and eyeballs. He dies blind and alone, having been left a "gift" from a monster - that he could not see - that was really a note mocking him. It was a caution against giving so much you could't take care of yourself.


I can quote a few koans/stories - but I'm going to have to paraphrase and butcher the langauge/timing. Too bad.

# 17 God's Justice

Quote:
There were once four young boys of the village, who spent the afternoon searching for walnuts among the trees. After searching together, they realized a dilemna. Since the wise old Zen Master of the village was nearby, they decided to ask him for advice.

"Oh master," said the first boy, "we have a problem that we know you can solve fairly. We have been searching for walnuts all afternoon, but when we try to divide the pile into four, we have three left over. We have eached worked the same amount of time, and the same amount of effort, so how shall we split the walnuts fairly?"

The old master paused and thought to himself. "Would you boys like God's justice, or man's justice?" he asked.

[[This is where I'm really not remembering the story well, the boys answers. I am really guessing here. - WC]]

"I choose God's justice," said the first boy. "We have all seen how capricious and unfair man's justice can be. Often the richest or the most powerful gets the benefit of it. For fairness for all, I choose God's justice."

"I agree," said the second boy, "for I too have seen man's justice turned to the wealth of the rulers. Would not we be expected to pay a service for man's justice? I expect the justice of those of God - and surely we may include our wise man as those of God - would seek only the correct result without regard to their own benefit"

"I too would suggest God's justice," said the third boy, "for God sees all and knows all. Any decision in accordance with God's justice would be much more fair than what is suggested by the limited knowledge, and following of procedure, that is man's justice."

"The I say we are all in agreement for God's justice," said the fourth boy, "for God is concerned with the fare of the lowest of us all and he favours none."

"I see you have chosen God's justice," said the wise man. "So be it. I will now divide the walnuts in accordance with God's justice."

So he gave 52 walnuts to the first boy, 34 to the second, 7 to the third, and 2 to the fourth.


Now I can't remember what the boys each said for certain, but I don't think it matters. It's not as simple as judging them on their statements. Is God judging them on their lives as a whole? Or their karma from past lives? Or did the wiseman see one of the boys slacking off? Or is he acknowledging the seeming capriciousness and randomness of fate?

Apparently suggesting to "crack the walnuts and split the meat evenly" is being a smart-ass and missing the point.

Story # 18: Marriage Proposal

[[Again, I'm going to mangle this story pretty badly. I'm told the important part is the girl's question, which is interesting, and the priest's ultimate response.]]

Quote:
A famous wandering priest, revered through all of <some>, asked for shelter in a family's home. They agreed and let him spend several days there.

After three days, the priest spoke to the parents of the family. "Your daughter is very lovely, intelligent, and pious, and I would like your permission to take her hand in marriage."

The parents were all too pleased. Although not rich, the priest was very famous and esteemed through all the land, and this was exciting news. They told their daughter, who was uncertain but flattered about it. She went to see the priest, who was sitting in meditation at the time.

"Excuse me, sir, but I would like to talk about your proposal of marriage. I am very flattered, of course, but if I may ask why do you want this? Would it not disrupt your travels and your ability to teach Zen across the land?"

The priest smiled at this, and beckoned for her to sit next to him. "We may talk about this, but first, come sit Zazen [meditation] with me. I feel closer to a person by meditating by them anyway."

The girl, who knew some Zen, agreed. She sat to meditate, and tried to keep her mind off the questions of marriage and focused on the act of meditating. The sat and sat, and the sky turned dark. Eventually, it got very late, and she fell asleep. When she awoke, the priest was gone.



Now two stories.

Story # 19 - Duelling Priests

Quote:
There once was a very famous priest named X [[I suck, sorry.]] X was very famous, for not only had he achieved true enlightenment, but he was very accomplished at debates about the subject. Very often a wily student or teacher had tried to trick him into making a mistake about the subject, but he always handled such challenges with aplomb and made the questioner look foolish.

Y, another very accomplished priest, was intrigued by this challenge. He decided to go on a journey to test X's understanding of enlightenment. Word of this spread, and many high priest and interested students journeyed to see the great debate between X and Y.

Eventually, they met at a lecture of X's. After X was done, Y stood up with a question. "X," asked Y, "how would you describe living the way of enlightenment to others?"

"I don't mind to answer you," said X, "but as you have asked it would be fair to have the others answer first." Y agreed. They went around the room, taking answers from various well regarded priests in the room who had gathered for the discussion. Finally, it came to Y.

[[really don't remember Y's response well...it's a textbook "Good answer" about nothingness]]

Y said, "To myself, I see enlightenment as nothing to see. In how to act, one knows without knowing there is nothing to be done. There is no need to answer, nothing to say, and no one else to answer to."

The assembled audience was quite impressed with this answer [[except Whitecrab, who forgot it. ]] Finally it was X's turn to answer. "And what about you, X? How would you describe enlightenment.?"

X simply sat there, staring straight, not acknowledging Y's question at all. He sat in perfect meditation posture and did nothing at all.


And lastly, another "you can break the rules story." FYI even many hardcore Zen priests can take a few drops of alcohol at a party to "blend in."

Gonna point form it since wording isn't as important

Story # 20: Breaking the rules

Quote:
-A prostitute is stuck in position where she will lose her home for her children
-She begs the lord of the area for a reprieve, offering to do anything to keep her home
-The lord challenges her to seduce the head of the nearby monastery. An impossible task; this guy is squeaky clean
-She goes to the monastery soaking wet during a storm, begs to stay in his chamber, tries to seduce multiple ways and fails
-Eventually breaks down and cries, explains the situation. The priest then says "we have no choice, you must succeed." she does
-Rumours spread about what happened between them. When asked he of course tells the truth, they had sex. The second-guy of the temple says in private "there's no way you can teach us now" and asks the priest to lead. The priest says "well if you say that, then yes there's no way I can teach you. I'll go"
-The story gets out to the lower disciples of the circumstances of the prostitute. They go to complain. "But how can I let him lead us, knowing what he's done?" asks second-guy. "How could you let him lead us if he had not done that?" they reply
-Priest is welcomed back and reinstated

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Bearses



Joined: 21 Apr 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Umm... The reason I'm attatching numbers to these, is because I'm getting them from a source, in which they are numbered from 1 to 101. You can number yours subsequently from mine if you want, but don't expect me to follow suit...


#16
Quote:
Not Far From Buddhahood

A university student while visiting Gasan asked him: "Have you even read the Christian Bible?"

"No, read it to me," said Gasan.

The student opened the Bible and read from St. Matthew: "And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow. They toil not, neither do they spin, and yet I say unto you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these...Take therefore no thought for the morrow, for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself."

Gasan said: "Whoever uttered those words I consider and enlightened man."

The student continued reading: "Ask and it shall be given you, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you. For everyone that asketh receiveth, and he that seeketh findeth, and to him that knocketh, is shall be opened."

Gasan remarked: "That is excellent. Whoever said that is not far from Buddhahood."


#17
Quote:
Stingy in Teaching

A young physician in Tokyo named Kusuda met a college friend who had been studying Zen. The young doctor asked him what Zen was.

"I cannot tell you what it is," the friend replied, "but one thing is certain. If you understand Zen, you will not be afraid to die."

"That's fine," said Kusuda. "I will try it. Where can I find a teacher?"

"Go to the master Nan-in," the friend told him.

So Kusuda went to call on Nan-in. He carried a dagger nine and a half inches long to determine whether or not the teacher was afraid to die.

When Nan-in saw Kusuda he exclaimed: "Hello, friend. How are you? We haven't seen each other for a long time!"

This perplexed Kusuda, who replied: "We have never met before."

"That's right," answered Nan-in. "I mistook you for another physician who is receiving instruction here."

With such a beginning, Kusuda lost his chance to test the master, so reluctantly he asked if he might receive Zen instruction.

Nan-in said: "Zen is not a difficult task. If you are a physician, treat you patients with kindness. That is Zen."

Kusuda visited Nan-in three times. Each time Nan-in told him the same thing. "A physician should not waste time around here. Go home and take care of you patients."

It was not yet clear to Kusuda how such teaching could remove the fear of death. So on his fourth visit he complained: "My friend told me when one learns Zen one loses the fear of death. Each time I come here all you tell me is to take care of my patients. I know that much. If that is your so-called Zen, I am not going to visit you any more."

Nan-in smiled and patted the doctor. "I have been too strict with you. Let me give you a koan." He presented Kusuda with Joshu's Mu to work over, which is the first mind enlightening problem in the book called The Gateless Gate.

Kusuda pondered this problem of Mu (No-Thing) for two years. At length he thought he had reached certainty of mind. But his teacher commented: "You are not in yet."

Kusuda continued in concentration for another year and a half. His mind became placid. Problems dissolved. No-Thing became the truth. He served his patients well and, without even knowing it, he was free from concern over life and death.

Then when he visited Nan-in, his old teacher just smiled.


#18
Quote:
A Parable

Buddha told a parable in a sutra:

A man traveling across a field encountered a tiger. He fled, the tiger after him. Coming to a precipice, he caught hold of the root of a wild vine and swung himself down over the edge. The tiger sniffed at him from above. Trembling, the man looked down to where, far below, another tiger was waiting to eat him. Only the vine sustained him.

Two mice, one white and one black, little by little started to gnaw away the vine. The man saw a luscious strawberry near him. Grasping the vine with one hand, he plucked the strawberry with the other. How sweet it tasted!


Out of all 101 zen stories I plan to post, number 18 is my favorite!
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Bearses



Joined: 21 Apr 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

#19

Quote:
The First Principle

When one goes to Obaku temple in Kyoto he sees carved over the gate the words "The First Principle." The letters are unusually large, and those who appreciate calligraphy always admire them as being a masterpiece. They were drawn by Kosen two hundred years ago.

When the master drew them he did so on paper, from which workmen made the larger carving in wood. As Kosen sketched the letters a bold pupil was with him who had made several gallons of ink for the calligraphy and who never failed to criticize his master's work.

"That is not good," he told Kosen after the first effort.

"How is that one?"

"Poor. Worse than before," pronounced the pupil.

Kosen patiently wrote one sheet after another until eighty-four First Principles had been accumulated, still without the approval of the pupil.

Then, when the young man stepped outside for a few moments, Kosen thought: "Now is my chance to escape his keen eye," and he wrote hurridly, with a mind free from disctraction. "The First Principle."

"A masterpiece," pronounced the pupil.

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Bearses



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

#20

Quote:
A Mother's Advice

Jiun, a Shogun master, was a well-known Sanskrit scholar of the Tokugawa era. When he was young he used to deliver lectures to his brother students.

His mother heard about this and wrote him a letter.:

"Son, I do not think you became a devotee of the Buddha because you desired to turn into a walking dictionary for others. There is no end to information and commentation, glory and honor. I wish you would stop this lecture business. Shut yourself up in a little temple in a remote part of the mountain. Devote your time to meditation and in this way attain true realization."

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jo bragg



Joined: 23 May 2007
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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2007 10:11 pm    Post subject: what would you give to know the truth Reply with quote

i came into this forum looking to say something and now that i get to the typing i cant think of anything

btw love the stories

i remember something cool from the bible

seek and ye shall find ..

and from the dhammapada

till my blood is dry and my bones are dust i shall seek the truth and find it .

i like the second one better myself . but its all good

oh and " there are as many paths as there are individuals "
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know it to be true ...... and it is ..

all of my karma pushes me pulls me leads me guides me to omniscience, omnipotence, and to further reveal the perfection that is I
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Bearses



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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2007 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for contributing jo bragg!

Here's a few to make up for the fact that I haven't posted in a while...

#21
Quote:
The Sound of One Hand

The master of Kennin temple was Mokurai, Silent Thunder. He had a little protégé named Toyo who was only twelve years old. Toyo saw the older disciples visit the master's room each morning and evening to receive instruction in sanzen or personal guidence in which they were given koans to stop mind-wandering.

Toyo wished to do sanzen also.

"Wait a while," said Mokurai. "You are too young."

But the child insisted, so the teacher finally consented.

In the evening little Toyo went at the proper time to the threshold of Mokurai's sanzen room. He struck the gong to announce his presence, bowed respectfully three times outside the door, and went to sit before the master in respectful silence.

"You can hear the sound of two hands when they clap together," said Mokurai. "Now show me the sound of one hand."

Toyo bowed and went to his room to consider this problem. From his window he could hear the music of the geishas. "Ah, I have it!" he proclaimed.

The next evening, when his teacher asked him to illustrate the sound of one hand, Toyo began to play the music of the geishas.

"No, no," said Mokurai. "That will never do. That is not the sound of one hand. You've not got it at all."

Thinking that such music might interrupt, Toyo moved his abode to a quiet place. He meditated again. "What can the sound of one hand be?" He happened to hear some water dripping. "I have it," imagined Toyo.

When he next appeared before his teacher, he imitated dripping water.

"What is that?" asked Mokurai. "That is the sound of dripping water, but not the sound of one hand. Try again."

In vain Toyo meditated to hear the sound of one hand. He heard the sighing of the wind. But the sound was rejected.

He heard the cry of an owl. This was also refused.

The sound of one hand was not the locusts.

For more than ten times Toyo visited Mokurai with different sounds. All were wrong. For almost a year he pondered what the sound of one hand might be.

At last Toyo entered true meditation and transcended all sounds. "I could collect no more," he explained later, "so I reached the soundless sound."

Toyo had realized the sound of one hand.


#22
Quote:
My Heart Burns Like Fire

Soyen Shaku, the first Zen teacher to come to America, said: "My heart burns like fire but my eyes are as cold as dead ashes." He made the following rules which he practiced every day of his life.

* In the morning before dressing, light incense and meditate.

* Retire at a regular hour. Partake of food at regular intervals. Eat with moderation and never to the point of satisfaction.

* Receive a guest with the same attitude you have when alone. When alone, maintain the same attitude you have in receiving guests.

* Watch what you say, and whatever you say, practice it.

* When an opportunity comes do not let it pass you by, yet always think twice before acting.

* Do not regret the past. Look to the future.

* Have the fearless attitude of a hero and the loving heart of a child.

* Upon retiring, sleep as if you had entered your last sleep. Upon awakening, leave your bed behind you instantly as if you had cast away a pair of old shoes.


#23
Quote:
Eshun's Departure

When Eshun, the Zen nun, was past sixty and about to leave this world, she asked some monks to pile up wood in the yard.

Seating herself firmly in the center of the funeral pyre, she had it set fire around the edges.

"O nun!" shouted one monk, "is it hot in there?"

"Such a matter would concern only a stupid person like yourself," answered Eshun.

The flames arose, and she passed away.

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Bearses



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PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2007 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is one of those ones that at first glance seems to have no point. Please, look again.

#24
Quote:
Reciting Sutras

A farmer requested a Tendai priest to recite sutras for his wife, who had died. After the recitation was over the farmer asked: "Do you think my wife will gain merit from this?"

"Not only your wife, but all sentient beings will benefit from the recitation of sutras," answered the priest.

"If you say all sentient beings will benefit," said the farmer, "my wife may be very weak and others will take advantage of her, getting the benefit she should have. So please recite sutras just for her."

The priest explained that it was the desire of a Buddhist to offer blessings and wish merit for every living being.

"That is a fine teaching," concluded the farmer, "but please make one exception. I have a neighbor who is rough and mean to me. Just exclude him from all those sentient beings."

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Bearses



Joined: 21 Apr 2005
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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2007 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry this one is kind of a recycling of another one I posted. I'll post 2 to make up for it. ^_^;;;

#25

Quote:
Three Days More

Suiwo, the disciple of Hakuin, was a good teacher. During one summer seclusion period, a pupil came to him from a southern island of Japan.

Suiwo gave him the problem: "Hear the sound of one hand."

The pupil remained three years but could not pass the test. One night he came in tears to Suiwo. "I must return south in shame and embarrassment," he said, "for I cannot solve my problem."

"Wait one week more and meditate constantly," advised Suiwo. Still no enlightenment came to the pupil. "Try for another week," said Suiwo. The pupil obeyed, but in vain.

"Still another week." Yet this was of no avail. In despair the student begged to be released, but Suiwo requested another meditation of five days. They were without result. Then he said: "Meditate for three days longer, then if you fail to attain enlightenment, you had better kill yourself."

On the second day the pupil was enlightened.


Okay, here's another of my favorites. Probably my second favorite, actually. Made me laugh.

#26

Quote:
Trading Dialogue For Lodging

Provided he makes and wins an argument about Buddhism with those who live there, any wandering monk can remain in a Zen temple. If he is defeated, he has to move on.

In a temple in the northern part of Japan two brother monks were dwelling together. The elder one was learned, but the younger one was stupid and had but one eye.

A wandering monk came and asked for lodging, properly challenging them to a debate about the sublime teaching. The elder brother, tired that day from much studying, told the younger one to take his place. "Go and request the dialogue in silence," he cautioned.

So the young monk and the stranger went to the shrine and sat down.

Shortly afterwards the traveler rose and went in to the elder brother and said: "Your young brother is a wonderful fellow. He defeated me."

"Relate the dialogue to me," said the elder one.

"Well," explained the traveler, "first I held up one finger, representing Buddha, the enlightened one. So he held up two fingers, signifying Buddha and his teaching. I held up three fingers, representing Buddha, his teaching, and his followers, living the harmonious life. Then he shook his clenched fist in my face, indicating that all three come from one realization. Thus he won and so I have no right to remain here." With this, the traveler left.

"Where is that fellow?" asked the younger one, running in to his elder brother.

"I understand you won the debate."

"Won nothing. I'm going to beat him up."

"Tell me the subject of the debate," asked the elder one.

"Why, the minute he saw me he held up one finger, insulting me by insinuating that I have only one eye. Since he was a stranger I thought I would be polite to him, so I held up two fingers, congratulating him that he has two eyes. Then the impolite wretch held up three fingers, suggesting that between us we only have three eyes. So I got mad and started to punch him, but he ran out and that ended it!"

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Bearses



Joined: 21 Apr 2005
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2007 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

#27
Quote:
The Voice of Happiness

After Bankei had passed away, a blind man who lived near the master's temple told a friend: "Since I am blind, I cannot watch a person's face, so I must judge his character by the sound of his voice. Ordinarily when I hear someone congratulate another upon his happiness or success, I also hear a secret tone of envy. When condolence is expressed for the misfortune of another, I hear pleasure and satisfaction, as if the one condoling was really glad there was something left to gain in his own world.

"In all my experience, however, Bankei's voice was always sincere. Whenever he expressed happiness, I heard nothing but happiness, and whenever he expressed sorrow, sorrow was all I heard."

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Bearses



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

#28
Quote:
Open Your Own Treasure House

Daiju visited the master Baso in China. Baso asked: "What do you seek?"

"Enlightenment," replied Daiju.

"You have your own treasure house. Why do you search outside?" Baso asked.

Daiju inquired: "Where is my treasure house?"

Baso answered: "What you are asking is your treasure house."

Daiju was delighted! Ever after he urged his friends: "Open your own treasure house and use those treasures."

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Rexfelum



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mmm, that one twists my brain a little. In quite good ways.

--Rexfelum
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FallenAngel



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love these, thanks for posting!

I stumbled upon a whole webpage of these a few days ago. Oh joy!!
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Bearses



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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glad everyone's so enthusiastic about these!

#29
Quote:
No Water, No Moon

When the nun Chiyono studied Zen under Bukko of Engaku she was unable to attain the fruits of meditation for a long time.

At last one moonlit night she was carrying water in an old pail bound with bamboo. The bamboo broke and the bottom fell out of the pail, and at that moment Chiyono was set free!

In commemoration, she wrote a poem:

In this way and that I tried to save the old pail
Since the bamboo strip was weakening and about to break
Until at last the bottom fell out.
No more water in the pail!
No more moon in the water!

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Bearses



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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2007 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

#30

Quote:
Calling Card

Keichu, the great Zen teacher of the Meiji era, was the head of Tofuku, a cathedral in Kyoto. One day the governor of Kyoto called upon him for the first time.

His attendant presented the card of the governor, which read: Kitagaki, Governor of Kyoto.

"I have no business with such a fellow," said Keichu to his attendant. "Tell him to get out of here."The attendant carried the card back with apologies. "That was my error," said the governor, and with a pencil he scratched out the words Governor of Kyoto. "Ask your teacher again."

"Oh, is that Kitagaki?" exclaimed the teacher when he saw the card. "I want to see that fellow."

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