A Buddhist monk who studied and meditated on the teachings of Buddha for over a decade wanted to speak with an enlightened one who dwelled alone in a small temple high in the mountains. He prepared for his journey eager to hear his teaching. After 7 days of rigorous hiking he reached the temple.
The master greeted him and welcomed him inside. The master put some tea on to boil and they sat in silence. The monk became very eager and unsettled in not hearing his teaching. The master poured the tea and sat with the monk. The monk didn’t drink his tea and began questioning his master of Buddha.
The master replied.. “You have studied Buddhism for 20 years and can not simply enjoy this cup of tea?” The monk wept…. as another step to enlightenment lay under his feet….
Bai Juyi (772-846 CE) was an important poet and government official of the Tang Dynasty in China. He once asked a monk for the most essential Dharma instruction, and the monk replied by quoting the Buddha’s summary teaching, “Avoid harm. Do good. Purify the mind.”
Bai Juyi was not impressed, “Every child of three years knows these words. What I want to know is the most profound and fundamental teaching of the Buddha.” The monk replied, “Every child of three years knows these words, but white-haired men still fail to put them into practice.”
Source: Children and Old Men
Two monks were returning to the monastery in the evening. It had rained and there were puddles of water on the road sides. At one place a beautiful young woman was standing unable to walk across because of a puddle of water. The elder of the two monks went up to a her lifted her and left her on the other side of the road, and continued his way to the monastery.
In the evening the younger monk came to the elder monk and said, “Sir, as monks, we cannot touch a woman ?”
The elder monk answered “yes, brother”.
Then the younger monk asks again, “but then Sir, how is that you lifted that woman on the roadside ?”
The elder monk smiled at him and told him ” I left her on the other side of the road, but you are still carrying her.”
One day a young man on his journey home came to the banks of a wide river. Staring hopelessly at the great obstacle in front of him, he pondered for hours on how to cross the river.
Just as he was about to give up, he saw a great teacher on the other side of the river. The young man yells over to the teacher, “Oh wise one, can you tell me how to get to the other side of this river”?
The teacher ponders for a moment looks up and down the river and yells back, “My son, you are on the other side”.
During the civil wars in feudal Japan, an invading army would quickly sweep into a town and take control. In one particular village, everyone fled just before the army arrived – everyone except the Zen master. Curious about this old fellow, the general went to the temple to see for himself what kind of man this master was. When he wasn’t treated with the deference and submissiveness to which he was accustomed, the general burst into anger.
“You fool,” he shouted as he reached for his sword, “don’t you realize you are standing before a man who could run you through without blinking an eye!”
But despite the threat, the master seemed unmoved. “And do you realize,” the master replied calmly, “that you are standing before a man who can be run through without blinking an eye?”
“”Happy are those who do not fear death. They know no…
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Right and Wrong via: 101zenstories.org
When Bankei held his seclusion-weeks of meditation, pupils from many parts of Japan came to attend. During one of these gatherings a pupil was caught stealing. The matter was reported to Bankei with the request that the culprit be expelled. Bankei ignored the case.
Later the pupil was caught in a similar act, and again Bankei disregarded the matter. This angered the other pupils, who drew up a petition asking for the dismissal of the thief, stating that otherwise they would leave in a body.
When Bankei had read the petition he called everyone before him. “You are wise brothers,” he told them. “You know what is right and what is not right. You may go somewhere else to study if you wish, but this poor brother does not even know right from wrong. Who will teach him if I do not? I am going to keep him here even if all the rest of you leave.”
A torrent of tears cleansed the face of the brother who had stolen. All desire to steal had vanished.
Student: “Is there anything I can do to make myself Enlightened?” Teacher: “As little as you can do to make the sun rise in the morning.” Student: “Then what use are the spiritual exercises you prescribe?” Teacher: “To make sure you are not asleep when the sun begins to rise.” ~Anthony de Mello Source: Tao […]
Ikkyu, the Zen master, was very clever even as a boy. His teacher had a precious teacup, a rare antique. Ikkyu happened to break this cup and was greatly perplexed. Hearing the footsteps of his teacher, he held the pieces of the cup behind him. When the master appeared, Ikkyu asked: “Why do people have to die?”
“This is natural,” explained the older man. “Everything has to die and has just so long to live.”
Ikkyu, producing the shattered cup, added: “It was time for your cup to die.”