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04/06/2011 02:30 AM

Zen Buddhist Stories

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Maybe (Taoist story)There is a Taoist story of an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit. "Such bad luck," they said sympathetically.

"Maybe," the farmer replied. The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses. "How wonderful," the neighbors exclaimed.

"Maybe," replied the old man. The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. The neighbors again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune. "Maybe," answered the farmer. The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son's leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out. "Maybe," said the farmer.


Wealthy patrons invited Ikkyu to a banquet. Ikkyu arrived dressed in hisbeggar's robes. The host, not recognizing him, chased him away. Ikkyu went home, changed into his ceremonial robe of purple brocade, and returned. With great respect, he was received into the banquet room.There, he put his robe on the cushion, saying, "I expect you invited the robe since you showed me away a little while ago," and left.


A Cup of Tea

Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868-1912), received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen.

Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor's cup full, and then kept on pouring.

The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. "It is overfull. No more will go in!"

"Like this cup," Nan-in said, "you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?"


Teaching the Ultimate

In early times in Japan, bamboo-and-paper lanterns were used with candles inside. A blind man, visiting a friend one night, was offered a lantern to carry home with him.

"I do not need a lantern," he said. "Darkness or light is all the same to me."

"I know you do not need a lantern to find your way," his friend replied, "but if you don't have one, someone else may run into you. So you must take it."

The blind man started off with the lantern and before he had walked very far someone ran squarely into him. "Look out where you are going!" he exclaimed to the stranger. "Can't you see this lantern?"

"Your candle has burned out, brother," replied the stranger.


The Burden

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 accross 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."


Like wise stories no matter what faith or nation they originate from so wanted to share them with you today- hope you will take something positive from them too Smile!

Gentle hugs, love ClaritaSilly heart pebble


04/06/2011 11:03 AM
Posts: 196

These stories give us such wisdom and with such simplicity! Especially have always liked the last one of carrying the woman, it reminds us how we can worry and worry about the silliest of things. I sure need reminding - we probably all do at times. Thanks for these, Clarita!

Hugs all around,


04/06/2011 06:55 PM
Posts: 1918
Senior Member

Dearest Clarita, thank you for the Zen quotes , as i am into Zen Buddism myself , those meant alot to me and thank you for sharing them, now to add i have been away things have been quite difficult, my husband has severe 2nd degree burn, and we have been going everyday to drs, and running here and there, i have been lost in it all, and come home too exhausted to get online, i send you my heartfelt wishes and all the group, i am sorry i have been gone but it couldn't be helped, so with this i send my high reguards to all and hope this finds you well, love to all, Debi. cool quote f5c3bef35b3b0d91383f57a4336b673c

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