I Read Zen Stories

Personal Stories, Advice, and Support 79 People

    Like Lime On Trees

    “When we start expecting things to stay the same we fill our wagons with suffering.”   Once we feel secure in our general understanding, to challenge that understanding is a step toward the unknown; a step away from our sense of self, our sense of security.   Jimmie became...
    gsparky22 gsparky22
    41-45, M
    Mar 28, 2013

    The Giver Should Be Thankful

    While Seietsu was the master of Engaku in Kamakura he required larger quarters, since those in which he was teaching were overcrowded. Umeza Seibei a merchant of Edo, decided to donate five hundred pieces of gold called ryo toward the construction of a more commodious school...
    BodhiSvaha BodhiSvaha
    22-25, M
    1 Response Jan 24, 2010

    I dreamed I was a butterfly,

    flitting around in the sky; then I awoke. Now I wonder: Am I a man who dreamt of being a butterfly, or am I a butterfly dreaming that I am a man? -Zhuangzi
    deleted deleted
    26-30
    Oct 10, 2015
    deleted deleted
    26-30
    Oct 10, 2015

    Books

      Once there was a well known philosopher and scholar who devoted himself to the study of Zen for many years. On the day that he finally attained enlightenment, he took all of his books out into the yard, and burned them all.
    sweat0wet sweat0wet
    51-55, M
    Jul 11, 2012

    Sangha Invitation

    In my pursuit of further understanding and reduction of suffering I have studied and practiced mindfulness as much as possible on my own over the past year. The Buddha advocated that one should establish mindfulness in one's day-to-day life maintaining as much as possible a calm...
    gsparky22 gsparky22
    41-45, M
    Apr 20, 2013

    Whoa. These Are Crazy Good. A Three-For-One Special.

    Nobody in the boat: The Taoists have a famous teaching about an empty boat that rams into your boat in the middle of a river. While you probably wouldn’t be angry at an empty boat, you might well become enraged if someone were at its helm. The point of the story is that the...
    deleted deleted
    26-30
    1 Response Apr 22, 2013

    The Parable Of The Tea Cup

    There's a wonderful story about a learned man who went to see a Zen master to debate the merits of Zen. The master poured him a cup of tea, and purposely kept pouring so the tea ran over the cup and spilled onto the table. The man was startled and asked the master what he was...
    deleted deleted
    26-30
    1 Response Dec 26, 2012

    The psychiatrist asks the Zen Master,

    "How do you deal with neurotics?" The Zen Master replies, "I get them to the point where they can't ask anymore questions". xD
    DropsOfRain DropsOfRain
    26-30, F
    Oct 24, 2015

    Tea Candles

    Zen stories are like a tea candle to me. Modest burning lights of truth and wisdom. I like to read them, even when I dont always understand them. I dont understand how a bonzai tree grows like it does either - but like a bonzai, the story is there for me to consider as I may, and...
    DelaneyB DelaneyB
    26-30, F
    4 Responses Dec 11, 2010

    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...
    BodhiSvaha BodhiSvaha
    22-25, M
    4 Responses Jan 23, 2010

    The Subjugation Of A Ghost

    A young wife fell sick and was about to die. "I love you so much," she told her husband, "I do not want to leave you. Do not go from me to any other woman. If you do, I will return as a ghost and cause you endless trouble."Soon the wife passed away. The husband respected her last...
    BodhiSvaha BodhiSvaha
    22-25, M
    2 Responses Jan 26, 2010

    Once there was a monk

    who was an expert on the Diamond Sutra, and as books were very valuable in his day, he carried the only copy in his part of the world on his back. He was widely sought after for his readings and insight into the Diamond Sutra, and very successful at propounding its profundities...
    DropsOfRain DropsOfRain
    26-30, F
    1 Response Oct 24, 2015

    Mind Of A Sage

    One Zen monk, Bokuju, was passing through a street in a village. Somebody came and struck him with a stick. He fell down, and with him, the stick also. He got up and picked up the stick. The man who had hit him was running away. Bokuju ran after him, calling, ”Wait, take your...
    deleted deleted
    26-30
    1 Response Oct 1, 2013

    Not Dead Yet............. !

     The Emperor asked Master Gudo,"What happens to a man of enlightenment after death?""How should I know?" replied Gudo."Because you are a master," answered the Emperor."Yes sir," said Gudo, "but not a dead one."
    sweat0wet sweat0wet
    51-55, M
    Jul 16, 2012
    carmaletta carmaletta
    26-30, F
    1 Response Oct 11, 2015

    Finding does not come from seeking.

    Finding comes from relinquishing the search. Relax and soften. It will shine when it shines. -Wu Hsin
    deleted deleted
    26-30
    Oct 10, 2015

    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...
    DropsOfRain DropsOfRain
    26-30, F
    Oct 24, 2015
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