101 Zen Stories

Discussion in 'Eastern Philosophy' started by EvilPoet, Oct 17, 2002.

  1. Weiser_Dub Registered Senior Member

    The Tao is like a well:
    used but never used up.
    It is like the eternal void:
    filled with infinite possibilities....

    The Tao is called the Great Mother,
    empty yet inexhaustible,
    it gives birth to infinite worlds.

    It is always present within you.
    You can use it any way you want.
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  3. EvilPoet I am what I am Registered Senior Member

    The Tao doesn't take sides;
    it gives birth to both good and evil.
    The Master doesn't take sides;
    she welcomes both saints and sinners.

    The Tao is like a bellows:
    it is empty yet infinitely capable.
    The more you use it, the more it produces;
    the more you talk of it, the less you understand.

    Hold on to the center.

    Source: Tao Te Ching

    Man Is Born In Tao

    Fishes are born in water
    Man is born in Tao.
    If fishes, born in water,
    Seek the deep shadow
    Of pond and pool,
    All their needs
    Are satisfied.
    If man, born in Tao,
    Sinks into the deep shadow
    Of non-action
    To forget aggression and concern,
    He lacks nothing
    His life is secure.

    Moral: "All the fish needs
    Is to get lost in water.
    All man needs is to get lost
    In Tao."

    [vi. II.]

    Source: The Way Of Chuang Tzu
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  5. EvilPoet I am what I am Registered Senior Member


    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.

    Source: Zen Stories To Tell Your Neighbors
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  7. EvilPoet I am what I am Registered Senior Member


    One day the Master announced that a young monk had reached
    an advanced state of enlightment. The news caused some stir.
    Some of the monks went to see the young monk. "We heard you
    are enlightened. Is that true?" they asked.

    "It is," he replied.

    "And how do you feel?"

    "As miserable as ever," said the monk.

    Source: Zen Stories To Tell Your Neighbors
  8. EvilPoet I am what I am Registered Senior Member


    National Teacher Daito Kokushi, whose honorific name means "Great Lamp. Teacher of the Nation," was one of the founders of the renowned O-To-Kan school of Rinzai Zen. He died in the fourteenth century.

    According to the custom of ancient Zen Schools, Daito disappeared from the monastery after his enlightenment, to mature his realization hidden in the midst of the world.

    It was not until years later that he was discovered living under a bridge in Kyoto, in the society of homeless beggars. From there he became a teacher of the emperor.

    Daito once wrote a poem about his life as an outcast:

    When one sits in meditation,
    one sees the people
    coming and going
    over the avenue bridge
    as trees growing deep in the mountains.

    Source: Zen Antics
  9. EvilPoet I am what I am Registered Senior Member

    What Is Water?

    "Mother, what is water?" asked the baby fish of the mother fish.
    "Water is what you swim in. Water is what you're mostly made of."
    "But where is it?"
    "All around you."
    "But I can't see it," said the baby.
    "Of course, you can."
    "And I'm made of water?"
    "And after I die . . ."
    "You go back to being water," said the mother.
    "kind of like Buddha mind?" asked the youngster.
    "Sometimes you amaze me, Junior," said the mother.

    Source: Zen Fables For Today
  10. EvilPoet I am what I am Registered Senior Member

    Birth and Death

    Goshu came to Zen master Yui-e and said, "I have been studying Zen for many years, but have not yet succeeded. Please give me some guidance."

    Yui-e said, "There is no secret trick to Zen study. It's just a matter of freedom from birth and death."

    Goshu asked, "How does one pass through birth and death to freedom?"

    Raising his voice, Yui-e said, "Your every passing thought is birth and death!"

    At these words Goshu went into ecstacy, feeling as if he had put down a heavy burden.

    Source: Zen Antics
    datefruit likes this.
  11. EvilPoet I am what I am Registered Senior Member

    The Real Miracle

    When Bankei was preaching at Ryumon temple, a Shinshu priest, who believed in salvation through repetition of the name of the Buddha of Love, was jealous of his large audience and wanted to debate with him.

    Bankei was in the midst of a talk when the priest appeared, but the fellow made such a disturbance that Bankei stopped his discourse and asked about the noise.

    "The founder of our sect," boasted the priest, "had such miraculous powers that he held a brush in his hand on one bank of the river, his attendant held up a paper on the other bank, and the teacher wrote the holy name of Amida through the air. Can you do such a wonderful thing?"

    Bankei replied lightly: "Perhaps your fox can perform that trick, but that is not the manner of Zen. My miracle is that when I feel hungry I eat, and when I feel thirsty I drink."

    Source: Zen Flesh, Zen Bones
  12. EvilPoet I am what I am Registered Senior Member

    Joshu's Dog

    A monk asked Joshu, a Chinese Zen master: `Has a dog Buddha-nature or not?'

    Joshu answered: "Mu." [Mu is the negative symbol in Chinese, meaning "No-thing" or "Nay".]

    Mumon's comment: To realize Zen one has to pass through the barrier of the patriachs. Enlightenment always comes after the road of thinking is blocked. If you do not pass the barrier of the patriachs or if your thinking road is not blocked, whatever you think, whatever you do, is like a tangling ghost. You may ask: What is a barrier of a patriach? This one word, Mu, is it.

    This is the barrier of Zen. If you pass through it you will see Joshu face to face. Then you can work hand in hand with the whole line of patriachs. Is this not a pleasant thing to do?

    If you want to pass this barrier, you must work through every bone in your body, through ever pore in your skin, filled with this question: What is Mu? and carry it day and night. Do not believe it is the common negative symbol meaning nothing. It is not nothingness, the opposite of existence. If you really want to pass this barrier, you should feel like drinking a hot iron ball that you can neither swallor nor spit out.

    Then your previous lesser knowledge disappears. As a fruit ripening in season, your subjectivity and objectivity naturally become one. It is like a dumb man who has had a dream. He knows about it but cannot tell it.

    When he enters this condition his ego-shell is crushed and he can shake the heaven and move the earth. He is like a great warrior with a sharp sword. If a Buddha stands in his way, he will cut him down; if a patriach offers him any obstacle, he will kill him; and he will be free in this way of birth and death. He can enter any world as if it were his own playground. I will tell you how to do this with this koan:

    Just concentrate your whole energy into this Mu, and do not allow any discontinuation. When you enter this Mu and there is no discontinuation, your attainment will be as a candle burning and illuminating the whole universe.

    Has a dog Buddha-nature?
    This is the most serious question of all.
    If you say yes or no,
    You lose your own Buddha-nature.

    Source: Zen Flesh, Zen Bones

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    Please note: This is the last story I will
    be posting to this thread. Why? Cause it's
    the 101st.
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  13. Dave the Druid Registered Senior Member

    Just a little bit more?

    Hi Evilpoet

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    I know yours was the last 101st but isn't this just too much fun to abandon?

    Empty yourself of everything.
    Let the mind rest at peace.
    The ten thousand things rise and fall while the Self watches their return.
    They grow and flourish and then return to the source.
    Returning to the source is stillness, which is the way of nature.
    The way of nature is unchanging.
    Knowing constancy is insight.
    Not knowing constancy leads to disaster.
    Knowing constancy, the mind is open.
    With an open mind, you will be openhearted.
    Being openhearted, you will act royally.
    Being royal, you will attain the divine.
    Being divine, you will be at one with the Tao.
    Being at one with the Tao is eternal.
    And though the body dies, the Tao will
  14. yesemina Registered Senior Member

    Just thought I'd comment; some of these stories are so beautiful! Reading these sets me to peace. Thank you!
  15. Dave the Druid Registered Senior Member

    Peace be yours

    Dave the Druid
  16. teamaster Registered Member

    This is the coolest thread.

  17. Lykan Golden Sparkler Registered Senior Member

    "The boat is coming to take me home because I have failed in my studies here at the monastery," said the boy to his teacher. "What can I say to my family?"

    "Say that you did your best and that is as much as anyone can do," answered the teacher.

    "But I wanted to be a famous monk and teach others."

    "You can."

    "How?" asked the sad boy.

    "Live from your heart. I will show you. Do you see that boat making its way across the lake with the sun setting behind it?"


    "Do you see its wake spreading across the lake? See how the boat looks like the apex of a golden triangle as the wake fans out from its bow."

    "Sort of."

    "Squint," said the teacher. "That boat is you as you leave the monastery. The lake is your life. The wake is the effect that you will have on the world. Each ripple triggers another ripple, which triggers another. By constantly striving to live as wise and loving of a life as you can, you can teach the path of love to everyone you meet simply by being yourself; a few of these people will pass on your good example to others. Thus the expanding golden wake of good works begets other good works. Most important, notice how each ripple catches the sun and bounces its light back to heaven..."

    "Would you come home with me and explain all of this to my father?" asked the boy.
  18. One Guest

    Great stuff guys... Thats the first time I've actually sat down and read a 17 page thread from start to finish in one sitting! Although I agree wholeheartedly with buddhist philosophy I haven't studied a lot of buddhist teachings, so this question may seem stupid and obvious to those more informed than myself, but I'll ask anyway... Does Buddhist philosohy run parrallel and inclusive with the concept of a higher power (god, allah, gaia). Is karma considered to BE this higher power or merely the tools USED by a higher power?
  19. EvilPoet I am what I am Registered Senior Member


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    Hope this helps answer your questions ...

    Nope, there is no all-powerful God in Buddhism.
    Here is a link that shows the differences from
    other religions: Buddhism and other religions

    As far as karma goes - The Buddha said:

    "According to the seed that’s sown,
    So is the fruit you reap there from,
    Doer of good will gather good,
    Doer of evil, evil reaps,
    Down is the seed and thou shalt taste
    The fruit thereof."
    -Samyutta Nikaya

    Here is a link that I got the above quote from
    and goes into a lot more detail about it:
    Theory of Karma
  20. One Guest

    Yep, thanx!

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    Thats answered questions but created more questions! I'll give the whole site a good read when I get the chance... What's the Buddhist theory of creation?

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    ...and what do they do for fun in the land of Devas?

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  21. EvilPoet I am what I am Registered Senior Member

    You're welcome One, glad what I posted helped.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    Buddhist philosophy is evolutionary and so agrees with
    science. Here are a couple of links on that and Buddhist
    cosmology if your interested in reading more about it:

    Evolution No Threat to Buddhism

    Dali Lama - questions on Creation

    Buddhist Cosmology

    What do they do for fun in the land of Devas? Don't know,
    you will have to ask someone who lives in Deva-land.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

  22. Siddhartha Registered Senior Member

    There are certainly a lot of stories here. I wonder how many of them have been read.
  23. Radioactive Clown Registered Member

    Fantastic Thread

    I too read the whole thread in one sitting. Thank you for sharing.

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