Category Zen

Dealing with an uneasy mind

I have been quoting again and again Bodhidharma. He went to China, and the emperor of China went to see him. And the emperor said, “My mind is very uneasy, very disturbed. You are a great sage, and I have been waiting for you. Tell me what I should do to put my mind at […]

A monkey came to Buddha.

A monkey came to Buddha, and he was no ordinary monkey. He was a king, a king of monkeys — that means absolutely a monkey.The monkey said to Buddha, “I would like to become a Buddha.” Buddha said, “I have never heard of anybody having ever become a Buddha while remaining a monkey.The monkey said, […]

To marry a beautiful woman

There is a beautiful Buddhist story in China. In a certain town a very beautiful young lady suddenly arrived out of the blue. Nobody knew from where she came; her whereabouts were completely unknown. But she was so beautiful, so enchantingly beautiful, that nobody even thought about where she had come from. People gathered together, […]

A man on the hilltop

There is a very famous Zen story: A man was standing on a hilltop. Three persons saw him; they started arguing about him, about what he was doing there. One said ‘He must have lost his cow — I know that man — and he must be looking for his cow from the hilltop.’ And […]

A borrowed light

There is a very famous zen story about a disciple who had come to see his master. The master lives on a hilltop in a dense forest. It is evening, the sun is setting, and the disciple thinks many times to leave the master and go back because he has to pass through miles of […]

Golden leaves

Once a Zen master was teaching the art of gardening to the king of Japan. After three years of teaching he said, “Now I will come and see your garden — that will be the examination of what you have done in these three years.” And he told him before that “Whatsoever you are learning […]

You have stolen my heart💓

Let me tell you a Zen anecdote about a burglar who entered the house of a Zen master to rob him. The master not only made no move to stop him, but aided him in his search, suggesting things he might take. The burglar, wondering what kind of man this was who would help himself […]

The Next Step

I have heard one story about Hotei, a Zen master. One day he was passing through a village. On his shoulders he always carried a very big bag full of many toys, chocolates and sweets for children. Somebody asked him, ”Hotei, we have heard that you are just playing a role, acting. We have heard […]

What is the sound of one hand clapping?

A small boy, just ten or twelve years of age, lived in a Zen monastery. Every day he would see many seekers coming to the master to ask for help, methods, techniques, guidance. He also became attracted, so one day he also came in the morning in the same way a seeker comes to a […]

Appointment with April!!

I have heard…. Thirty-eight years ago, philosopher George Santayana came into a sizeable legacy and was able to relinquish his post on the Harvard faculty. The classroom was packed for his final appearance, and Santayana did himself proud. He was about to conclude his remarks when he caught sight of a forsythia uncurling in a […]