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Collection of Zen Stories (Part 2)

Zen Story 50

Zen Master Hongyi had an excellent attitude in the way he looked at food. One day, Xia Mianzun, a well-known educator of that time, saw the venerable eating his dinner. The venerable ate a simple dinner consisting of a single dish of pickled vegetables. Feeling sorry for the venerable, Xia Mianzun asked, “Don’t you think that the pickled vegetables are too salty?”

Venerable Hongyi replied, “A salty taste has its own appeal.”

After dinner, the venerable poured himself a glass of water to drink. With his eyebrows knit, Mr. Xiao asked, “Why not drink a cup of tea? Water is so bland.”

Smiling, the venerable replied, “Blandness has its own taste, too.”



Zen Story 51

Shubhti was one of Buddha's disciples. He was able to understand the potency of emptiness- the viewpoint that nothing exists except in its relationship of subjectivity and objectivity.

One day when Subhuti was sitting under a tree in a mood of sublime emptiness, flowers began to fall around him.

'We are praising you for your discourse on emptiness,' the gods whispered to him.

' But I have not spoken of emptiness,' said Subhuti.

'You have not spoken of emptiness, we have not heard emptiness,' responded the gods. 'This is true emptiness.'

And blossoms showered upon Subhuti like rain.

Yes, IT HAPPENS. It is not a metaphor, it is a fact- so don't take the story metaphorically. It is literally true... because the whole of existence feels happy, blissful, ecstatic when even one individual soul achieves the ultimate.


And the flowers showered,
(Discourses on ZEN)



Zen Story 52



Zen Story 53



Zen Story 54



Zen Story 55



Zen Story 56



Zen Story 57



Zen Story 58

Destroy all that binds and makes you slave.
Drop everything that stands between you and yourself.

~Zen master Hsuan Chien



Zen Story 59

Zen Master Bodhidharma is attributed as
the founder of Ch’an and Zen Buddhism.



Zen Story 60



Zen Story 61

Many paths lead from
The foot of the mountain
But at the peak
We all gaze at the
Single bright moon

~ Ikkyu



Zen Story 62

--The Mind--

Tokusan (782-865) was a famous scholar, praised especially for his commentaries on the Diamond Sutra. He was invited to lecture far and wide, and as he traveled he carried the scrolls containing his notes and commentaries with him.

One day he heard about some teachings of the Zen school on the Diamond Sutra that clearly were wrong, he thought, so he traveled to the monastery of Zen Master Ryutan to set the master straight. On his way there he found a small tea shop where snacks were sold. Since he was hungry he decided to buy a bean cake or some other small snack.

The old woman running the shop asked him, "What are you carrying in the cart, Your Reverence?" He told her proudly, "They are the notes and commentaries on the Diamond Sutra." "Is that so?" the old woman said. "Then I would like to ask you a question. If you can answer it, I'll treat you to a bean cake. If not, I won't even let you buy one!"

"Ask me whatever you like," Tokusan said.

The old woman said, "I hear that it is said in that sutra, 'The past mind cannot be caught; the present mind cannot be caught; the future mind cannot be caught.' With what mind are you going to eat the bean cake?"

“Gulp!” said Tokusan, “Ah, that's delicious!”



Zen Story 63



Zen Story 64



Zen Story 65


If you use your mind to study reality, you won't understand either your mind or reality. If you study reality without using your mind, you'll understand both.



Zen Story 66



Zen Story 67



Zen Story 68



Zen Story 69



Zen Story 70

Someone asked, ‘What is the meaning of the Patriarch’s coming from the West?’

‘The wind blows and the sun dries,’ said Zen Master Shoushan Shengnian.



Zen Story 71

The Meaning

A monk asked, "What is the meaning of the coming from the West?"

Zen Master Lingyun Zhiqin of Fuzhou replied, "At the bottom of a well, to plant an orchard of crab apples."

"The student does not understand," said the monk.

"This year peaches and plums are very expensive - a thousand gold pieces for just one," said the master.


No one can tell you the meaning or goal of life. You have to find it yourself.

A Buddhist is so stupid that if someone tells him that the goal of life is to become a Buddha, he is ready to believe. A Christian is so stupid that if someone tells him that the goal of life is to go to the kingdom of God, then he is very eager to believe. Same is the stupidity of all religions!

A question without answer hurts. So people are very eager to believe in whatever crap answer is given by scriptures!

A person with such an attitude is STRICTLY not welcome in Zen. No! A Zen Master will not give you any answer. He will give you a quest to explore yourself. He will go on confusing you unless you stop seeking outside and start looking within. Meditation is nothing but just looking within!

Seeking is arduous. It costs more than one thousand gold - it asks for your life - you have to devote whole life on meditation. Believing is very easy. You don't need to pay anything at all!

Don't be a believer. Leave this stupidity for religious people. Be a seeker. Be a meditator!



Zen Story 72



Zen Story 73



Zen Story 74



Zen Story 75



Zen Story 76



Zen Story 77



Zen Story 78



Zen Story 79



Zen Story 80



Zen Part 1 | Zen Part 2 | Zen Part 3 | Zen Part 4 | Zen Part 5 |
Zen Part 6 | Zen Part 7 | Zen Part 8 | Zen Part 9 | Zen Part 10 |

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