Drop all 'isms'
Mind of a Sage
Judging a saint
The Fake Monk
Zen Sage & Thief
Zen Master in Jail
The Game of Chess
Innocence is Divine
Knowledge is Trouble
Respond with awareness
3 set of
You are already a Buddha
Sound of one Hand Clapping
Master waits 4 right Moment
- Stories 1 - 2
- Stories 3 - 4
- Stories 5 - 7
- Stories 8-9
- Stories 10
- Stories 11
- Stories 12-14
- Stories 15-16
- Stories 17-18
- Stories 19 - 21
- Stories 22 - 24
- Stories 25 - 27
- Stories 28 - 32
- Stories 33 - 36
- Stories 37 - 38
- Stories 39 - 41
- Stories 42 - 44
- Stories 45 - 46
- Stories 47 - 48
- Stories 49 - 50
- Stories 51 - 53
- Stories 54 - 56
- Stories 57 - 59
- Stories 60 - 61
- Stories 62 - 64
- Stories 65 - 66
- Stories 67 - 68
- Stories 69 - 72
- Stories 73 - 75
- Stories 76 - 78
- Stories 79 - 82
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- Stories 90 - 91
- Stories 92 - 94
- Stories 95 - 97
- Stories 98 -101
67. What Are You Doing!
What Are You Saying!
In modern times a great deal of nonsense is talked about masters and
disciples, and about the inheritance of a master's teaching by
favorite pupils, entitling them to pass the truth on to their
Of course Zen should be imparted in this way, from heart to heart,
and in the past it was really accomplished. Silence and humility
reigned rather than profession
and assertion. The one who received such a teaching kept the matter
hidden even after twenty years.
Not until another discovered through his own need that a real master
was at hand was it learned that the teaching had been imparted, and
even then the occasion arose quite naturally and the teaching made
its way in its own right. Under no circumstance did the teacher ever
claim 'I am the successor of So-and-so.'
Such a claim would prove quite the contrary The Zen master Mu-nan
had only one successor. His name was Shoju. After Shoju had
completed his study of Zen. Munan called him into his room. 'I am
getting old,' he said, 'and as far as I know Shoju, you are the only
one who will carry out this teaching. Here is a book. It has been
passed down from master to master for seven generations. I also have
added many points according to my understanding. The book is very
valuable and I am giving it to you to represent your successor
'If the book is such an important thing, you had better keep it,'
Shoju replied.’ I received your Zen without writing and am satisfied
with it as it is.'
‘I know that,' said Mu-nan. 'Even so, this work has been carried
from master to master for seven generations, so you may keep it as a
symbol of having received the teaching. Here.'
The two happened to be talking before a brazier. The instant Shoju
felt the book in his hands he thrust it into the flaming coals. He
had no lust for possessions.
Mu-nan who never had been angry before yelled: 'What are you doing!'
Shoju shouted back: 'What are you saying!'
68. One Note of Zen
After Kakua visited the emperor he disappeared and no one knew what
became of him. He was the first Japanese to study Zen in China, but
since he showed nothing of it, save one note, he is not remembered
for having brought Zen into his
Kakua visited China and accepted the true teaching. He did not
travel while he was there. Meditating constantly, he lived on a
remote part of a mountain.
Whenever people found him and asked him to preach he would say a few
words and then move to another part of the mountain where he could
be found less easily. The emperor heard about Kakua when he returned
to Japan and asked him to preach Zen for his edification and that of
Kakua stood before the emperor in silence. He then produced a flute
from the folds of his robe and blew one short note. Bowing politely,