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
- Stories 83 - 86
- Stories 87 - 89
- Stories 90 - 91
- Stories 92 - 94
- Stories 95 - 97
- Stories 98 -101
90. The Last Rap
Tangen had studied with Sengai since childhood. When he was twenty
he wanted to have his teacher and visit others for comparative
study, but Sengai would not permit this.
Every time Tangen suggested it, Sengai would give him a rap on the
head. Finally Tangen asked an elder brother to coax permission from
Sengai. This the brother did and then reported to Tangen:
'It is arranged. I have fixed it for you to start on your pilgrimage
Tangen went to Sengai to thank him for his permission. The master
answered by giving him another rap. When Tangen related this to his
elder brother the other said: 'What is the matter? Sengai has no
business giving permission and then changing his mind. I will tell
And off he went to see the teacher. 'I did not cancel my
permission,' said Sengai. 'I just wished to give him one last smack
over the head, for when he returns he will be enlightened and I will
not be able to reprimand him again.'
91. The Taste of Banzo's Sword
Matajuro Yagyu was the son of a famous swordsman. His father,
believing that his son's work was too mediocre to anticipate
mastership, disowned him. So Matajuro went to Mount Fuhra and there
found the famous swordsman Banzo.
But Banzo confirmed the father's judgment. ‘You wish to learn
swordsmanship under my guidance?' asked Banzo. ‘You cannot fulfill
'But if I work hard, how many years will it take me to be come a
master?’ persisted the youth.
‘The rest of your life,' replied Banzo.
‘I cannot wait that long,' explained Matajuro. 'I am willing to pass
through any hardship if only you will teach me. If I become your
devoted servant, how long might it be?'
'Oh, maybe ten years,' Banzo relented.
'My father is getting old, and soon I must take care of him,'
continued Matajuro. 'If I work far more intensively, how long would
it take me!'
'Oh, maybe thirty years.' said Banzo.
'Why is that?' asked Matajuro. 'First you say ten and now thirty
years. I will undergo any hardship to master this art in the
‘Well,' said Banzo, 'in that case you will have to remain with me
for seventy years. A man in such a hurry as you are to get results
seldom learns quickly.’
'Very well.' declared the youth, understanding at last that he was
being rebuked for impatience, 'I agree.'
Matajuro was told never to speak of fencing and never to touch a
sword. He cooked for his master, washed the dishes, made his bed,
and cleaned the yard, cared for the garden, all without a word of
Three years passed. Still Matajuro labored on. Thinking of his
future he was sad. He had not even begun to learn the art to which
he had devoted his life. But one day Banzo crept up behind him and
gave him a terrific blow with a wooden sword.
The following day, when Matajuro was cooking rice, Banzo, again
sprang upon him unexpectedly.
After that, day and night, Matajuro had to defend himself from
Not a moment passed in any day that he did not have to think of the
taste of Banzo's sword.
He learned so rapidly he brought smiles to the face of his master.
Matajuro became the greatest swordsman in the land.