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
92. Fire-Poker Zen
Hakuin used to tell his pupils about an old woman who had a teashop,
praising her understanding of Zen. The pupils refused to believe
what he told them and would go to the teashop to find out for
Whenever the woman saw them coming she could tell it once whether
they had come for tea or to look into her grasp of Zen.
In the former case, she would serve them graciously. In the latter,
she would beckon to the pupils to come behind her screen. The
instant they obeyed, she would strike than with a fire-poker. Nine
out of ten of them could not escape her beating.
93. Storyteller's Zen
Encho was a famous storyteller. His tales of love stirred the hearts
of his listeners. When he narrated a story of war, it was as if the
listeners themselves were on the field of battle.
One day Encho met Yamaoka Tesshu, a layman who had almost embraced
master hood in Zen. 'I understand,' said Yamaoka, 'you are the best
storyteller in our land and that you make people cry or laugh at
will. Tell me my favorite story of the Peach Boy. When I was a
little tot I used to sleep beside my mother, and she often related
this legend. In the
middle of the story I would fall asleep. Tell it to me just is my
Encho dared not attempt to do this. He requested time to study.
Several months later he went to Yamaoka and said, 'Please give me
the opportunity to tell you the story. 'Some other day,' answered
Encho was keenly disappointed. He studied further and tried again.
Yamaoka rejected him many times. When Encho would start to talk
Yamaoka would stop him, saying: 'You are not yet like my mother.'
It took Encho five years to be able to tell Yamaoka the legend as
his mother had told it to him. In this way, Yamaoka imparted Zen to
94. Midnight Excursion
Many pupils were studying meditation under the Zen master Sengai.
One of them used to arise at night, climb over the temple wall, and
go to town on a pleasure jaunt.
Sengai, inspecting the dormitory quarters, found this pupil missing
one night and also discovered the high stool he had used to scale
the wall. Sengai removed the stool and stood there in its place.
When the wanderer returned, not knowing that Sengai was the stool he
put his feet on the master's head and jumped down into the grounds.
Discovering what he had done, he was aghast.
Sengai said: 'It is very chilly in the early morning. Do be careful
not to catch cold yourself.' The pupil never went out at night