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
12. Happy Chinaman
Anyone walking about Chinatowns in America will observe statues of a
stout fellow carrying a linen sack. Chinese merchants call him Happy
Chinaman or Laughing Buddha.
This Hotei lived in the T’ang dynasty. He had no desire to call
himself a Zen master or to gather many disciples about him. Instead
he walked the streets with a big sack into which he would put gifts
of candy, fruit, or doughnuts. These he
would give to children who gathered around him in play. He
established a kindergarten of the streets.
Whenever he met a Zen devotee he would extend his hand and say:
'Give me one penny.' And if anyone asked him to return to a temple
to teach others, again he would reply: 'Give me one penny.’
Once as he was about his play work another Zen master happened along
and inquired: 'What is the significance of Zen?'
Hotei immediately plopped his sack down on the ground in silent
‘Then,' asked the other, 'what is the actualization of Zen?'
At once the Happy Chinaman swung the sack over his shoulder and
continued on his way.
13. A Buddha
In Tokyo in the Meiji era there lived two prominent teachers of
opposite characteristics. One, Unsho, an instructor in Shingon, kept
Buddha's precepts scrupulously. He never drank intoxicants, nor did
he eat after eleven o'clock in the morning.
The other teacher, Tanzan, a professor of philosophy at the Imperial
University, never observed the precepts. When he felt like eating he
ate, and when he felt like sleeping in the daytime he slept.
One day Unsho visited Tanzan, who was drinking wine at the time, not
even a drop of which is supposed to touch the tongue of a Buddhist.
'Hello, brother,' Tanzan greeted him. 'Won't you have a drink?'
'I never drink!' exclaimed Unsho solemnly.
'One who does not drink is not even human,’ said Tanzan.
'Do you mean to call me inhuman just because I do not indulge in
intoxicating liquids!' exclaimed Unsho in anger. Then if I am not
human, what am I?'
'A Buddha.' answered Tanzan.
14. Muddy Road
Tanzan and Ekido were once traveling together down a muddy road. A
heavy rain was still falling. Coming around a bend, they met a
lovely girl in a silk kimono and sash, unable to cross the
'Come on, girl,' said Tanzan at once. Lifting her in his arms, he
carried her over the mud. Ekido did not speak again until that night
when they reached a lodging temple. Then he no longer could restrain
'We monks don't go near females.' He told Tanzan, especially not
young and lovely ones. It is dangerous. Why did you do that?'
'I left the girl there,' said Tanzan. 'Are you still carrying her?'