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
17. Stingy in Teaching
A young physician in Tokyo named Kusuda met a college friend who had
been studying Zen. The young doctor asked him what Zen was.
'I cannot tell you what it is,' the friend replied, 'but one thing
is certain. If you understand Zen, you will not be afraid to die.'
That's fine: said Kusuda. “I will try it. Where can I find a
'Go to the master Nan-in,' the friend told him.
So Kusuda went to call on Nan-in. He carried a dagger nine and a
half inches long to determine whether or not the teacher himself was
afraid to die.When Nan-in saw Kusuda he exclaimed: 'Hello, friend.
How are you? We haven't seen each other for a long time!'
This perplexed Kusuda, who replied: 'We have never met before.'
‘That’s right,' answered Nan-in. I mistook you for another physician
who is receiving instruction here.'
With such a beginning, Kusuda lost his chance to test the master, so
reluctantly be asked if he might receive Zen instruction.
Nan-in said: 'Zen is not a difficult task. If you are a physician,
treat your patients with kindness. That is Zen.'
Kusuda visited Nan-in three times. Each time Nan-in told him the
same thing.' A physician should not waste time around here. Go home
and take care of your patients.'
It was not yet clear to Kusuda how such teaching could remove the
fear of death. So on his fourth visit he complained: 'My friend told
me when one learns Zen one loses his fear of death. Each time I come
here all you tell me is to take care
of my patients. I know that much. If that is your so-called Zen, I
am not going to visit you any more.'
Nan-in smiled and patted the doctor. ‘I have been too strict with
you. Let me give you a koan.' He presented Kusuda with Joshu’s Mu to
work over, which is the first mind-enlightening problem in the book
called The Gateless Gate.
Kusuda pondered this problem of Mu (No-thing) for two years. At
length he thought he had reached certainty of mind.
But his teacher commented: "You are not in yet.'
Kusuda continued in concentration for another year and a half. His
mind became placid. Problems dissolved. No-thing became the truth.
He served his patients well and, without even knowing it, be was
free from concern over life and death. Then when he visited Nan-in
his old teacher just smiled.
18. A Parable
Buddha told a parable in a sutra: A man traveling across a field
encountered a tiger. He fled, the tiger after him. Coming to a
precipice, he caught hold of the root of a wild vine and swung
himself down over the edge. The tiger sniffed at him
from above. Trembling, the man looked down to where, far below,
mother tiger was waiting to eat him. Only the vine sustained him.
Two mice one white and one black, little by little started to gnaw
away the vine. The man saw a luscious strawberry near him. Grasping
the vine with one hand, he plucked the strawberry with the other.
How sweet it tasted!