Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Three Zen Stories

Stick Snap
Originally uploaded by Seeking Tao.
Zen stories have a way of confusing me. But, then, I guess that is the whole point. I came across these three that I like. One or two relate to issues I've thought about.

What do you think? I invite comments.

Man of Tao

A student once asked, "What is the difference between a Man of Tao and a little man?" The Zen Master replied, "It is simple. When the little man becomes a student, he can hardly wait to run home and shout at the top of his voice to tell everyone. Upon hearing the words of the master, he will climb to the rooftops and shout to the people. Upon learning the ways of the master, he will parade through town telling one and all about his new knowledge".
The Zen Master continues, "When the Man of Tao becomes a student, he will bow his head in gratitude. Upon hearing the words of the master, he will bow his head and his shoulders. Upon learning the ways of the master, he will bow to the waist and quietly walk alongside the wall so that people will not see him or notice him".


One day the Master announced that a young monk had reached an advanced state of enlightment. The news caused some stir. Some of the monks went to see the young monk. "We heard you are enlightened. Is that true?" they asked.
"It is," he replied.
"And how do you feel?"
"As miserable as ever," said the monk.

Sounds of Silence

Four monks decided to meditate silently without speaking for two weeks. By nightfall on the first day, the candle began to flicker and then went out. The first monk said, "Oh, no! The candle is out." The second monk said, "Aren't we not suppose to talk?" The third monk said, "Why must you two break the silence?" The fourth monk laughed and said, "Ha! I'm the only one who didn't speak."

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