Stories, tales and items of amusement

14 years 2 months ago #26121 by Garm

On a visit to the East Coast, Suzuki Roshi arrived at the meeting place of the Cambridge Buddhist Society to find everyone scrubbing down the interior in anticipation of his visit.

They were surprised to see him, because he had written that he would arrive on the following day.

He tied back the sleeves of his robe and insisted on joining the preparations \"for the grand day of my arrival.\"

Taken from \"To Shine One Corner of the World: Moments with Shunryu Suzuki: Stories of a Zen Teacher Told by His Students\"

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14 years 2 months ago #26122 by Garm
Two Zen monks were walking down the road.

First monk says: \"These pine trees are magnificent.\"

The second monk slaps him across the face.

First monk: \"Why did you do that?\"

\"I'm a Zen monk so I can get away with all kinds of weird stuff like that.\"


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14 years 2 months ago #26136 by Garm

There is a story about a princess who had a small eye problem that she felt was really bad. Being the king's daughter, she was rather spoiled and kept crying all the time. When the doctors wanted to apply medicine, she would invariably refuse any medical treatment and kept touching the sore spot on her eye. In this way it became worse and worse, until finally the king proclaimed a large reward for whoever could cure his daughter. After some time, a man arrived who claimed to be a famous physician, but actually was not even a doctor.

He declared that he could definitely cure the princess and was admitted to her chamber. After he had examined her, he exclaimed, \"Oh, I'm so sorry!\" \"What is it?\" the princess inquired. The doctor said, \"There is nothing much wrong with your eye, but there is something else that is really serious.\" The princess was alarmed and asked, \"What on earth is so serious?\" He hesitated and said, \"It is really bad. I shouldn't tell you about it.\" No matter how much she insisted, he refused to tell her, saying that he could not speak without the king's permission.

When the king arrived, the doctor was still reluctant to reveal his findings. Finally the king commanded, \"Tell us what is wrong. Whatever it is, you have to tell us!\" At last the doctor said, \"Well, the eye will get better within a few days - that is no problem. The big problem is that the princess will grow a tail, which will become at least nine fathoms long. It may start growing very soon. If she can detect the first moment it appears, I might be able to prevent it from growing.\" At this news everyone was deeply concerned. And the princess, what did she do? She stayed in bed, day and night, directing all her attention to detecting when the tail might appear. Thus, after a few days, her eye got well.

This shows how we usually react. We focus on our little problems and it becomes the center around which everything else revolves. We think, \"My wishes, my interests, my likes and dislikes come first!\"
As long as we function on this basis, we will remain unchanged. Driven by impulses of desire and rejection, we will travel the roads of samsara without finding a way out.

As long as attachment and aversion are our sources of living and drive us onward, we cannot rest.

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14 years 2 months ago #26148 by Garm

One day a young Buddhist on his journey home, came to the banks of a wide river. Staring hopelessly at the great obstacle in front of him, he pondered for hours on just how to cross such a wide barrier.

Just as he was about to give up his pursuit to continue his journey he saw a great teacher on the other side of the river. The young Buddhist yells over to the teacher, \"Oh wise one, can you tell me how to get to the other side of this river\"?

The teacher ponders for a moment looks up and down the river and yells back, \"My son, you are on the other side\".

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14 years 2 months ago #26154 by Garm

A friend was walking down a deserted Mexican beach at sunset. As he walked along, he began to see another man in the distance. As he grew nearer, he noticed that the local native kept leaning down, picking something up and throwing it out into the water. Time and again he kept hurling things out into the ocean. As my friend approached even closer, he noticed that the man was picking up starfish that had washed up on the beach, and, one at a time, he was throwing them back into the water. My friend was puzzled.

He approached the man and said. \"Good evening, friend. I was wondering what you are doing.\"

\"I'm throwing these starfish back into the ocean. You see, it's low tide right now and all of these starfish have been washed up onto the shore. If I don't throw them back into the sea, they'll die up here from lack of oxygen.\"

\"I understand,\" my friend replied, \"but there must be thousands of starfish on this beach. You can't possibly get to all of them. There are simply too many. And don't you realize this is probably happening on hundreds of beaches all up and down this coast. Can't you see that you can't possibly make a difference?\"

The local native smiled, bent down and picked up yet another starfish, and as he threw it back into the sea, he replied, \"Made a difference to that one!\"

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14 years 1 month ago #26305 by Garm
Two monks were returning to the monastery in the evening. It had rained and there were puddles of water on the road sides. At one place a beautiful young woman was standing unable to walk accross because of a puddle of water. The elder of the two monks went up to a her lifted her in his alms and left her on the other side of the road, and continued his way to the monastery.
In the evening the younger monk came to the elder monk and said, \"Sir, as monks, we cannot touch a woman ?\"
The elder monk answered \"yes, brother\".
Then the younger monk asks again, \" but then Sir, how is that you lifted that woman on the roadside ?\"
The elder monk smiled at him and told him \" I left her on the other side of the road, but you are still carrying her \"

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