Elephant and Flea

Buddha palms

Roshi Kapleau agreed to educate a group of psychoanalysts about Zen. After being introduced to the group by the director of the analytic institute, the Roshi quietly sat down upon a cushion placed on the floor. Continue reading “Elephant and Flea”

Finding a Diamond on a Muddy Road

Diamond-rhys-jenkins

Gudo was the emperor’s teacher of his time. Nevertheless, he used to travel alone as a wandering mendicant. Once when he was on his way to Edo, the cultural and political center of the shogunate, he approached a little village named Takenaka. It was evening and a heavy rain was falling. Gudo was thoroughly wet. His straw sandals were in pieces. At a farmhouse near the village he noticed four or five pairs of sandals in the window and decided to buy some dry ones. Continue reading “Finding a Diamond on a Muddy Road”

Great Waves

Mountain range with lake

In the early days of the Meiji era there lived a well-known wrestler called O-nami, Great Waves. O-nami was immensely strong and knew the art of wrestling. In his private bouts he defeated even his teacher, but in public he was so bashful that his own pupils threw him. Continue reading “Great Waves”

Destiny

destiny_pixabay

During a momentous battle, a Japanese general decided to attack even though his army was greatly outnumbered. He was confident they would win, but his men were filled with doubt. On the way to the battle, they stopped at a religious shrine. After praying with the men, the general took out a coin and said, “I shall now toss this coin. If it is heads, we shall win. If tails, we shall lose. Destiny will now reveal itself.” Continue reading “Destiny”

Wanting God

River-manu-schwendener

A hermit was meditating by a river when a young man interrupted him. “Master, I wish to become your disciple,” said the man. “Why?” replied the hermit. The young man thought for a moment. “Because I want to find God.” Continue reading “Wanting God”

Anger and Lust

Feeding-pigeons-birte-liu

One day, the sultan came across a scholar and asked him whether he wanted anything or not. The scholar said: “My sultan, We don’t accept anything from the sultan of the world. I have two slaves. Even when they overcome you, how can you look down on me”? Continue reading “Anger and Lust”