7 Awesome Zen Stories That Will Teach You The Most Valuable Life Lessons
Last updated Feb 4, 2017 admin 0 Comments
Some of the most memorable lessons in life come from stories. Stories have power — and these awesome zen moral stories are guaranteed to challenge the way you think and perhaps even change the way you live. Just for you, seven awesome Zen stories worth reading to awaken your inner wisdom.
Zen Story #1: We’ll see
There is a Taoist story of an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit.
“Such bad luck,” they said sympathetically.
“We’ll see,” the farmer replied.
The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses.
“How wonderful,” the neighbors exclaimed.
“We’ll see,” replied the old man.
The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. The neighbors again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune.
“We’ll see,” answered the farmer.
The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son’s leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out.
“We’ll see” said the farmer.
Zen Story #2: A Simple Truth
A great master was sitting on the seashore, on the beach, and a man who was seeking for truth came to him, touched his feet and asked, “If I am not disturbing you, I would like to do anything you suggest which can help me to find the truth.”
The master simply closed his eyes and remained silent. The man shook his head. He said in his own mind, “This man seems to be crazy. I am asking him a question and he is closing his eyes.” He shook the man and said, “What about my question?”
The master said, “I answered it. Just sit silently… don’t do anything, and the grass grows by itself. You need not bother about it — everything will happen. You just sit silently, enjoy silence.”
The man said, “Can you give it a name — because people will be asking me, “What are you doing?”
So he wrote on the sand with his finger: meditation.
The man said, “This is too short an answer. Be a little more elaborate.”
The master wrote in big letters: MEDITATION.
The man said, “But these are simply big letters. You are writing the same thing.”
The old master said, “If I say more than that, then it will be wrong. If you can understand, then just do what I have told you and you will know.”
Zen Story #3: Overcoming Anger
A Zen student said to his teacher, “ Master, I have an ungovernable temper. Help me get rid of it.”
“ You have something very strange,” said the teacher.
“Show it to me.”
“ Right now I cannot show it to you.”
“ It arises suddenly.”
“ Then it cannot be your own true nature,” said the teacher, “if it were, you would be able to show it to me at any time. Why are you allowing something that is not yours to trouble your life?”
Thereafter whenever the student felt his temper rising he remembered his teacher’s words and checked his anger. In time, he developed a calm and placid temperament.
Zen Story #4: Making a difference
Ryokan was a Zen teacher of repute. One day a fisherman saw him walking on the beach soon after a storm. The storm had washed up thousands of starfish on the shore, and they were beginning to dry up. Soon all of them would be dead. Ryokan was picking up starfish and throwing them into the sea.
The fisherman caught up with the teacher and said, “Surely, you cannot hope to throw all these starfish back into the sea? They will die in their thousands here. I’ve seen it happen before. Your effort will make no difference.”
“It will to this one,” said Ryokan, throwing back another starfish into the sea.
Zen Story #5: The Present Moment
A Japanese warrior was captured by his enemies and thrown into prison. That night he was unable to sleep because he feared that the next day he would be interrogated, tortured, and executed. Then the words of his Zen master came to him,
“Tomorrow is not real. It is an illusion. The only reality is now.”
Heeding these words, the warrior became peaceful and fell asleep.
Zen Story #6: Power Of Concentration
After winning several archery contests, the young and rather boastful champion challenged a Zen master who was renowned for his skill as an archer. The young man demonstrated remarkable technical proficiency when he hit a distant bull’s eye on his first try, and then split that arrow with his second shot. “There,” he said to the old man, “see if you can match that!” Undisturbed, the master did not draw his bow, but rather motioned for the young archer to follow him up the mountain. Curious about the old fellow’s intentions, the champion followed him high into the mountain until they reached a deep chasm spanned by a rather flimsy and shaky log. Calmly stepping out onto the middle of the unsteady and certainly perilous bridge, the old master picked a far away tree as a target, drew his bow, and fired a clean, direct hit. “Now it is your turn,” he said as he gracefully stepped back onto the safe ground. Staring with terror into the seemingly bottomless and beckoning abyss, the young man could not force himself to step out onto the log, no less shoot at a target. “You have much skill with your bow,” the master said, sensing his challenger’s predicament, “but you have little skill with the mind that lets loose the shot.”
Zen Story #7: Time To Learn
A young but earnest Zen student approached his teacher, and asked the Zen Master:
“If I work very hard and diligent how long will it take for me to find Zen.”
The Master thought about this, then replied, “Ten years.”
The student then said, “But what if I work very, very hard and really apply myself to learn fast — How long then ?”
Replied the Master, “Well, twenty years.”
“But, if I really, really work at it. How long then ?” asked the student.
“Thirty years,” replied the Master.
“But, I do not understand,” said the disappointed student. “At each time that I say I will work harder, you say it will take me longer. Why do you say that ?”
Replied the Master,” When you have one eye on the goal, you only have one eye on the path.”