This culminates in Zen Buddhism, a tradition famous for using short stories generously to help Buddhist students develop a deeper understanding of reality. In this post, I’ve collected some of my favorite short Zen stories, translated in English by Paul Reps and Neogene Sendai.
Some of them are easy to understand, others need more time to ponder on, but all of them are profoundly meaningful. Whether you’re Buddhist or not, they’ll assist you in journey to peace and contentment, if you choose to pay close enough attention to them.
After closing the lid, the son dragged the coffin to the edge of the farm where there was a high cliff. As he approached the drop, he heard a light tapping on the lid from inside the coffin.
“Throw me over the cliff, if you like,” said the father, “but save this good wood coffin. The teacher’s reply was casual, “Ten years.” Impatiently, the student answered, “But I want to master it faster than that.
Roman, a Zen master, lived the simplest kind of life in a little hut at the foot of a mountain. One evening a thief visited the hut only to discover there was nothing in it to steal.
“You may have come a long way to visit me,” he told the prowler, “and you should not return empty handed. Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868-1912), received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen.
A soldier named Nobushige came to Akin, and asked: “Is there really a paradise and a hell?” As Nobushige drew his sword Akin remarked: “Here open the gates of hell!” At these words the samurai, perceiving the master’s discipline, sheathed his sword and bowed.
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.
The teacher ponders for a moment looks up and down the river and yells back, “My son, you are on the other side”. Kikuyu happened to break this cup and was greatly perplexed.
When the master appeared, Kikuyu asked: “Why do people have to die?” A Zen master, who happened to be walking by, overheard the debate and interrupted them.
I feel so distracted, or my legs ache, or I’m constantly falling asleep. One day while walking through the wilderness a man stumbled upon a vicious tiger.
Desperate to save himself, he climbed down a vine and dangled over the fatal precipice. As he hung there, two mice appeared from a hole in the cliff and began gnawing on the vine.
Suddenly, he noticed on the vine a plump wild strawberry. Suzuki Joshi introduces the fundamentals -by the particulars of breathing and posture in taken into the understanding of nonduality-in a means that’s not just remarkably apparent but also resonates with all the joy of penetration from the initial to the previous page.
Suzuki provides Zen’s entire vision, highlighting self-understanding and enlightenment via many systems of psychology, philosophy, and integrity. With a foreword by the famous psychiatrist Dr. Carl Jung, this quantity was broadly acknowledged as a timeless introduction to the topic for several decades.
The path to attaining Zen (a balance between the body and the mind) is closely explained by Professor Eugen Terrible inside this classic account. Professor Terrible imparts understanding from his adventures and guides the reader through spiritual and physical lessons in a very clear and informative manner.
Despite constant attempts to decorate your house, do newspapers still collect like snowdrifts and clothing pile up just like a tangled jumble of noodles? Within this gorgeous and lucid manual, Zen master Which That Hand presents gentle anecdotes and functional exercise as a way of studying the skills of mindfulness-becoming alert and fully conscious.
From washing the dishes to answering the telephone into peeling an orange, he also reminds us that each moment holds within it a chance to work toward larger self-understanding and peacefulness. It speaks to people coming to meditation for the first time and to longtime professionals, anybody who cares intensely about regaining the freshness of her or his minutes.
Herman Hesse’s classic book has thrilled, motivated, and influenced generations of readers, writers, and thinkers. Hesse synthesizes disparate philosophies-Eastern religions, Jungian archetypes, Western individualism-right into a unique vision of life expressed through a person’s search for true significance.
It comprises 101 Stories, a collection of stories that recount Chinese and Japanese Zen teachers’ real experiences within over five decades. In his definitive introduction to Zen Buddhism, Alan Watts describes the ancient faith’s fundamentals and principles to Japanese readers.
With a rare mix of lace and lucidity, he delves into Zen’s roots and background to describe what it means for the planet now with unbelievable clarity. World-renowned Zen master, spiritual leader, and author Which That Hand shows us how to make positive use of those very situations that usually pressure and antagonize us.
Dirty dishes, red lights, and traffic jams are spiritual friends on the road to “mindfulness”- the process of keeping our consciousness alive to our present experience and truth. The most profound satisfactions, the deepest feelings of joy and completeness lie as close at hand as our next aware breath and the smile we can form right now.
It begins where the reader already is-in the kitchen, office, driving a car, walking part-and shows how deep meditative presence is available today. That Hand provides exercises to increase our awareness of their body and mind through conscious breathing, bringing immediate joy and peace.
Inside this novel, based mostly on his talks, he presents Buddhism and Zen’s basic teachings in a means that’s wonderfully accessible for novices. He discusses proper breathing, posture, regular, teacher-student connections, and koan study, in addition to common problems and landmarks encountered in the process.
Within this publication, Which That Hand, the famous Zen monk, writer, and meditation master, distills the basis of Buddhist thought and practice, highlighting the energy of mindfulness to change our own lives. According to a retreat that Which That Hand headed for Westerners, this publication supplies a selection of easy, effective techniques for cultivating mindfulness, such as breathing and walking, deep listening, and skillful address.
Easy, warm, direct, and startlingly powerful, this book reveals the core of the Buddhist path and helps us reconnect with all the joy and wonder of being alive, irrespective of life’s changing conditions. In his definitive introduction to Zen Buddhism, Alan Watts describes the ancient faith’s fundamentals and principles to Japanese readers.
With a rare mix of lace and lucidity, he delves into Zen’s roots and background to describe what it means for the planet now with unbelievable clarity. This story, dazzling in its powerful simplicity and inspiring wisdom, is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago, who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert seeking a treasure buried in the Pyramids.
Lush, evocative, and deeply humane, the story of Santiago is an eternal testament to the transforming power of our dreams and the importance of listening to our hearts. This accessible introduction to the philosophy and practice of Zen Buddhism includes a program of study which encompasses virtually every element of life.
As an artist, Akin utilized calligraphy and painting to make “visual Dharma”- teachings that powerfully express the character of enlightenment. Zen's students analyzed his writings for centuries, especially his masterwork, Hobo Gonzo, or Treasury of the True Dharma Eye.
Here is the first publication to supply the fantastic master’s incisive wisdom in brief sections taken from the entire assortment of his voluminous works. The pithy and strong readings, organized according to the subject, provide an ideal introduction to Downland inspire religious training in people of all traditions.
This complete translation of this first selection of sermons, dialogues, and anecdotes of Huang Po, the illustrious Chinese master of the Tang Dynasty, enables the Western reader to understand Zen from the first origin of the critical functions in its teachings. Nowhere is the use of paradox in Zen exemplified greater than in the instruction of Huang Po, who reveals how words can’t convey the expertise of intuitive knowledge that shows to a guy what he’s.
In this manner, the Zen master contributes his listener into reality, often by one phrase designed to ruin his special demon of ignorance. Drawn from traditional Buddhist wisdom, Pea Chevron’s radical and compassionate advice for what to do if things fall apart in our lives goes against the grain of our everyday habits and expectations.
There’s simply one approach to enduring, which is of lasting benefit, Pea teaches, which entails moving toward debilitating scenarios with curiosity and friendliness, relaxing to the circumstance’s essential boundlessness. He is the Dalai Lama, the religious and temporal leader of Tibet, a Nobel Prize winner, and an increasingly popular speaker and statesman.