08
Mar
06

zen


ESHUN AND THE MONKS
Twenty monks and one nun, who was named Eshun, were practicing meditation with a certain Zen master.
Eshun was very pretty even though her head was shaved and her dress plain. Several monks secretly fell in love with her. One of them wrote her a love letter, insisting upon a private meeting.
Eshun did not reply. The following day the master gave a lecture to the group, and when it was over, Eshun arose. Addressing the one who had written to her, she said: "If you really love me so much, come and embrace me now."
A BUDDHA
In Tokyo in the Meiji era there lived two prominent teachers of opposite characteristics. One, Unsho, an instructor in Shingon, kept Buddha’s precepts scrupulously. He never drank intoxicants, nor did he eat after eleven o’clock in the morning. The other teacher, Tanzan, a professor of philosophy at the Imperial University, never observed the precepts. Whenever he felt like eating, he ate, and when he felt like sleeping in the daytime he slept.
One day Unsho visited Tanzan, who was drinking wine at the time, not even a drop of which is suppposed to touch the tongue of a Buddhist.
"Hello, brother," Tanzan greeted him. "Won’t you have a drink?"
"I never drink!" exclaimed Unsho solemnly.
"One who does not drink is not even human," said Tanzan.
"Do you mean to call me inhuman just because I do not indulge in intoxicating liquids!" exclaimed Unsho in anger. "Then if I am not human, what am I?"
"A Buddha," answered Tanzan.
IS THAT SO?
The Zen master Hakuin was praised by his neighbours as one living a pure life.
A beautiful Japanese girl whose parents owned a food store lived near him. Suddenly, without any warning, her parents discovered she was with child.
This made her parents angry. She would not confess who the man was, but after much harassment at last named Hakuin.
In great anger the parent went to the master. "Is that so?" was all he would say.
After the child was born it was brought to Hakuin. By this time he had lost his reputation, which did not trouble him, but he took very good care of the child. He obtained milk from his neighbours and everything else he needed.
A year later the girl-mother could stand it no longer. She told her parents the truth – the real father of the child was a young man who worked in the fishmarket.
The mother and father of the girl at once went to Hakuin to ask forgiveness, to apologize at length, and to get the child back.
Hakuin was willing. In yielding the child, all he said was: "Is that so?"
 
IT IS LIKE TO BECOME A THIEF
Once upon a time, there were a father and a son of a family in a busy city. The father was a very skillful thief in the city. He was getting older and older and worried about his son, who was still rather young and knew nothing about his great art, would not be able to take care of himself and the great art will be missing when he dies. Afterall, the time was coming.
One late night, he made his son came along with him to a rich family at the center of the city. They hid themselves in a bush in the backyard of the rich family and were waiting until there were no more people by-passed on the street and all the members of the family were in deep sleep. And both of them started digging and digging and made a narrow and short tunnel passed under the wall and opened up inside the house. Both of them finally were in there. They saw many antique expensive things, and jewery, and diamonds, and gems… sitting on the desks in the treasure-room. The father took some jewery and diamonds, then quitely walked to the tunnel. The son was still picking up some more and did not know his father was gone until he was ready to be gone with him.
But there were many loud noises was made by his father outside the wall to wake up the people in the house. He was so upset with his father’s actions but he could not do anything stop him.

Meanwhile, the homeowner lit up lamps and tried to find thieves. He knew he could not escape right away, and his eyes glanced around in seconds, he saw a big box with a lid on. Immediately, he opened the box and put himself in there and covered the lid gently to avoid making any noises. He kept himself as silent as he could in the box. When one of the people held a lamp coming close to him. He opened the lid, came out, blew out the lamp and ran back to the tunnel. People were running after him in his direction but he was faster than they were and he got into the tunnel quickly.

When he got out the tunnel and on the wayside he came to a well which he had seen before he got in the house. He picked up a rather big stepstone near the well and threw it into the well make a sound like a man falling into it.
People now got to the spot and thought that the thief should be falling into the very deep well and would be drowsy and dead in a short time and they got back into the house and got more sleep.
When the son was back to his house, his father was very glad to see his son back home in safe.
The son was still very upset with his father and complained:
-Why did you do that to me? You wanted me arrested there?
His father quietly said:
-Congratulations! My son. From now on you are able to take care of yourself. So, I will not worry about you anymore."
The art of teaching and learning in Zen is something similar to this art. No Scriptures, no Bible could help you in a situation like that. You are on your own in any situation you’d be in. At that moment you are wisdom and wisdom is you.
TETSUGEN AND HIS THREE SUTRAS
Tetsugen, a devotee of Zen in Japan, decided to publish the sutras, which at that time were available only in Chinese. The books were to be printed with wood blocks in an edition of seven thousand copies, a tremendous undertaking.
Tetsugen began by travelling and collecting donations for this purpose. A few sympathizers would give him a hundred pieces of gold, but most of the time he received only small coins. He thanked each donor with equal gratitude. After ten years Tetsugen had enough money to begin his task.
It happened that at that time the Uji River overflowed. Famine followed. Tetsugen took the funds he had collected for the books and spent them to save others from starvation. Then he began again his work of collecting.
Several years afterward an epidemic spread over the country. Tetsugen again gave away what he had collected.
For a third time he started his work, and after twenty years his wish was fulfilled. The printing blocks which produced the first edition of sutras can be seen today in Obaku monastery in Kyoto.
The Japanese tell their children that Tetsugen made three sets of sutras, and that the first two invisible sets surpass even the last.
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