Zen stories

Re: Zen stories

Postby Dexing » Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:54 pm

Huifeng wrote:
Luke wrote:I've always liked the ancient Zen master Ikkyu.

Once Ikkyu was invited to a banquet by wealthy patrons. Ikkyu arrived there clad in his usual beggarly robes. The wealthy host, unable to place him drove him away. Ikkyu who then went home clad his body in his ceremonial robe of purple brocade and returned to the patron's place.

Ikkyu was received with great respect this time and shown into the banquet room. Inside the room, Ikkyu removed his grand robe, placed it on the cushion and left the place telling : "I guess you invited the robe as you turned me out a little while ago".




Actually, rather than this story coming from Ikkyu (~~ 14th century), the original comes from Kasmir in about the first century BCE. Probably a few dozen different teachers have been accredited with this story over the last two thousand years.


A version I heard left a greater graphic impression. They drove out the old starving beggar asking for food because he made himself all dirty with torn clothes and put mud on himself. They didn't recognize him and ran him off because they were "waiting for a great master to arrive and couldn't have such a person hanging around".

So he left and returned later wearing his beautiful grand silk robes and beads. When the hosts invited him in and began serving the dinner, rather than the master removing his grand robe, placing it on the cushion and leaving the place... he actually started taking the food in his hand and smashing and smearing the food all over his robe and pouring tea on himself.

When they asked him what the heck he was doing he said; "You never really wanted to feed me.. I was just here an hour before and you drove me out. I see what you really wanted was to feed these robes".

Then they were like :jawdrop: "Sorry, sorry, sorry!!"
nopalabhyate...
User avatar
Dexing
 
Posts: 417
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 4:41 am

Re: Zen stories

Postby Huifeng » Tue Jan 26, 2010 1:56 am

Luke wrote:
Huifeng wrote:Actually, rather than this story coming from Ikkyu (~~ 14th century), the original comes from Kasmir in about the first century BCE. Probably a few dozen different teachers have been accredited with this story over the last two thousand years.

Thanks for the info, Ven. Huifeng. I think that many stories which have become known as "Zen" stories over the past half century might actually have come from other sources besides actual Zen masters.


Indeed. Personally, it irks me a little (my own ego!) when a lot of Zen and Tibetan Buddhists tell their stories in this way. I don't know how many times I have heard versus from the Dharmapada attributed to Rinpoche So-and-So. :tongue:


A university professor went to visit a famous Zen master. While the master quietly served tea, the professor talked about Zen. The master poured the visitor's cup to the brim, and then kept pouring. The professor watched the overflowing cup until he could no longer restrain himself. "It's overflowing! No more will go in!" the professor blurted. "You are like this cup," the master replied, "How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup."


Is this story about the teacher pouring the tea into his student's cup until it overflows actually a Zen story? Or did that come from somewhere else as well?


It is at least in Chinese Chan before Japanese Zen, and the earliest version I can think of is in the Song (~12th cty). It's not a professor - they didn't have professors then - but a scholar of sorts.

The way in which "empty" is used in this story does make me suspect that it has East asian origins. In Indic languages, one can't use "empty" as a verb, ie. "empty your cup". There is no such verb as "sunyati" or "sunyayati". But I sometimes fancy weird neologisms at times, hehe.
User avatar
Huifeng
 
Posts: 1469
Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 4:51 am

Re: Zen stories

Postby White Lotus » Mon Jun 14, 2010 7:32 pm

:namaste: Venerable Hui Feng, its when the cup knows that its empty that it can be filled... more tea! more tea!
but what when the cup knows that its empty, and yet full of empty tea. full of emptiness can it be filled?

respects White Lotus.
in any matters of importance. dont rely on me. i may not know what i am talking about. take what i say as mere speculation. i am not ordained. nor do i have a formal training. i do believe though that if i am wrong on any point. there are those on this site who i hope will quickly point out my mistakes.
White Lotus
 
Posts: 576
Joined: Sat Jan 23, 2010 12:56 pm

Re: Zen stories

Postby el gatito » Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:15 am

Speaking of its possible East Asian origins, I'd say that quite a few sufi educational stories (with some variations) use this full/empty cup illustration. It would be interesting to trace some other common Zen/Chan/Sufi "things" back to certain Northern Kashmirs teachings, BTW.
User avatar
el gatito
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 4:23 pm
Location: Southern Chile

Re: Zen stories

Postby White Lotus » Wed Jun 16, 2010 4:45 pm

:namaste: Noble el Gatito,
can you recommend some serious Sufi reading material. i lack knowledge in this area. have read Kabir Love Poetry... pretty profound stuff. loved it. I wish i could have read Hafiz in the original dialect. people weep when they talk about it.
best wishes, White Lotus.
in any matters of importance. dont rely on me. i may not know what i am talking about. take what i say as mere speculation. i am not ordained. nor do i have a formal training. i do believe though that if i am wrong on any point. there are those on this site who i hope will quickly point out my mistakes.
White Lotus
 
Posts: 576
Joined: Sat Jan 23, 2010 12:56 pm

Re: Zen stories

Postby el gatito » Wed Jun 16, 2010 5:34 pm

With respect to some "serious" reading, I think that rather "serious" people must be asked, of whom this poster knows nothing, unfortunately. Having said that, Wikipedia is now quoted:

Wikipedia wrote:Nasreddin's tales

The Nasreddin stories are known throughout the Middle East and have touched cultures around the world. Superficially, most of the Nasreddin stories may be told as jokes or humorous anecdotes. They are told and retold endlessly in the teahouses and caravanserais of Asia and can be heard in homes and on the radio. But it is inherent in a Nasreddin story that it may be understood at many levels. There is the joke, followed by a moral, and usually the little extra, which brings the consciousness of the potential mystic a little further on the way to realization.


:namaste:
User avatar
el gatito
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 4:23 pm
Location: Southern Chile

Re: Zen stories

Postby Dana » Thu Jun 17, 2010 11:54 am

Luke wrote:
Huifeng wrote:Actually, rather than this story coming from Ikkyu (~~ 14th century), the original comes from Kasmir in about the first century BCE. Probably a few dozen different teachers have been accredited with this story over the last two thousand years.

Thanks for the info, Ven. Huifeng. I think that many stories which have become known as "Zen" stories over the past half century might actually have come from other sources besides actual Zen masters.

A university professor went to visit a famous Zen master. While the master quietly served tea, the professor talked about Zen. The master poured the visitor's cup to the brim, and then kept pouring. The professor watched the overflowing cup until he could no longer restrain himself. "It's overflowing! No more will go in!" the professor blurted. "You are like this cup," the master replied, "How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup."


Is this story about the teacher pouring the tea into his student's cup until it overflows actually a Zen story? Or did that come from somewhere else as well?

Hi,
Taoists also use this story. For how long?
The empty vessel can receive, the full vessel cannot, neither can the broken one.
There is/was a Taoist magazine called The Empty Vessel.
Dana
 
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2009 5:02 pm

Re: Zen stories

Postby Nirveda » Tue Jan 25, 2011 6:01 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:Here is a Zen story for the environmentalists:

Two monks were sent to a new monastery. As they walked up the hill to the monastery they noticed a creek coming down the hill. In this creek they saw two small pieces of vegetables going down the creek.

One of the monks said, "the monks at this monastery waste food. Let us not reside here. We will look for a different monastery."

As they started to walk down the monastery, the earth started to shake and quake. They heard a loud commotion. They turned around and looked up the hill. They saw hundreds of monks running down the hill to chase the two small vegetables that accidentally fell into the creek.

=================================================

I originally heard that story from Samu Sunim during a Zen retreat in Toronto, Canada. At that monastery the policy was to eat all of your food and then pour your green tea onto the plate to clean up every last crumb of food. At first I thought this was kind of extreme, but then upon reflection liked the environmental aspect to it and it is very fitting with the Dharma and way of the Bodhisattva.


It could have been worse. He could have drunk the whiskey, killed the woman, and had sex with the goat. :twisted:
Nirveda
 
Posts: 31
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 4:46 pm

Re: Zen stories

Postby Nirveda » Tue Jan 25, 2011 6:05 pm

White Lotus wrote::namaste: Noble el Gatito,
can you recommend some serious Sufi reading material. i lack knowledge in this area. have read Kabir Love Poetry... pretty profound stuff. loved it. I wish i could have read Hafiz in the original dialect. people weep when they talk about it.
best wishes, White Lotus.


I strongly recommend Hafiz of Shiraz:
http://www.amazon.com/Gift-Hafiz/dp/0140195815/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1295974993&sr=1-1
[url]http://www.amazon.com/Heard-God-Laughing-Poems-Hope/dp/0143037811/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1295974993&sr=1-2
[/url]

One of my favorites by Hafiz:

"Dropping Keys"

The small man
Builds cages for everyone
He
Knows.
While the sage,
Who has to duck his head
When the moon is low,
Keeps dropping keys all night long
For the
Beautiful
Rowdy
Prisoners.





Another favorite by Rumi:

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I'll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.
Nirveda
 
Posts: 31
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 4:46 pm

Re: Zen stories

Postby Quiet Heart » Mon May 23, 2011 7:02 am

:smile:
If you want Zen stories and Koans Google or do a yahoo search on that topic on the net.
There are a LOT of sites.
Here is one:

http://www.ashidakim.com/zenkoans/zenindex.html

Here's one story I like.

77. No Attachment to Dust
Zengetsu, a Chinese master of the T'ang dynasty, wrote the following advice for his pupils:
Living in the world yet not forming attachments to the dust of the world is the way of a true Zen student.
When witnessing the good action of another encourage yourself to follow his example. Hearing of the mistaken action of another, advise yourself not to emulate it.
Even though alone in a dark room, be as if you were facing a noble guest. Express your feelings, but become no more expressive than your true nature.
Poverty is your teasure. Never exchange it for an easy life.
A person may appear a fool and yet not be one. He may only be guarding his wisdom carefully.
Virtues are the fruit of self-discipline and do not drop from heaven of themselves as does rain or snow.
Modesty is the foundation of all virtues. Let your neighbors discover you before you make yourself known to them.
A noble heart never forces itself forward. Its words are as rare gems, seldom displayed and of great value.
To a sincere student, every day is a fortunate day. Time passes but he never lags behind. Neither glory nor shame can move him.
Censure yourself, never another. Do not discuss right and wrong.
Some things, though right, were considered wrong for generations. Since the value of righteousness may be recognized after centuries, there is no need to crave an immediate appreciation.
Live with cause and leave results to the great law of the universe. Pass each day in peaceful contemplation.
:tongue:
User avatar
Quiet Heart
 
Posts: 269
Joined: Thu May 19, 2011 10:57 am
Location: Bangkok Thailand

Re: Zen stories

Postby LastLegend » Mon May 23, 2011 8:25 am

^Sounds good for everyday's practice and it's teachings of Buddha.
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)
User avatar
LastLegend
 
Posts: 2102
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:46 pm
Location: Washington DC

Re: Zen stories

Postby Jinzang » Tue May 24, 2011 12:54 am

This is not a Zen story, but I hope it will be appreciated anyway. Originally from Lama Phurbu Tashi by way of my weblog. He introduced it by saying, "simple is better than complicated, but some people need complicated."

Back during the time of the mahasiddhas in India, a king heard that a great siddha was dwelling in his kingdom. And being a pious Buddhist, he invited him to his palace to give an empowerement. The siddha came, but instead of performing the usual empowerment ceremony, he just opened his palm in front of the king. This was his way of telling the king that enlightenment is nothing more than releasing our grasping. But the king failed to understand, called the siddha a fraud, and threw him into his dungeon.

One of the siddha's disciples heard that he was imprisoned. In order to free him, he went to the king and offered to give him an empowerment. He performed an elaborate ceremony and then explained in detail how the king should perform the sadhana. The king quickly gained realization from his practice and in gratitude offered to grant the disciple's wish, whatever it was. The disciple asked to have his teacher, the siddha, set free. And the king, realizing the mistake he had made, freed the siddha and asked his forgiveness.
Lamrim, lojong, and mahamudra are the unmistaken path.
Jinzang
 
Posts: 378
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 3:11 am

Re: Zen stories

Postby Quiet Heart » Tue May 24, 2011 4:59 am

This is another version of that Tea story. See my posting of the other story I posted for the site that all these stories come from.

1. A Cup of Tea

Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868-1912), received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen.
The professor did not listen to what Nan-in had to say about Zen, he began to give Nan-in his own opinions instead.
Then Nan-in served tea.
He poured his visitor's cup full, but then kept on pouring.
The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. "It is overfull. No more will go in!" , he yelled.
"That's true"," Nan-in said, " Just like this cup, you are full of your own opinions and speculations.
Now just like this cup, how can I show you Zen unless you first bring me an empty cup?"
Shame on you Shakyamuni for setting the precedent of leaving home.
Did you think it was not there--
in your wife's lovely face
in your baby's laughter?
Did you think you had to go elsewhere (simply) to find it?
from - Judyth Collin
The Layman's Lament
From What Book, 1998, p. 52
Edited by Gary Gach
User avatar
Quiet Heart
 
Posts: 269
Joined: Thu May 19, 2011 10:57 am
Location: Bangkok Thailand

Re: Zen stories

Postby Quiet Heart » Wed May 25, 2011 11:17 am

:popcorn:
See now you got me started on the Zen teaching stories...or Zen stories if that's what you want to call them.
So here is another one.

12. Happy Chinaman

Anyone walking about Chinatowns in America will observe statues of a stout fellow carrying a linen sack. Chinese merchants call him the Happy Chinaman or Laughing Buddha.
This Hotei lived in the T'ang dynasty. He had no desire to call himself a Zen master or to gather many disciples about him. Instead he walked the streets with a big sack into which he would put gifts of candy, fruit, or doughnuts. These he would give to children who gathered around him in play. He established a kindergarten of the streets.
Whenever he met a Zen devotee he would extend his hand and say: "Give me one penny." And if anyone asked him to return to a temple to teach others, again he would reply: "Give me one penny."
Once he was about his play-work another Zen master happened along and inquired: "What is the significance of Zen?"
(Note 1: a kind of traditional ritual challenge to prove/demonstrate one's knowledge of Zen.)
Hotei immediately plopped his sack down on the ground in silent answer.
"Then," asked the Master, "what is the actualization (realization) of Zen?"
(Note 2: Basically, well okay....but what are you going to do about it?)
At once the Happy Chinaman swung the sack over his shoulder and continued on his way.

:popcorn:
Shame on you Shakyamuni for setting the precedent of leaving home.
Did you think it was not there--
in your wife's lovely face
in your baby's laughter?
Did you think you had to go elsewhere (simply) to find it?
from - Judyth Collin
The Layman's Lament
From What Book, 1998, p. 52
Edited by Gary Gach
User avatar
Quiet Heart
 
Posts: 269
Joined: Thu May 19, 2011 10:57 am
Location: Bangkok Thailand

Re: Zen stories

Postby Quiet Heart » Tue Jun 07, 2011 7:17 am

I found this story, which I hadn’t heard before. So I’ll post it here.

YOUR FATE IS IN YOUR OWN HANDS

Once there was an old monk who, through diligent practice, had attained to certain degree of understanding. This monk lived on top of a high mountain.
Now he happened to have a young novice who was about eight years old. One day the monk looked at the boy's face and saw there that the boy would die within the next few months. Saddened by this, he told the boy to take a long holiday and go and visit his parents. 'Take your time,' said the monk. 'Don't hurry back.'
He felt the boy should be with his family when he died.
Three months later, to his astonishment, the monk saw the boy walking back up the mountain. When he arrived the monk stared intently into the boy’s face and saw to his astonishment that now the boy showed the signs that he would live to a ripe old age.
“Tell me everything that happened while you were away,' said the monk.
So the boy started to tell of his journey down from the mountain. He told of villages and towns he passed through, of the rivers he forded, and the mountains he climbed.
Then he told the monk the story of how one day he came upon a stream in flood. He noticed, as he tried to pick his way across the swiftly flowing stream, that a colony of ants had become trapped on a small island by the flooding stream.
Moved by compassion for these poor creatures, he took a branch of a tree and laid it across the flow of the stream until it touched the little island. As the ants made their way across, the boy held the branch steady, until he was sure all the ants had escaped to dry land. Then he continued on his journey.
'So, then”, thought the old monk to himself, “that is why the gods have lengthened his days.”
The moral of the story is:
YOUR FATE IS IN YOUR OWN HANDS.
Shame on you Shakyamuni for setting the precedent of leaving home.
Did you think it was not there--
in your wife's lovely face
in your baby's laughter?
Did you think you had to go elsewhere (simply) to find it?
from - Judyth Collin
The Layman's Lament
From What Book, 1998, p. 52
Edited by Gary Gach
User avatar
Quiet Heart
 
Posts: 269
Joined: Thu May 19, 2011 10:57 am
Location: Bangkok Thailand

Re: Zen stories

Postby LastLegend » Tue Jun 07, 2011 7:34 am

^ Yes so do good such as releasing wild caught animals, maintaining vows, precepts, and such. Basically put Buddha's teachings into practice in everday's life.
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)
User avatar
LastLegend
 
Posts: 2102
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:46 pm
Location: Washington DC

Re: Zen stories

Postby catmoon » Tue Jun 07, 2011 8:53 am

A student and his master were travelling through the forest in the fall. The student said, "How beautiful the snowy mountains, how delicate the scent of old leaves". The master struck him a serious blow to the jaw, the student reeled back, recovered, and assumed a fighting stance only to see the master standing there in gassho. So he shook off his anger, and they continued quietly.

After a time the student said, "How brilliant the colors of leaf and tree in this low slanting light." The master struck him again, this time nearly breaking his nose. Blood flowed freely and once again there was the master in gassho. Now the student started to think. There had to be a reason for this. What could it be? He thought hard for quite a while, and after several miles said,

"I have shown strong preferences, valuing this day more than others. I have strayed far from the path."

When he regained consciousness, the master was again standing over in him in gassho, looking at him kindly. The poor student struggled to a sitting position and asked, very loudly, "WHY DO YOU KEEP HITTING ME?"

In response the master raised a single finger. Fearing the consequences of speaking, the student waited.

"One word", said the master.

Was this a koan? That was TWO words the student thought, it's a contradiction. Or maybe he meant every word would be punished, or that he must now speak one single true word. What to say what to say? His mind was in a panicked whirl. There was no way out.

"Tourette's", said the master.
Sergeant Schultz knew everything there was to know.
User avatar
catmoon
Former staff member
 
Posts: 3006
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2009 3:20 am
Location: British Columbia

Re: Zen stories

Postby jikai » Wed Sep 14, 2011 8:12 am

The Wife who pretended she had died[b][b][/b][/b]

"A foolish man cherished a deep love for his wife, but she was a fickle woman. Soon, she fell in love with another man and prepared to desert here husband for her new lover. One day, she secretly told the maid: ' after i'm gone, put the body of a dead woman in my room. Then tell my husband i have died'. Sure enough, after she left, the old woman placed a body in the bed and told the husband that his wife had died.

The man ran to look at the corpse and thinking it was his wifes, he cried in sorrow and got some fuel and firewood and cremated the body. He put the ashes in a small bag and carried them with him day and night.

Some time later, the wife got tired of the lover and decided to return to the husband. She told the man that she was his husband but he replied: 'my wife died a long time ago...who are you to talk such nonsense!?' No matter how the wife tried to explain, he would not listen."
"There are no seperate dharma's in the Three Realms. There is only the operation of the one mind."
"Whoever wishes to benefit beings ought to establish teachings that fit their capacities, expound the dharma in accordance with their capacities, and match the doctrines to them"
User avatar
jikai
 
Posts: 118
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2011 12:52 pm
Location: Sydney, Australia

Previous

Return to Zen

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 11 guests

>