Do you know any good zen story?

I’m fascinated with Zen stories. Do you have a good Zen story to share?

Anything by Dr. Suess (Spelling?)

A young warrior was travelling around when one day he came upon a village. As he entered this village, he noticed lots of targets painted on the walls, and arrows right in the center of every single one of them. Not a single arrow was remotely off center and this led him to deduce that there must be a Master Archer in the village.

He asked around and soon learned where to find the Master archer.

When he found him, he said to him “Master Archer, how is it that your aim is so perfect; show me how you do it!”

The Archer, without saying a word handed the young Warrior paint, a brush, a bow and an arrow. The Warrior dutifully picked up the brush, painted a target onto a nearby wall, aimed and fired; his arrow falling slightly off the mark.

Frustrated, the young warrior asked again “Master Archer, my aim is not as true as yours, show me your secret”

So the archer picked another bit of wall, aimed an arrow, fired it off and then picked up the brush and the paint, and drew the target around where his arrow had landed.

thats not Zen, y pillock that`s smartarsery…tch!..tch!

My favorite: Two young zen monks are walking from one village to another. Along the way, they come across a beautiful girl in very fine silk clothing standing before a large stretch of muddy road. One of the monks bows gently before the girl, picks her up and carries her across the mud so she will not soil her fine clothes.
His friend contains his shock for several miles, but finally bursts out, “How could you do that! You know the master says we must have absolutely no contact with any female!”
Reply: “Oh? I’m sorry, are you still carrying the girl? I put her down long ago.”

Thanks Sebbi :smiley: , this is a good story. A true zen master will take any event that has happened (any arrow) and accept it as the best event (paint the target around it). It reminds me of a zen monk who was walking one day in the market and overheard a talk between a butcher and a custumer.
" Give me your best meat", said the customer. “All my meat is best. I do not have any meat that is not the best”, answered the butcher. Upon hearing this the monk was enlightened.

One day the Master announced that a young monk had reached an advanced state of enlightenment. The news caused some stir. Some of the monks went to see the young monk. “We heard you are enlightened. Is that true?” they asked.“It is,” he replied. “And how do you feel?” “As miserable as ever,” said the monk.

My own interpretation of this is that our thoughts and our feelings have nothing to do with enlightenment. They are just noise and a true zen master is indifferent to them.

The monk and his student are walking in a garden one evening.
They reach a pond, where the moon is reflected.
“Ah,” says the monk.
Here it comes, the student thinks. 8)
“The reflection of the moon in the water. Is it the moon? Or is it the water?”
The student beams.
“Neither, Sir.”
The monk stares at his student.
“It is the-moon-in-the-water.”
Monk foresees his imminent retirement.

Moral: never succumb to either-or choices. Experience is holistic.
Except in Portland and Stockpond, UK. :laughing:

Whenever anyone asked him about Zen, the great master Gutei would quietly raise one finger into the air. A boy in the village began to imitate this behavior. Whenever he heard people talking about Gutei’s teachings, he would interrupt the discussion and raise his finger. Gutei heard about the boy’s mischief. When he saw him in the street, he seized him and cut off his finger. The boy cried and began to run off, but Gutei called out to him. When the boy turned to look, Gutei raised his finger into the air. At that moment the boy became enlightened.

This one eludes me. I’m sure it has to do with awareness and going beyond thoughts, but I can’t put my finger on it. :unamused:

The Master, Confusion, he say pfferrrtt!! :imp:

The other fellah, Confucius, he say, " This guy Bob`s a bit too clever for me! :open_mouth:

Zen story?


I think the moral here is: Never mess with the Master Beta. :blush:

:slight_smile: Years ago, when writing on a daily paper, I did a feature on a zen center. It was slated to run as a section front, and I wanted to have two columns of white. Then, of course, a note “continued on page 6” with another white column.

Au contrere mon Amie.
Our Buddha nature is not separate from who we already are.
That is why in conversation with his mother Siddhartha didn’t prescribe meditation, but any practice that engenders compassion and equanimity.
Upon being enlightened he did not say “I am enlightened, and you are not”; he said “I am enlightened with all beings”

Two monks, walking along a road, see a cow grazing in a field.

Monk 1: “That cow is happy”

Monk 2: “You are not the cow. How do you know she’s happy?”

Monk 1: “You are not me. How do you know I don’t know she’s happy?”

Monk 2: “You are not me. How do you know I don’t know whether you know?”

Thus begins an infinite regression into chaos.


You wouldn`t understand

Ah yes, that’s from the Zhuangzi isn’t it!
Gotta love Taoism.

One day vick was strolling down the street when he saw Wock sitting with his back against a wall.
“Hi, Wock. What are you doing?”
“I’m sitting” answered Wock.
“Are you sitting and thinking?”
“No, I’m just sitting”.

Wock couldn`t think, sitting, because he was sitting on his brain.

One sunny day a French philosopher was walking when he come under the shadow of a big rock. Not seeing well where he was going he bumped into the rock. Still dizzy from the blow he had a revelation.
“The rock doesn’t think. Hence it does not exist”. Encouraged by his irrefutable logic he forced ahead and bumped once again into the rock. It caused great pain, so the philosopher stopped listening to his own logic, staggered back and come out of the shadow into the sunlight. At that moment he became enlightened.