The Zen masters most important lesson to his student

A young man went to a Zen master. After practicing for a time the student went off on his own with instructions to faithfully send a letter to the master every month, giving an account of his spiritual progress. In the first month, the student wrote, “I now feel an expansion of consciousness and experience of oneness with the universe.” The master glanced at the note and threw it away. Next month this is what the letter said: “I finally discovered the holiness that is present in all things.” The master seemed…

To who does the “gift” belong to when no one accepts it?

Some time ago in a village near the capital city of Japan, there lived an old samurai. One day when he was conducting a class for his students, one young warrior, who was famous for his rudeness and cruelty, approached the samurai wanting to challenge him to a duel. His favorite technique was provocation: he would make his opponent so indignant that, blinded by rage, he would accept the former’s challenge of a fight, and would then end up making a series of mistakes and ultimately lose. Sure enough, the young warrior began to insult the old man: he threw stones at him, he spat at him and called…

You see a flaw, others see a gift

A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on each end of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master’s house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water…

A quarryman wants to become a rock

The quarryman’s work was hard. He worked all day in the quarry from dawn to dusk. His hands were hard and callused. His back was bent, and his face was weathered and lined. He was not happy. He said, »This is no life. Why is it my fate to be a quarrymen? Why can’t I be someone who has more wealth than I do? If only I were rich, then I’d be happy.« An Angel appeared and said, »What would have to happen for you to know you were rich…

A story of two monks and a woman

Two monks were on a pilgrimage. They had already walked many miles avoiding where they could run into people for they were from a particular order of monks that were forbidden to speak to or touch women. They had no wish to offend anyone so they kept to the by-way and lived off the land. It was the rainy season and as they walked across a broad plain they were hoping that the river they had to cross would not be impassable. From afar they could see that the river…