10 Short Zen Stories - Deepstash

Bite‑sized knowledge

to upgrade

your career

Ideas from books, articles & podcasts.

published 11 ideas

10 Short Zen Stories

theunboundedspirit.com

Cliffhanger

One day a man stumbled upon a tiger. He ran but soon came to the edge of a high cliff. Desperate to save himself, he climbed down a vine and dangled over the fatal precipice.

As he hung there, 2 mice appeared from a hole in the cliff and began gnawing on the vine.

Sud...

STASHED IN:

98

It Will Pass

A student went to his meditation teacher and said, “My meditation is horrible! I feel so distracted, or my legs ache, or I’m constantly falling asleep. It’s just horrible!”

“It will pass,” the teacher said matter-of-factly.

A week later, the student came back t...

STASHED IN:

143

Moving Mind

2 men were arguing about a flag flapping in the wind. One thought the flag was moving the other thought the wind was moving.

A Zen master, who was walking by, overheard the debate and said: “Neither the flag nor the wind is moving,” he said, “It is MIND that moves.”

3

STASHED IN:

116

Time to Die

Ikkyu, the Zen master, was very clever even as a boy.

Once, he broke his teacher's teacup. Hearing the footsteps of his teacher, he held the pieces of the cup behind him and asked the teacher why did people have to die. The teacher answered that everything has to die and has just ...

1

STASHED IN:

106

The Other Side

A young Buddhist on a journey pondered for hours on how to cross a wide river he came upon. As he was about to give up his pursuit to continue his journey he saw a great teacher on the other side of the river and yelled asking how he could get to the other side. 

The teacher ponde...

3

STASHED IN:

106

The Gates of Paradise

A soldier named Nobushige asked Hakuin if heaven and hell were real. Hakuin answered with provocations until the soldier drew his sword. 

As Nobushige drew his sword Hakuin remarked: “Here open the gates of hell!” At these words the samurai, perceiving the master’s discipl...

1

STASHED IN:

88

A Cup of Tea

Nan-in, a Japanese master, received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen. Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor’s cup full, and then kept on pouring. The professor said. “It is overfull. No more will go in!” “Like this cup,” Nan-in said, “you are full...

2

STASHED IN:

116

The Moon Cannot Be Stolen

Ryokan, a Zen master, lived a simple 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. Ryokan returned and caught him. “You may have come a long way to visit me and you shoud not return emptyhande...

2

STASHED IN:

105

Working Very Hard

A martial arts student went to his teacher and asked how long it would take to master his system. The teacher answered 10 years. The student got impatient and said he would work hard and practice many hours everyday. The teacher pondered and said: “20 years.”

STASHED IN:

115

A Useless Life

An old farmer that couldn’t work anymore spent days sitting on the porch. His son, still working the farm, got so aggravated that his father was useless, that he built a wood coffin and told his father to get in. The son closed and dragged the coffin to a high cliff , where he heard a tapping ...

2

STASHED IN:

99

Religions from all over the world have used storytelling as a medium to convey their messages of wisdom.

One such religion is Buddhism, which for centuries has used parables, anecdotes, fables and tales to help people develop awareness by offering them enlightening insights and mora...

1

STASHED IN:

95

0 Comments

Discover and save more ideas by creating a

FREE

Deepstash account.

Develop a

reading habit

, save

time

and create an amazing

knowledge library

.

GET THE APP: