There are endless Zen stories that talk about the meaning of life and that teach us many virtues. Here are 5 of them!
In another article, 5 Zen Stories that would act as guides in our lives was talked about. Here are five more beautiful Zen stories that will teach you a lot that you will not forget in your life.
1. THE ONE THAT TALKS ABOUT SIMPLE PLEASURES EVEN IN THE FACE OF ADVERSITY:
One day while walking through the wilderness a man stumbled upon a vicious 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, two mice appeared from a hole in the cliff and began gnawing on the vine.
Suddenly, he noticed on the vine a plump wild strawberry. He plucked it and popped it in his mouth. It was incredibly delicious!
2. THE ONE THAT EXPLAINS HEAVEN AND HELL:
A soldier named Nobushige came to Hakuin, and asked: “Is there really a paradise and a hell?”
“Who are you?” inquired Hakuin. “I am a samurai,” the warrior replied.
“You, a soldier!” exclaimed Hakuin. “What kind of ruler would have you as his guard? Your face looks like that of a beggar.” Nobushige became so angry that he began to draw his sword, but Hakuin continued: “So you have a sword! Your weapon is probably much too dull to cut off my head.”
As Nobushige drew his sword Hakuin remarked: “Here open the gates of hell!” At these words the samurai, perceiving the master’s discipline, sheathed his sword and bowed.
“Here open the gates of paradise,” said Hakuin.
3. THE ONE THAT TALKS ABOUT THE CYCLE OF KARMA:
A farmer got so old that he couldn’t work the fields anymore. So he would spend the day just sitting on the porch. His son, still working the farm, would look up from time to time and see his father sitting there.
“He’s of no use any more,” the son thought to himself, “he doesn’t do anything!” One day the son got so frustrated by this, that he built a wood coffin, dragged it over to the porch, and told his father to get in.
Without saying anything, the father climbed inside. After closing the lid, the son dragged the coffin to the edge of the farm where there was a high cliff.
As he approached the drop, he heard a light tapping on the lid from inside the coffin. He opened it up. Still lying there peacefully, the father looked up at his son. “I know you are going to throw me over the cliff, but before you do, may I suggest something?” “What is it?” replied the son. “Throw me over the cliff, if you like,” said the father, “but save this good wood coffin. Your children might need to use it.”
4. THE ONE THAT TEACHES YOU TO TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE:
A horse suddenly came galloping quickly down the road. It seemed as though the man had somewhere important to go.
Another man, who was standing alongside the road, shouted, “Where are you going?” and the man on the horse replied,
“I don’t know! Ask the horse!”
5. THE ONE TEACHES YOU THE MEANING OF ‘WANT’:
A hermit was meditating by a river when a young man interrupted him.
“Master, I wish to become your disciple,” said the man.
“Why?” replied the hermit.
The young man thought for a moment.
“Because I want to find God.”
The master jumped up, grabbed him by the scruff of his neck, dragged him into the river, and plunged his head under water.
After holding him there for a minute, with him kicking and struggling to free himself, the master finally pulled him up out of the river. The young man coughed up water and gasped to get his breath. When he eventually quieted down, the master spoke.
“Tell me, what did you want most of all when you were under water.”
“Air!” answered the man.
“Very well,” said the master.
“Go home and come back to me when you want God as much as you just wanted air.”
Zen originated in Japan as a form of Buddhism but is valued and practiced across the globe.