A exploration of spiritual stillness, 30 day fast of reading, studying and practicing the 26th verse of Tao Te Ching. (Living Calmly) The month long spiritual exercise in accepting and being gracious for what lies ahead.  Being a avid hack writer, I’ll post 30 days consecutively, thoughts on “Being Content.” Poems, exercises, take-home assignments, etc.

zen

Day 16, Zen Stories

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“Wanting God”

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.”

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Christian Buddha

A university student while visiting Gasan asked him: “Have you ever read the Christian Bible?”

“No, read it to me,” said Gasan.

The student opened the bible and read from St. Matthew: “And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lillies of the field, how they grow. They toil not, neither do they spin, and yet I say unto you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. … Take therefore no thought for the morrow, for the morrow shall take thought for things of itself.”

Gasan said: “Whoever uttered those words I consider an enlightened man.”

The student continued reading: “Ask and it shall be given to you, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you. For everyone that asketh receiveth, and he that seeketh findeth, and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened.”

Gasan remarked: “That is excellent. Whoever said that is not far from Buddhahood.”

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Do you have a favroite Zen story or Spiritual story?

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