Monday, September 21, 2015

Zen Stories [2]

THE STUDENT Tokusan used to come to the master Ryutan in the
evenings to talk and to listen. 

One night it was very late before he was finished asking questions.

"Why don't you go to bed?" asked Ryutan.

Tokusan bowed, and lifted the screen to go out. 
"The hall is very dark," he said.

"Here, take this candle," said Ryutan, lighting one for the student.

Tokusan reached out his hand, and took the candle.

Ryutan leaned forward, and blew it out.

* * *

SHUZAN held up his staff and waved it before his monks.

"If you call this a staff," he said, "you deny its eternal life.
If you do not call this a staff, you deny its present fact. 
Tell me just what do you propose to call it?"

* * *

SEKISO said: "A man sits on top of a hundred-foot pole. How can he
go farther up?"

A master answered: "He should reach for enlightenment. Then he can
stand up into all four corners of the sky at once.

* * *

SEKKYO said to one of his monks, "Can you get hold of Emptiness?"

"I'll try" said the monk, and he cupped his hands in the air.

"That's not very good," said Sekkyo. "You haven't got anything in

"Well, master," said the monk, "please show me a better way."

Thereupon Sekkyo seized the monk's nose and gave it a great yank.

"Ouch!" yelled the monk. "You hurt me!"

"That's the way to get hold of Emptiness!" said Sekkyo.

* * *

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