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  • Nobody in the boat

    The Taoists have a famous teaching about an empty boat (read the story ‘Empty boat’ in this website) that rams into your boat in the middle of a river. While you probably…

  • Buddha with a black nose

    This is a famous story about a Zen nun. She had a beautiful golden Buddha, a very artistic, aesthetic statue of Buddha, made of pure gold. And the nun used to carry…

  • The first principle

    When one goes to Obaku temple in Kyoto, one can see carved over the gate the words “The First Principle.” The letters are unusually large, and those who appreciate calligraphy always admire them as…

  • The crystal cup

    A Zen master was given a beautifully crafted crystal cup. It was a gift from a former student. He was very grateful. Every day, he enjoyed drinking out of his glass. He…

  • Be the boss

    A horse suddenly came galloping 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?”…

  • False harmony

    The monk Chu Lai was beaten by a professor who did not believe anything he said. However, the professor’s wife was a follower of Chu Lai, and demanded that her husband had…

  • The tunnel

    Zenkai, the son of a samurai, journeyed to Edo and there became the retainer of a high official. He fell in love with the official’s wife and was discovered. In self-defence, he…

  • The pointer

    The Zen teacher’s dog loved his evening romp with his master. The dog would bound ahead to fetch a stick, then run back, wag his tail, and wait for the next game.…

  • Paradise

    Two men wander the desert, hopelessly lost. Tired and thirsty, they ascend a large sand dune – only to discover a giant stone wall. On the other side of the wall, they…