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  • Opposition

    To a pioneering spirit who was discouraged by frequent criticism, the Master said, “Listen to the words of the critic. He reveals what your friends hide from you.”But he also said, “Do…

  • Myths

    The Master gave his teaching in parables and stories, which his disciples listened to with pleasure — and occasional frustration, for they longed for something deeper. The Master was unmoved. To all…

  • Damned devotee

    The devotee knelt to be initiated into discipleship. The Guru whispered the sacred mantrainto his ear, warning him not to reveal it to anyone. “What will happen if I do?” asked the…

  • Empty your cup

    Scholar Tokusan – who was full of knowledge and opinions about dharma — came to Master Ryutan and asked about Zen. At one point, Master Ryutan re-filled his guest’s tea cup but…

  • How to see God

    A disciple asked his teacher, “Sir, please tell me how I can see God.” “Come with me,” said the Guru, “and I shall show you.” He took the disciple to a lake,…

  • Who?

    Sankaracharya had a certain disciple, who served him long without receiving any teaching. One day, hearing footsteps behind him he asked, “Who is there?” and was answered by this disciple, “It is…

  • Concentration

    After winning several archery contests, a young and rather boastful champion challenged a Zen master who was renowned for his skill as an archer. The young man demonstrated remarkable technical proficiency when…

  • The saviour

    Once there lived a village of creatures along the bottom of a great crystal river. The current of the river swept silently over them all – young and old, rich and poor,…

  • Worse than a clown

    There was a young monk in China who was a very serious practitioner of the Dharma. Once, this monk came across something he did not understand, so he went to ask the…

  • In Your Hands

    A young man caught a small bird and held it behind his back. He then asked, “Master, is the bird I hold in my hands alive or dead.” The boy thought this…