Wednesday, November 25

Zen stories

A conversation between the Buddha and a philosopher :

“I have heard that Buddhism is a doctrine of enlightenment. What is your method? What do you practice every day?”

“We walk, we eat, we wash ourselves, we sit down.”

“What is so special about that? Everyone walks, eats, washes, sits down…”

“Sir, when we walk, we are aware that we are walking; when we eat, we are aware that we are eating…. When others walk, eat, wash, or sit down, they are generally not aware of what they are doing.”

- Thich Nhat Hanh, Zen Keys

*****

Once upon the time there was an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit. “Such bad luck,” they said sympathetically.

“Maybe,” the farmer replied.

The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses. “How wonderful,” the neighbors exclaimed.

“Maybe,” replied the old man.

The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. The neighbors again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune.

“Maybe,” answered the farmer.

The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son’s leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out.

“Maybe,” said the farmer.

1 comment:

Andrei S. said...

Yes, indeed. I've read it before, but it always puts a smile on my face.

Thank you.