• Midnight Excursion

    Midnight Excursion

    One of them used to arise at night, climb over the temple wall, and go to town on a pleasure jaunt. Sengai, inspecting the dormitory quarters, found this pupil missing one night and also discovered the high stool ...

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  • The Taste of Banzo's Sword

    The Taste of Banzo's Sword

    ‘I cannot wait that long,' explained Matajuro. 'I am willing to pass through any hardship if only you will teach me. If I become your devoted servant, how long might it be?' 'Oh, maybe ten years,' Banzo relented.'My father is getting old, and soon I must take care of him,' ...

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  • Being Gifted

    Being Gifted

    A man who was with him said: “Did they steal anything of value?” Picasso answered: “No.” The man asked: “Then why are you so distressed?”. “It pains me that they didn’t ...

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  • True Friends

    True Friends

    A long time ago in China there were two friends, one who played the harp skillfully and one who listened skillfully. When the one played or sang about a mountain, the other would say: 'I can see ...

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  • No work, no food

    No work, no food

    Hyakujo, the Chinese Zen master, used to labor with his pupils even at the age of eighty, trimming the gardens, cleaning the grounds, and pruning the trees. The pupils felt sorry to ...

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  • Killing


    ‘Those who speak against killing and who desire to spare the live of all conscious beings are right. It is good to protect even animals and insects. But what ...

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  • I Am the New Year

    I Am the New Year

    I am your next chance at the art of living. I am your opportunity to practice what you have learned about life during the last twelve months.

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  • Accurate Proportion

    Accurate Proportion

    Sen no Rikyu, a tea-master, wished to hang a flower basket on a column. He asked a carpenter to help him, directing the man to place ...

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  • Sleeping in the daytime

    Sleeping in the daytime

    One summer day the air had been so sultry that Little Soyen stretched his legs and went to sleep while his teacher was away. Three hours passed when, suddenly waking he heard his master enter....

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  • Three Last Wishes of Great Alexander

    Three Last Wishes of Great Alexander

    Alexander told his officers: "I will soon leave this world. I have three final wishes. You need to carry out what I tell you." His generals, in tears, agreed.

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  • The Story of the Butterfly

    The Story of the Butterfly

    So the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bits of cocoon. The butterfly emerged easily but it had a swollen body and shriveled wings.

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