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Tag: Buddhist Zen Stories

Work in the Field – Spiritual Story By Paulo Coelho

Work in the Field

A young man crossed the desert and finally came to the monastery of Scete. There, he asked to hear one of the abbot's lectures - and was granted permission. That afternoon, the abbot's discourse was about the importance of work in the field. After the lecture, the young man said...
Town on the Far Side – Buddhist Story By Paulo Coelho

Town on the Far Side

A hermit from the monastery of Scete went to Abbot Theodore: "I know precisely the objective of life. I know what God asks of man, and I know the best...
Zen Master Blumise On A Whacking Spree – Zen Buddhist Story By Anmol Mehta

Zen Master Blumise On A Whacking Spree

There was chaos at No Wind Monastery. The monks were running scared and the cause of their fear was none other than the head abbot, Zen Master Blumise. They all knew that the only monk who could help them in such desperate times was senior monk Tara, and the monks were running around frantically trying to find her. Finally, a group located her sitting by the river enjoying the late afternoon sun. "What's all this ruckus about?" she asked, rather alarmed...
Heaven and Hell – Zen Parable By Paulo Coelho

Heaven and Hell

A violent samurai who was known for picking fights for no reason at all arrived at the door of a Zen monastery and asked to speak to the master. Without a moment's hesitation, Ryokan came out to meet him. "They say that intelligence is more powerful than strength," said the samurai. "I wonder if you could explain to me the meaning of heaven and hell." Riokan...
The Chess Game – Spiritual Story By Paulo Coelho

The Chess Game

A young man said to the abbot from the monastery: "I'd actually like to be a monk, but I haven't learned anything in life. All my father taught me was to play chess, which does not lead to enlightenment. Apart from that, I learned that all games are a sin." "They may be a sin but they can also be a diversion, and who knows, this monastery needs a little of both," was the reply. The abbot asked for a chess board, sent for a monk and told him...
Tying the Cat to the Bed – Spiritual Story

Tying the Cat to the Bed

There was a Zen Master who used to invite his disciples to his house in order to meditate. The meditation was very soulful but unfortunately the Master owned a cat who used to come in and disturb the meditation. Therefore, before each meditation, the Master would tie up the cat to his bed...
Gift of Insults – Zen Buddhist Parable

Gift of Insults

There once lived a great warrior. Though quite old, he still was able to defeat any challenger. His reputation extended far and wide throughout the land and many students gathered to study under him. One day an infamous young warrior arrived at the village. He was determined to be the first man to defeat the great master. Along with his strength, he had an uncanny ability to spot and exploit any weakness in an opponent.
Destiny – Zen Buddhist Story


During a momentous battle, a Japanese general decided to attack even though his army was greatly outnumbered. He was confident they would win, but his men were filled with doubt. On the way to battle, they stopped at a religious shrine. After praying with the men, the general took out a coin and said, "I shall now toss this coin. If it is heads, we shall win. If tails, we shall lose. Destiny will now reveal itself." He threw the coin into the air and all watched intently as it landed...
Nothing Exists – Buddhist Tale

Nothing Exists

Yamaoka Tesshu, as a young student of Zen, visited one master after another. He called upon Dokuon of Shokoku. Desiring to show his attainment, he said: "The mind, Buddha, and sentient beings, after all, do not exist...
Not Far From Buddhahood – Zen Parable

Not Far From Buddhahood

A university student while visiting Gasan asked him: "Have you ever read the Christian Bible?" "No, read it to me," said Gasan. The student opened the Bible and read from St. Matthew...