The wife of a man became very sick. On her deathbed, she said to him, "I love you so much! I don't want to leave you, and I don't want you to betray me. Promise that you will not see any other women once I die, or I will come back to haunt you." For several months after her death, the husband did avoid other women, but then he met someone and fell in love. On the night that they were engaged to be married, the ghost of his former wife appeared to him...
A priest was in charge of the garden within a famous Zen temple. He had been given the job because he loved the flowers, shrubs, and trees. Next to the temple there was another, smaller temple where there lived a very old Zen master. One day, when the priest was expecting some special guests, he took extra care in tending to the garden. He pulled the weeds, trimmed the shrubs, combed the moss, and spent a long time meticulously raking up and carefully arranging all the dry autumn leaves.
Deep in his slumber, one night a man had a very real, yet surreal dream. He dreamt that he was walking along the beach with God. As he looked up at the sky, he saw all the scenes of his life flash by along with two sets of footprints: one set for himself, and another for God. After all the scenes had flashed before him, he looked back at those footprints and noticed something quite disturbing: At the most difficult times in his life, he saw only one set of footprints.
There once was a man with a water pump. To a friend he said, "This water pump will provide you with all the water you need. Here, it is yours." The friend was delighted to receive it, since he was thirsty as well as needing water for his dying garden. The next day the man came by again. His friend accused him, "This pump does not supply any water. You lied to me." The man asked, "Did you plug the pump into power?"
A nun who was searching for enlightenment made a statue of Buddha and covered it with gold leaf. Wherever she went she carried this golden Buddha with her. Years passed and, still carrying her Buddha, the nun came to live in a small temple in a country where there were many Buddhas, each one with its own particular shrine.
Keichu, the great Zen teacher of the Meiji era, was the head of Tofuku, a cathedral in Kyoto. One day the governor of Kyoto called upon him for the first time. His attendant presented the card of the governor, which read: Kitagaki, Governor of Kyoto. "I have no business with such a fellow," said Keichu to his attendant. "Tell him to get out of here."
Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room's only window. The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back. The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation. Every afternoon...