GUIDE YOUR CHILDREN WISELY
Through great philosophical stories and fables
“Life's not a competition"
ORIGINAL ZEN TALE
Short philosophical stories for adults
THE BUDDHA AND THE ANGRY MAN
The Buddha was sitting in the shade of a tree when an angry man came upon him. The angry man started yelling insults, but the Buddha sat there calmly and said nothing. The angry man continued screaming, but received no reply. After about five minutes the man could not keep up his anger at such a level and asked, “Do you have nothing to say?” The Buddha asked the man, “If someone gives you a gift and you do not want it, to whom does it belong?” The man answered that it must remain with the giver of the gift. Then the Buddha said, “I refuse to accept your anger, so you will have to keep it yourself.”
The angry man is said to have become a disciple of the Buddha.
YOU NEVER KNOW
A young farmer approached the wise Zen monk and said his only horse had escaped from the stable. The farmer said “Master this is terrible.” The monk replied “You never know.” The next day the farmer went to the monk and told him that his horse had returned and had brought with it a herd of wild horses. “Master this is wonderful,” he exclaimed. The master replied “You never know.”
The following day the farmer broke his leg trying to break in one of the wild horses. He hobbled into the master saying “Master this is terrible.” The master replied “You never know.”
Later that week the army went through the village and conscripted all the young men to fight in a cruel and unjust war. All were taken, except one young farmer who had a broken leg.
THE PROFESSOR AND THE MASTER
Nan-in a Japanese Zen master during the Meiji era (1868-1912),
received a university professor who came to enquire about Zen.
Nan-in served tea. He poured the visitors cup full and then kept pouring.
The professor watched the overflow until he could no longer constrain himself.
“It is overfull. No more will go in!”
“Like this cup,” Nan-in said, “you are so full of your own opinions and speculations.
How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?”
NEVER SELL YOUR HAPPINESS
60 second zen lesson
If it were possible to sell your happiness, would you sell it for $1? Would you sell it for $10? Would you sell it for $1,000,000? Clearly you would not sell your happiness for any amount of money, because then you would never be happy. Yet for how little do we sell our happiness? Imagine going to the vending machine for a chocolate bar, you put your dollar in the machine and it doesn't fall out. What happens? My life is ruined for a dollar! You want the light to stay green, but it turns red. Think about the times you sell your happiness and your Peace of Mind for less than a tuppence. If you're awake, you will discover you have a choice.
Never ever sell your happiness.
60 second zen lesson
Remember as a young child when you wanted to help mummy wash the dishes. You were completely mindful of the feel of the warm water, the soap bubbles, the splashing. Maybe you asked her if you could wash up a second time! When was the last time you enjoyed the present moment and loved life so much, that you wanted to wash the dishes twice.