martes, 1 de abril de 2014

Learn From More Than One Religion - 3 Zen Stories

Zen is a school of Mahayana Buddhism note that developed in China during the 6th century as Chán. From China, Zen spread south to Vietnam, northeast to Korea and east to Japan. The word zen can be approximately translated as "absorption" or "meditative state" (according to Wikipedia).

Butterfly - Origami by Lady Jerez
I'm not a Buddhist... However I like some of the ideas that Buddhism has. I'm not an expert about it but somehow I've been practising Buddhism without realising it. My family is 100% catholic, so it would be a big deal for them to understand my new believes. I mean, I still believe in Jesus Christ and all his teaching. I still believe in the Virgin Mary, although I think that she was a metaphoric Virgin. I believe in love, compassion and other catholic principles that I don't regret. But I still think that all religions have something to teach you because of their master's life. We should learn about all of them and don't get stuck in one. At the end of the day we all pray to the same God, including those who don't believe in any God, they still pray in secret.
Butterfly - Origami by Lady Jerez

Anyway, the point is that the Zen way of living has been coming to me for a long time; books, people, music, articles, products, food, you name it! I see these things as signals. Not of becoming a Buddhist, but learning from them, raising my energy, empowering my soul. That's why I want to share some of the best Zen stories with you . Everytime I read them, I feel that each one could be part of a different religion. 
It doesn't matter what you believe, only what you feel and how you act.

A Zen student came to Bankei and complained: "Master, I have an ungovernable temper. How can I cure it?"
"You have something very strange," replied Bankei. "Let me see what you have."
"Just now I cannot show it to you," replied the other.
"When can you show it to me?" asked Bankei.
"It arises unexpectedly," replied the student.
"Then," concluded Bankei, "it must not be your own true nature. If it were, you could show it to me at any time. When you were born you did not have it, and your parents did not give it to you. Think that over."

2-A Cup of Tea
Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868-1912), received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen.
Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor's cup full, and then kept on pouring.
The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. "It is overfull. No more will go in!"
"Like this cup," Nan-in said, "you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?"

3- In the Hands of Destiny
A great Japanese warrior named Nobunaga decided to attack the enemy although he had only one-tenth the number of men the opposition commanded. He knew that he would win, but his soldiers were in doubt.
On the way he stopped at a Shinto shrine and told his men: "After I visit the shrine I will toss a coin. If heads comes, we will win; if tails, we will lose. Destiny holds us in her hand."
Nobunaga entered the shrine and offered a silent prayer. He came forth and tossed a coin. Heads appeared. His soldiers were so eager to fight that they won their battle easily.
"No one can change the hand of destiny," his attendant told him after the battle.
"Indeed not," said Nobunaga, showing a coin which had been doubled, with heads facing either way.

If you are interested in more stories like these, please visit

If you want to learn more about Zen, look up your nearest Dojo. Also you can investigate by yourself like me on the internet and find your own way of learning alone.

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