Thursday, December 12, 2013
Once there was a princess who awoke one day to find a small spot under her eye. It was a little nothing to begin with but, as a king's daughter, she was a bit spoiled and refused to leave her bed. When royal doctors came to treat the problem she sent them away and instead kept touching the sore spot until it got worse and worse. Finally the king proclaimed a large reward for whoever could cure his daughter. After some time, Crow arrived claiming to be a famous physician.
Saying that he could definitely cure the princess he was admitted to her chamber. After he had examined her, he exclaimed, "Oh, I'm so sorry!"
"What is it?" the princess inquired.
Crow said, "There is nothing much wrong with your eye, dear child, but there is something else that is really serious."
The princess was alarmed and asked, "What could be so serious?"
He hesitated and said, "It is most unfortunate. I simply can't tell you about it." No matter how much she insisted, Crow refused to tell her, saying that he could not speak without the king's permission.
When the king arrived, Crow was still reluctant to reveal his findings. Finally the king commanded, "Tell us what is wrong. Whatever it is, you must tell us!"
At last Crow said, "Well, the princess's eye will get better within a few days - that is no problem. What is a problem is that the princess will develop a tail, a very long tail, that may start growing very soon. If only she can detect the first moment it appears, I might be able to prevent it from growing." At this news everyone was deeply concerned.
And the princess, what did she do? She stayed in bed, day and night, directing all her attention to detecting when the tail might appear. After a few days, her eye got well.
..and she never saw even a hint of a tail.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
An elder monk who finds a young monk sitting in a meditation pose inquires, 'Why are you sitting in meditation?'
The younger replies, 'By sitting in meditation I hope eventually to become a buddha'.
The elder monk picks up a brick, walks across the carefully tended Zen rock garden and begins rubbing the brick against one of the ancient stones.
The younger one laughs and asks, 'What are you doing?'
To which the elder says, 'I am polishing this brick in hopes that eventually it will become a mirror'.
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Zen master Ryokan was walking on the beach not long after a storm had blown over. Hundreds of starfish that had been washed up by the waves were beginning to die in the sharp sunlight. Ryokan picked up the starfish one by one and threw them back into the sea.
A fisherman who had been observing Ryokan came up to him. “Why do you do this? Every time there’s a storm, this happens on every beach for hundreds of miles. You can’t save them all, so what difference does your attempt make?”
“It will make a difference – to this one,” replied Ryokan, as he flung yet another starfish into the water.
This is definitely a lazy (and recovering) person's post but it's another one I like a lot.
Thanks to you all for the good wishes.
Saturday, November 23, 2013
I hate not feeling well but I guess it's best to admit it and hope for a better day tomorrow. In the past three weeks I've had two surgeries to fix the tissue around a couple of dental implants. The first one became infected making it necessary to have a second surgery once the antibiotics had done their job. It may have been too soon because now I'm swollen worse than the first time and I'm getting bored lying on the couch wrapped up in a shawl.
Maybe Crow will come by this evening and tell me another story.
At least he's been good about sharing the brandy.
I'll be back making visits soon.
Monday, November 18, 2013
Three monks sat by a river, deep in meditation. One stood up and said, “I’ve forgotten my mat.” Stepping on to the waters before him, he walked across to the other side, where their small hut stood in the forest. When he returned, the second monk said, “I just remembered I haven’t dried my washed clothes.” He too, strode calmly across the water to the other bank and returned in a few minutes the same way.
The third monk watched them intently. Figuring that this was a test of his own skills, he loudly declared, “So you think your abilities are superior to mine! Watch me!” and scurried to the edge of the river bank. No sooner did he put his foot in than he fell into deep water. Unfazed, he waded out and tried again. And again and again, to no avail.
After watching this performance in silence, one of his fellow monks asked the other, “Do you suppose we should tell him where the stepping stones are?”
I'm very fond of Zen stories. If you've heard this one before I hope you'll excuse me for telling it again.
Thursday, November 14, 2013
As the days grow colder and the nights grow long, I couldn't resist posting this great picture of a dog surfing the waves at Huntington Beach, California. For the past few years there's been an annual Doggie Surf weekend at the end of September that provides much fun for the dogs and their human companions as well as money for animal rescue charities. Enough from me, though, enjoy the movie and remember warm, sunny days.
My favorite is the one surfing backwards, or is it the sitting poodle, or perhaps the little white dog hanging ten. Silliness is good.
Sunday, November 10, 2013
Two traveling monks reached a river where they met a young woman. Wary of the strong current, she asked if they could help her across. One of the monks hesitated, but the other quickly picked her up onto his shoulders, transported her across the water, and put her down on the other bank. She thanked him and departed.
As the monks continued on their way, the one was brooding and preoccupied. Unable to hold his silence, he spoke out. "Brother, our spiritual training teaches us to avoid any contact with women, but you picked that one up on your shoulders and carried her!"
"Brother," the second monk replied, "I set her down on the other side, while you are still carrying her."