Zen stones

To save a dying sister

AN EIGHT-YEAR-OLD GIRL BECAME ILL and was diagnosed with a life-threatening blood disease. She needed a transfusion, but her blood type was rare. A search went out for a donor. With every passing day, the little girl weakened, and still no donor was found. Then it was discovered that her six-year-old brother shared her rare blood type. The mother, along …

Zen prophet Alan Watts

Become What You Are

from the archives of Alan Watts: IT HAS BEEN SAID THAT THE HIGHEST WISDOM lies in detachment, or, in the words of Chuang-tzu: ‘‘The perfect man employs his mind as a mirror; it grasps nothing; it refuses nothing; it receives, but does not keep.’’ Detachment means to have neither regrets for the past nor fears for the future; to let …

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Dharma talks now online

The wonderful resource site dharmaseed.org is a warehouse of literally thousands of audio-recorded dharma talks by some of the greatest Buddhist and Zen teachers alive today …. and even some who have recently passed away. The site allows you to listen  free of charge to any of the talks and even download them to listen to later on your cellphone, iPod …

When things fall apart

ZEN MASTER Ikkyu showed his wisdom even as a child. Once he broke the precious heirloom teacup of his teacher, and was greatly upset. While he was wondering what to do, he heard his teacher coming. Quickly he hid the pieces of the cup under his robe. “Master,” he said, “why do things die?” “It is perfectly natural for things to die and for …

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Meditation … not isolation

The state kept their families small. The economy pushed their children to faraway cities. Struggling with solitude and stress, China’s elderly are killing themselves at an alarming rate. Almost one of every three elderly in rural China are killing themselves. Experts say this situation could be improved if only the lonely, isolated people could focus on the Zen path that …

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An Old, Old Thing

When Zen teacher Bobby Rhodes was just beginning her practice with Master Seung Sahn during the hippie era, she had a reputation for being fond of things that were old: clothing, jewelry and other such items. One day her teacher came to her and said: “I have a present for you. It’s something really, really old.” Seung Sahn dropped the …

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The definition of Egotism

The Prime Minister of the Tang Dynasty was a national hero for his success as both a statesman and military leader. But despite his fame, power, and wealth, he considered himself a humble and devout Buddhist. Often he visited his favorite Zen master to study under him, and they seemed to get along very well. The fact that he was …

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How the Dalai Lama handles stress

It’s only a small exaggeration to say that no one on earth has had the stress of the Dalai Lama, after having escaped Tibet, crossing the Himalayas at night in the middle of winter, chased by a cadre if Chinese soldiers. But he has devised his own method for dealing with stress. He describes it like this: One of the …

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A Buddhist New Year

Bodhisattva is the Sanskrit term for anyone who, motivated by great compassion, has a wish to attain buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings. Our wish for the new year is that we all adopt the Dalai Lama’s bodhisattva vow: “Every day, think as you wake up: Today I am fortunate to have woken up. I am alive. I have …

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The two dogs story

The great British playwright George Bernard Shaw told the story of a Cherokee elder who once described his own inner struggles in this manner: “Inside of me there are two dogs. One of the dogs is mean and evil. The other dog is good. The mean dog fights the good dog all the time. When asked which dog wins, he …