7 More Zen Stories to Give You a Glimpse of Enlightenment
A few months ago, we shared 7 illuminating Zen stories to nudge you toward a lighter state of being. And now we’ve returned with 7 more of the cryptic little tales.
Remember: Zen stories are the ancient words and deeds of Zen masters, which have been passed through the ages, crossing the dynasties and cultures of forgotten peoples, originating with the Buddha himself.
The stories tend to be humorous, paradoxical, multi-layered, enigmatic, and written in a kind of rascally spirit. They’re tantalizing riddles that are sure to puzzle and captivate most anyone.
To practice Zen is to practice gentle acceptance — to observe ourselves and our world with a certain detachment and sense of humor, judging nothing, resisting nothing, allowing everything to be precisely what it is. Through Zazen meditation, we can enhance our ability to practice this gentle acceptance.
Practicing Zen can help us to discover greater serenity and equanimity, perceive the simple wonders of our day-to-day lives, embrace the ceaseless ebb and flow of mental states, and gain a distinct tendency to never take life all that seriously.
Savor these 7 parables that point to a wiser, more liberated existence.
For more Zen stories, we recommend One Hand Clapping: Zen Stories for All Ages, a beautiful collection of Zen fables, simplified so as to be accessible for Zen students of all ages
For more on Zen, I recommend checking out any of these 8 books on Zen and its close cousin Taoism, this essay on Aeon, this introduction to Zen, and the website The Daily Zen.
Thanks to The Daily Zen for passing on the stories shared in this post.