Life lessons

Two frogs — life lesson series #26

Once upon a time there were two frogs that fell into a vat full of cream. They immediately realized they were sinking. It was impossible to swim or float for long in that pool, for it was thick like quicksand. At first, the two frogs kicked in the cream in an effort to make it […]

fetch me the moon
Life lessons

The Pointer — Life Lessons Series #25

The Zen teacher’s dog loved his evening romp with his master. The dog would bound ahead to fetch a stick, then run back, wag his tail, and wait for the next game. On this particular evening, the teacher invited one of his brightest students to join him – a boy so intelligent that he became […]

a useless life
Life lessons

A Useless Life — Life Lessons Series #24

A farmer got so old that he couldn’t work the fields anymore. So he would spend the day just sitting on the porch. His son, still working the farm, would look up from time to time and see his father sitting there. ‘He’s of no use any more,’ the son thought to himself, ‘he doesn’t […]

Life lessons

Learning to be Silent — Life Lessons Series #23

The pupils of the Tendai school used to study meditation before Zen entered Japan. Four of them who were intimate friends promised one another to observe seven days of silence. On the first day all were silent. Their meditation had begun auspiciously, but when night came and the oil lamps were growing dim one of […]

Life lessons

It Will Pass — Life Lessons Series #22

A student went to his meditation teacher and said, ‘My meditation is horrible! I feel so distracted, or my legs ache, or I’m constantly falling asleep. It’s just horrible!’ ‘It will pass,’ the teacher said matter-of-factly. A week later, the student came back to his teacher. ‘My meditation is wonderful! I feel so aware, so […]

martial arts
Life lessons

Working Very Hard — Life Lessons Series #21

A martial arts student went to his teacher and said earnestly, ‘I am devoted to studying your martial system. How long will it take me to master it.’ The teacher’s reply was casual, ‘Ten years.’ Impatiently, the student answered, ‘But I want to master it faster than that. I will work very hard. I will […]

Life lessons

Sharing The Wine — Life Lessons Series #18

Several friends agreed to meet on the night of the full moon for an evening of wine and storytelling. Each person was to bring a jug of fine wine. The wine would all be poured into a bowl, and the friends would share the wine throughout the evening. As each one planned for the evening, […]