The Blockhead Lord

Nobody is better than, but two Zen teachers approached in different ways. This story depends on appropriate for requirements by each person.

Two Zen teachers, Daigu and Gudo, were invited to visit a lord. Upon arriving, Gudo said to the lord: ‘You are wise by nature and have an inborn ability to learn Zen.”

“Nonsense,” said Daigu. “Why do you flatter this blockhead? He may be a lord, but he doesn’t know anything of Zen.”

So, instead of building a temple for Gudo, the lord built it for Daigu and studied Zen with him.

No Attachment to Dust

Live with cause and leave results to the great law of the universe. Pass each day in peaceful contemplation.

Zengetsu, a Chinese master of the Tang dynasty, wrote the following advice for his pupils:

¨ Living in the world yet not forming attachments to the dust of the world is the way of a true Zen student.

¨ When witnessing the good action of another encourage yourself to follow his example. Hearing of the mistaken action of another, advise yourself not to emulate it.

¨ Even though alone in a dark room, be as if you were facing a noble guest.

¨ Express your feelings, but become no more expressive than your true nature.

¨ Poverty is your treasure. Never exchange it for an easy life.

¨ A person may appear a fool and yet not be one. He may only be guarding his wisdom carefully.

¨ Virtues are the fruit of self-discipline and do not drop from heaven of themselves as does rain or snow.

¨ Modesty is the foundation of all virtues. Let your neighbors discover you before you make yourself known to them.

¨ A noble heart never forces itself forward. Its words are as rare gems, seldom displayed and of great value.

¨ To a sincere student, every day is a fortunate day. Time passes but he never lags behind. Neither glory nor shame can move him.

¨ Censure yourself, never another.

¨ Do not discuss right and wrong. Some things, though right, were considered wrong for generations. Since the value of righteousness may be recognized after centuries, there is no need to crave an immediate appreciation.

¨ Live with cause and leave results to the great law of the universe. Pass each day in peaceful contemplation.

Eating the Blame

When we make mistakes, it can be hard to admit them, but this situation, no one have to suffer mistake from the cook because he ate the blame although this was not unintentional mistake.

Circumstances arose one day which delayed preparation of the dinner of a Soto Zen master, Fugai, and his followers. In haste the cook went to the garden with his curved knife and cut off the tops of green vegetables, chopped them together, and made soup, unaware that in his haste he had included a part of a snake in the vegetables.

The followers of Fugai thought they never had tasted such good soup. But when the master himself found the snake’s head in his bowl, he summoned the cook. “What is this?” he demanded, holding up the head of the snake.

“Oh, thank you, master,” replied the cook, taking the morsel and eating it quickly.