November 2016

"Right and Wrong"

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When Bankei held his seclusion-weeks of meditation, pupils from many parts of Japan came to attend. During one of these gatherings a pupil was caught stealing. The matter was reported to Bankei with the request that the culprit be expelled. Bankei ignored the case.

Later the pupil was caught in a similar act, and again Bankei disregarded the matter. This angered the other pupils, who drew up a petition asking for the dismissal of the thief, stating that otherwise they would leave in a body.

When Bankei had read the petition he called everyone before him. “You are wise brothers,” he told them. “You know what is right and what is not right. You may go somewhere else to study if you wish, but this poor brother does not even know right from wrong. Who will teach him if I do not? I am going to keep him here even if all the rest of you leave.”

A torrent of tears cleansed the face of the brother who had stolen. All desire to steal had vanished.


SOURCE:
http://www.ashidakim.com/zenkoans/45rightandwrong.html
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"Thomas Aquinas Stops Writing" - (excerpt) Anthony de Mello - THE SONG OF THE BIRD

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The story goes that Thomas Aquinas, one of the world's ablest theologians, suddenly stopped writing. When his secretary complained that his work was unfinished, Thomas replied, "Brother Reginald, some months ago I experienced something of the Absolute, so all I have ever written about God seems to me now to be like straw.”

How could it be otherwise when the scholar becomes a seer?

When the mystic came down from the mountain
he was accosted by the atheist, who said sarcastically, "What did you bring us from that garden of delights you were in?"
The mystic replied, "I had every intention of filling my skirt with flowers and giving them to my friends on my return.
But while I was there
I became so intoxicated with the fragrance of the garden that I let go of the skirt.”


COMMENTARY: The Zen masters put it succinctly: "The one who knows, does not say. The one who says, does not know."


Click Here to Purchase:
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"The Wise Woman’s Stone" - Author Unknown

Old Woman Portrait Pencil Drawing
----“Old Woman Portrait Pencil Drawing”
—-by Kelly Green - (visit the Kelly Green Gallery)



A wise woman who was traveling in the mountains found a precious stone in a stream. The next day she met another traveler who was hungry, and the wise woman opened her bag to share her food. The hungry traveler saw the precious stone and asked the woman to give it to him. She did so without hesitation. The traveler left, rejoicing in his good fortune. He knew the stone was worth enough to give him security for a lifetime. But a few days later he came back to return the stone to the wise woman.

“I’ve been thinking,” he said, “I know how valuable the stone is, but I give it back in the hope that you can give me something even more precious. Give me what you have within you that enabled you to give me something more precious. Give me what you have within you that enabled you to give me the stone.

—Author Unknown

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"Autobiography in Five Chapters" by Portia Nelson
by Portia Nelson

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----"Walking Man" Pencil Sketch by Duane Tells


Chapter 1
 
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost ... I am helpless.
It isn't my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.
 
Chapter 2
 
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don't see it.
I fall in again.
I can't believe I am in the same place.
But it isn't my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.
 
Chapter 3
 
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in ... it's a habit.
My eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.
 
Chapter 4
 
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.
 
Chapter 5
 
I walk down another street.


Copyright 1993 Portia Nelson, all rights reserved.
Buy her book:
There's a Hole in my Sidewalk The Romance of Self-Discovery
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