Author Topic: Zen Stories  (Read 1784 times)


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Zen Stories
« on: December 11, 2008, 11:18:17 AM »
During the Kamakura Period, Shinkan studied Tendai six years, and
then studied Zen for seven years. Then he went to China and contemplated
Zen for thirteen more years.

When he returned to Japan, many desired to interview him and asked
obscure questions.  But when Shinkan received visitors, which was
infrequently, he seldom answered their questions.  He was, most part
of the interview, keeping silent. 

One day a fifty year old student of enlightenment said to Shinkan:
"I have studied the Tendai  school of thought since I was a little boy.
But one thing in it, I cannot understand.  Tendai claims that even the
grass and the trees will become enlightened.  To me, this seems very

Shinkan asked quickly:  "Of what use is it to discuss how grass and
trees become enlightened?  The question is how you yourslef can
become so.  Did your ever consider that?"

The student replied:  "I never thought of it in that way."

Shinkan finished slowly:

"Then go home and think it over!"

(Does this converstation not look like a standard Bhagavan Ramana's
conversation with any devotee, who was more interested in 'other'
things than his own little self?)

(Source: Zen Flesh and Zen Bones. Paul Reps. Penguin, London.)

Arunachala Siva.