Author Topic: Zen Stories  (Read 1672 times)


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Zen Stories
« on: January 14, 2009, 11:34:11 AM »
Joso the Buddhist monk was a student of the famous haiku master
Basho.  His religious practices and attainments were generally kept
secret, and he was mostly known as a poet.

After unsuccessfully trying to become a samurai warrior, he freed himself from wordly affairs to become a Zen monk.  After the death of his teacher
Basho, he led a secluded life in a cave.  He wrote Buddhist scriptures on
pebbles with one Chinese letter for each pebble and piled them up into a traditional Scripture Mound.

In commomeration of the occasion of his retirement from the world,
Joshu composed this poem in formal Chinese style:

Having carried its house 
on its back for years
a snail turns into a slug
and thereby gains its freedom.
In the burning houses,
his greatest fear
was that his spit would dry;
Now seeking the rain of religion
he enters a forested hill.

(Source: Zen antics. Thoams Cleary. Shambhala, Boston.)

Arunachala Siva.