Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
Welcome home! Please contact lincoln@newbuddhist.com if you have any difficulty logging in or using the site. New registrations must be manually approved which may take up to 48 hours. Can't log in? Try clearing your browser's cookies.

Favorite Stories

edited April 2006 in Philosophy
I thought it would be cool to share favorite stories and express any thoughts, views, or concepts!
Mike

Inayat Khan tells a Hindu story of a fish who went to a queen fish and asked "I have always heard about the sea, but what is the sea? Where is it?" The Queen explained: "You live, move, and have your being in the sea. The sea is within you and without you, and you are made of sea, and you will end in the sea. The sea surrounds you as your own being."

Comments

  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited March 2006
    I have several stories that have significance for me...

    The two monks crossing a ford, where one helps a woman in difficulties, to cross... and the second monk, many hours later, admonishes him for this, to which the first monk responds by saying that he himself set the woman down ages ago, but that the second monk seems to still be carrying her....

    Or.....
    The lama pouring tea for his erudite vistor, and failing to stop pouring, thus illustrating that if his esteemed visitor has so many pre-conceived and fixed notions, no amount of extra teaching will be accommodated.....

    Or the exploding frog, detonated by the sheer size of the vast ocean, in comparison to his own kingdom, the well....

    And poor Krisha Gautami (desperate to revive her dead infant), sent on an errand by the Buddha to find a mustard grain from any house that had not known death.....
  • buddhafootbuddhafoot Veteran
    edited March 2006
    I love the story of the insulting Brahmin who had invited Buddha to dinner - and what Buddha decided to leave with the Brahmin.

    I also like the story about the monk who was sure about how to pronounce a certain mantra and then went to see the guru who had been pronouncing that same mantra incorrectly for his entire lifetime.

    -bf
  • edited March 2006
    I read this online, and it has become one of my favorite stories:

    According to the Vinaya or Buddhist Monastic Rule, an animal cannot become a monk. At one time, a Naga was so desirous of entering the Order that he assumed human form in order to be ordained.

    "Shortly after, when asleep in his hut, the naga returned to the shape of a huge snake. The monk who shared the hut was somewhat alarmed when he woke up to see a great snake sleeping next to him! The Lord Buddha summoned the naga and told him he may not remain as a monk, at which the utterly disconsolate snake began to weep. The snake was given the Five Precepts as the means to attaining a human existence in his next life when he can then be a monk. Then out of compassion for the sad snake, the Lord Buddha said that from then on all candidates for the monkhood be called 'Naga' as a consolation. They are still called 'Naga' to this day."
  • edited March 2006
    Which is a custom that continues to this day - animals being given the refuges and precepts.
  • edited March 2006
    Who give the precepts. I love this idea for all animals.

    I had a dog once that I caught just staring at my buddha statue; I watched him and he put his paw on the buddha! (My statue was on floor as I had an empty room and just made a lil makeshift alter on beautiful paltter in a corner.

    Damn, he already a doggie monk. Now I can see me walking on my trail and wishing al the birds precepts! I'll even throw some to the alligators.
  • edited March 2006
    The Chan teacher, Hsu Yun, who died in 1959, gave the refuges and precepts to a white fox who was presented to Hsu Yun after the man who caught the fox had a dream that the fox wished to be taken to Hsu Yun's monastery. The fox rarely left Hsu Yun's side after that and would come and nudge him when he sat at night and lost track of time, so that Hsu Yun could go to bed.
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited March 2006
    ...This story I have heard told in various ways, but the version I remember is of the three hermits isolated on a lonely island whose only prayer was something along the lines of :
    "You are Three, we are Three, Lord bless us!"

    When the Big Chief Honcho of their particular religion decided to pay them a visit, and he heard the simplicity and brevity of their prayer, he was horrified and dismayed at the lack of substance or verbocity in their prayer, and set about teaching them a far more complex and lengthy prayer....
    Whilst being rowed back to the mainland, he suddenly had the three hermits, standing on the water, next to his boat...they had run across the sea, to ask him to repeat his instructions....
    He shook his head in wonder, and replied,
    "Just pray as you were praying: 'You are Three, We are Three, Lord Bless us!' But now, please remember me in your prayers!"
  • edited March 2006
    In early times in Japan, Bamboo-and-paper lanterns were used with candles inside. A blind man, visiting a friend one night, was offered a lantern to carry home with him.
    "I do not need a lantern," he said. "Darkness and light is all the same to me."
    "I know you do not need a lantern to find your way," his friend replied, "But if you don't have one, someone else may run into you. So you must take it."
    The blind man started off with the lantern and before he had walked very far someone ran squarely into him. "Look out where you are going!" he exclaimed to the stranger. "Can't you see this lantern?"
    " Your candle has burned out, brother," replied the stranger.
  • not1not2not1not2 Veteran
    edited March 2006
    I really love this one-

    http://www.ashidakim.com/zenkoans/45rightandwrong.html
    45. Right & Wrong

    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 woudl 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.

    _/\_
    metta
  • BrigidBrigid Veteran
    edited March 2006
    That's such a beautiful one, Not1.

    Thanks!

    Brigid
  • PalzangPalzang Veteran
    edited April 2006
    Once a novice monk was sent on a journey to a distant monastery where his master was giving teachings. Nearing the monastery, he encountered a deep, swiftly running river. He walked for miles each way along the bank looking for a way across but could find neither bridge nor ford. Finally he spotted his master walking along the opposite bank. "Master," he shouted, "How do I get to the other side of the river?" The master looked at him quizzically and replied, "You're already there!"

    Palzang
  • edited April 2006
    A Chinese student was traveling in the mountains and came upon a tree so large that his surprise knew no limits.

    "How is it that this tree has grown so large?"
    As he looked, he saw that the branches were crooked, thereby unable to provide a strong roof. The trunk had grown with such irregularity that it would be spurned by cabinetmakers. The leaves were the most bitter he had ever tasted; the odor so heavy as to repel the strongest man.

    "Ah," he exclaimed, "this tree would be deemed useless by men and thus it has continued to this size. A good example for the wise to follow."
  • edited April 2006
    "Has a dog Buddha-nature? This is the most serious question of all. If you say yes or no, you lose your own Buddha-nature." -Mumon's comment on Joshu's Dog
  • XraymanXrayman Veteran
    edited April 2006
    A Chinese student was traveling in the mountains and came upon a tree so large that his surprise knew no limits.

    "How is it that this tree has grown so large?"
    As he looked, he saw that the branches were crooked, thereby unable to provide a strong roof. The trunk had grown with such irregularity that it would be spurned by cabinetmakers. The leaves were the most bitter he had ever tasted; the odor so heavy as to repel the strongest man.

    "Ah," he exclaimed, "this tree would be deemed useless by men and thus it has continued to this size. A good example for the wise to follow."

    nice post!:bigclap:
    I must say i think that there is some real wisdom in that-leave a person alone, to continue on their path and they grow in perpetuity...

    regards,
    Xray
  • edited April 2006
    This isn't strictly a Buddhist story as it's about a Hindu philosopher called Shankara. I was reminded of it by the thread on the 5 aggregates and two truths doctrine in Buddhism 202

    As background info here's a bit about him and his teachings from Wikipedia :

    Adi_Sankara

    Anyway back to the story -

    Shankara was teaching a Maharaja his philosophy that the world we inhabit is illusionary and that everything is interconnected. The Maharaja was not convinced so secrety chose to test Shankara. One morning he arranged for some of his attendants to release a wild bull elephant into the grounds near the path that Shankara walked along.
    On seeing the elephant Shankara quickly ran up a tree to get out of its way.
    Once the elephant was captured he climbed down again much to the amusement of the Maharaja who said "If that elephant was merely an illusion why did you climb up the tree?"

    Shankara replied "I see you are still living in ignorance. Of course the elephant was an illusion and what you saw was an illusionary me running up an illusionary tree!"
  • edited April 2006
    LOL I would have been up the tree too! :)
  • edited April 2006
    So what do you guys think of a dog having buddha-nature?
    Mike
  • edited April 2006
    Yes or no to a dog having buddha nature to me is the same. Both are agreeing to a idea or a concept of what buddha nature is. To me one can not find such a truth in idea or concept.
    Mike
  • PadawanPadawan Veteran
    edited April 2006
    Frizzer wrote:
    This isn't strictly a Buddhist story as it's about a Hindu philosopher called Shankara. I was reminded of it by the thread on the 5 aggregates and two truths doctrine in Buddhism 202

    As background info here's a bit about him and his teachings from Wikipedia :

    Adi_Sankara

    Anyway back to the story -

    Shankara was teaching a Maharaja his philosophy that the world we inhabit is illusionary and that everything is interconnected. The Maharaja was not convinced so secrety chose to test Shankara. One morning he arranged for some of his attendants to release a wild bull elephant into the grounds near the path that Shankara walked along.
    On seeing the elephant Shankara quickly ran up a tree to get out of its way.
    Once the elephant was captured he climbed down again much to the amusement of the Maharaja who said "If that elephant was merely an illusion why did you climb up the tree?"

    Shankara replied "I see you are still living in ignorance. Of course the elephant was an illusion and what you saw was an illusionary me running up an illusionary tree!"

    Speaking of the illusory nature of the world, you might like this little cartoon...


    pillar.jpg
  • BrigidBrigid Veteran
    edited April 2006
    LOL!!!!

    Love it!

    Brigid
  • edited April 2006
    That's excellent!
    I'm keeping that one on my desk !
Sign In or Register to comment.