6 Meditation Stories That Will Help You In Self-realization

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Last updated on June 4th, 2024


Short Meditation And Self-realization Stories To Know Yourself Better


Meditation Stories That Will Help You With Self-Realization: Any person who knows even a little about yoga will definitely be familiar with the importance of meditation. Meditation can give you a sense of calm, peace, and balance that can benefit both your emotional well-being and your overall health.

Meditation Stories

Most people move towards meditation so that they too can experience high-level spiritual experiences like the sages and ascetics. Although after a while they get discouraged and give up the effort.

But you must understand that the highest experiences of meditation require months of sustained devoted effort. These short and inspiring Zen stories will help you to know what is the importance of concentration in meditation and how you should meditate.

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1. My Heart Burns Like Fire: A Story About Meditation

Soyen Shaku was the first Zen teacher who came to America. Once he said to his disciples, “My heart burns like fire but my eyes are as cold as dead ashes.” He made the following rules, which he practiced every day of his life. In the morning before dressing, light incense and meditate.

Retire at a regular hour. Partake in food at regular intervals. Eat in moderation and never to the point of satisfaction. Receive a guest with the same attitude as you have when alone. When alone, maintain the same attitude you have when receiving guests.

Watch what you say, and whatever you say, practice it. When an opportunity comes do not let it pass by, yet always think twice before acting. Do not regret the past. Look to the future. Have the fearless attitude of a hero and the loving heart of a child.

Upon retiring sleep as if you had entered your last sleep. Upon awakening, leave your bed behind you instantly as if you had cast away a pair of old shoes.

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2. A Mother’s Advice: How To Realize Your True Self

Jiun, a Shingon master, was a well-known Sanskrit scholar of the Tokugawa era. When he was young he used to deliver lectures to his brother students. His mother heard about this and wrote him a letter:

“Son, I do not think you have become a devotee of the Buddha because you desire to turn into a walking dictionary for others. There is no end to information and commentary, glory and honor.”

“I wish you would stop this lecture business. Shut yourself up in a little temple in a remote part of the mountains. Devote your time to meditation and in this way attain hue realization.”

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3. The Sound of One Hand: A Story About How To Meditate

The masts of Kennin temple was Mokurai, Silent Thunder. He had a little protégé named Toyo who was only twelve years old. Toyo saw the old disciples visit the master’s room each morning and evening to receive instruction in Sanzen or personal guidance.

Master gave them koans to stop mind-wandering. Toro wished to do Sanzen also. ‘Wait a while,’ said Mokurai. ‘You are too young.’ But the child insisted, so the teacher finally consented.

In the evening little Toyo went at the proposed time to the threshold of Mokurai’s Sanzen room. He struck the gong to announce his presence and bowed respectfully three times outside the door.

Then he went to sit before the master in respectful silence. ‘You can hear the sound of two hands when they clap together,’ said Mokurai. ‘Now show me the sound of one hand.’

Toyo bowed and went to his room to consider this problem. From his window, he could hear the music of the geishas. ‘Ah, I have it!’ he proclaimed.

The next evening, when his teacher asked him to illustrate the sound of one hand, Toyo began to play the music of the geishas.

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‘No, no,’ said Mokurai. That will never do. That is not the sound of one hand. You’ve not got it at all.’ Thinking that such music might interrupt, Toyo moved his abode to a quiet place.

He meditated again. ‘What can the sound of one hand be?’ He happened to hear some water dripping. ‘I have it,’ imagined Toyo. When he next appeared before his teacher, Toyo imitated dripping water.

‘What is that?’ Asked Mokurai. That is the sound of dripping water, but not the sound of one hand. Try again.’ In vain Toyo meditated to hear the sound of one hand.

He heard the sighing of the wind. But the sound was rejected. He heard the cry of an owl. This was also refused. The sound of one hand was not from the locusts.

For more than ten times, Toyo visited Mokurai with different sounds. All were wrong. For almost a year he pondered what the sound of one hand might be.

At last, little Toyo entered true meditation and transcended all sounds. ‘I could collect no more,’ he explained later.’ So I reached the soundless sound.’ Toyo had realized the sound of one hand.

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4. Wanting God: A Meditation Story That’ll Entertain You

A hermit was meditating by a river when a young man interrupted him. “Master, I wish to become your disciple,” said the man. “Why?” replied the hermit.

The young man thought for a moment. “Because I want to find God.” The master jumped up, grabbed him by the scruff of his neck and dragged him into the river.

Then he plunged his head under water. After holding him there for a minute, with him kicking and struggling to free himself, the master finally pulled him up out of the river.

The young man coughed up water and gasped to get his breath. When he eventually quieted down, the master spoke.

“Tell me, what did you want most of all when you were under water.” “Air!” answered the man.

“Very well,” said the master. “Go home and come back to me when you want God as much as you just want air.”

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5. How Did A Thief Become A Monk: A Meditation Story

A thief went to a Buddhist monk Nagarjuna and said, “Venerated Sir, I am highly impressed with your ascetic life and willing to live too, but I am a thief and I can’t leave stealing.”

Nagarjuna asked, “Who asked you to leave?”

The Thief said, “Whenever I go to any monk, they tell me to leave theft, then only I can start.”

Nagarjuna said, “Then they are not real monks. The truth is you can continue being a thief and also start your spiritual journey.”

The thief was very happy after listening to this.

Nagarjuna said, “Just remember one thing whenever you do stealing just be conscious at that time, be aware of what you are doing.”

The thief agreed. After 2 days, he came and said,

“You have put me in big trouble. You have told me to be aware while stealing and now when I am aware and conscious I am not able to do any kind of theft.”

“Now I don’t want to be a thief, I want to lead a spiritual life. Please accept me as your disciple.”

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6. Eshun’s Departure: A Story About Self-realization

When Eshun, the Zennun, was past sixty and about to leave the world, she asked some monks to pile up wood in the yard. Seating herself firmly in the center of the funeral pyre, she had it set fire around the edges.

‘O nun!’ shouted the monk, ‘is it hot in there?’ Eshun answered, ‘Such a matter would concern only a stupid person like yourself.’ The flames arose, and she passed away.

Moral of The Stories: Concentration of mind is the essence of meditation. Till you are not conscious you are not more than a fool. To experience the spiritual and life-transforming benefits of meditation you must focus only on one thing – the moment.

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