Short Stories About Knowledge To Alleviate The Darkness Inside
Short Stories About Knowledge: Have you ever wondered why knowledge is important in our lives? Because knowledge can help us solve problems, progress in our careers, and advance our growth. But to get knowledge, you should be curious to learn new things and always remain humble.
Having a big ego gets you nowhere. If you boast and brag, you will never attain knowledge and sooner or later someone is going to put you in your place. We hope these stories about knowledge will eliminate your many doubts.
1. The Most Important Teaching: A Funny Story
A renowned Zen master said that his greatest teaching was this: “Buddha is your own mind.” So impressed by how profound this idea was, one monk decided to leave the monastery and retreat to the wilderness to meditate on this insight. There he spent 20 years as a hermit probing the great teaching.
One day he met another monk who was traveling through the forest. Quickly the hermit monk learned that the traveler also had studied under the same Zen master. “Please tell me what you know of the master’s greatest teaching.”
The traveler’s eyes lit up, “Ah, the master has been very clear about this. He says that his greatest teaching is this: Buddha is NOT your own mind.”
2. The Story of A Zen Master And A Doctor About Knowledge
Stingy In Teaching: Inspiring Zen Story For Everyone
A young physician in Tokyo named Kusuda met a college friend who had been studying Zen. The young doctor asked him what Zen was. ‘I cannot tell you what it is,’ the friend replied, ‘but one thing is certain. If you understand Zen, you will not be afraid to die.’
That’s fine: said Kusuda. “I will try it. Where can I find a teacher?’ ‘Go to the master Nan-in,’ the friend told him. So Kusuda went to call Nan-in. He carried a dagger nine and a half inches long to determine whether or not the teacher himself was afraid to die.
When Nan-in saw Kusuda he exclaimed: ‘Hello, friend. How are you? We haven’t seen each other for a long time!’ This perplexed Kusuda, who replied: ‘We have never met before.’
‘That’s right,’ answered Nan-in. I mistook you for another physician who is receiving instruction here.’ With such a beginning, Kusuda lost his chance to test the master, so reluctantly asked if he might receive Zen instruction.
Nan-in said, ‘Zen is not a difficult task. If you are a physician, treat your patients with kindness. That is Zen.’ Kusuda visited Nan-in three times. Each time Nan-in told him the same thing –
“A physician should not waste time around here. Go home and take care of your patients.” It was not yet clear to Kusuda how such teaching could remove the fear of death. So on his fourth visit, he complained:
Do Your Duty Unselfishly & You Will Never Regret
“My friend told me that when one learns Zen one loses his fear of death. Each time I come here all you tell me is to take care of my patients. I know that much. If that is your so-called Zen, I am not going to visit you anymore.”
Nan-in smiled and patted the doctor. ‘I have been too strict with you. Let me give you a koan.’ He presented Kusuda with Joshu’s Mu to work over, which is the first mind-enlightening problem in the book called The Gateless Gate.
Kusuda pondered this problem of Mu (No-thing) for two years. At length, he thought he had reached certainty of mind. But his teacher commented: “You are not in yet.” Kusuda continued in concentration for another year and a half.
His mind became placid. Problems dissolved. No-thing became the truth. He served his patients well and, without even knowing it, he was free from concern about life and death. Then when he visited Nan-in his old teacher just smiled.
3. Inspiring Story of A Zen Master Who Acquired Knowledge
The Story of A Monk And His Innocent Mother
Shoun became a teacher of Soto Zen. When he was still a student his father passed away, leaving him to care for his old mother. Whenever Shoun went to a meditation hall he always took his mother with him. Since she accompanied him, when he visited monasteries he could not live with the monks.
So he would build a little house and care for her there. He would copy sutras, and Buddhist verses and in this manner receive a few coins for food. When Shoun bought fish for his mother, the people would scoff at him, for a monk is not supposed to eat fish.
But Shoun did not mind. His mother, however, was hurt to see others laugh at her son. Finally, she told Shoun: ‘I think I will become a nun. I can be a vegetarian too.’ She did and they studied together.
Shoun was fond of music and was a master of the harp, which his mother also played. On full moon nights, they used to play together. One night a young lady passed by their house and heard music.
Deeply touched, she invited Shoun to visit her the next evening and play. He accepted the invitation. A few days later he met the young lady on the street and thanked her for her hospitality. Others laughed at him as he had visited the home of a woman on the streets.
One Gets Knowledge When Attachments End
One day Shoun left a distant temple to deliver a lecture. A few months afterward he returned home to find his mother dead. Friends did not know where to reach him, so the funeral was then in progress. Shoun walked up and hit the coffin with his staff.
‘Mother, your son has returned,’ he said. ‘I am glad to see you have returned son,’ he answered for his mother. ‘I’m glad too,’ Shoun responded. Then he announced to the people about him: The funeral ceremony is over. You may bury the body.’
When Shoun was old he knew his end was approaching. He asked his disciples to gather around him in the morning telling them he was going to pass on at noon. Burning incense before the picture of his mother and his old teacher, he wrote a poem:
“For fifty-six years I lived as best I could, making my way in this world. Now the rain has ended, the clouds are clearing, and the blue sky has a full moon.” His disciples gathered about him, reciting a sutra, and Shoun passed on during the invocation.
4. Repent Now: An Inspiring Story That Opens Eyes
The story is told of a peripatetic rabbi who was walking with some of his disciples when one of them asked: “Rabbi, when should a man repent?”
The rabbi quickly replied: “On the last day of your life.”
“But,” protested several of his disciples, “we can never be sure which day will be the last day of our life.”
The rabbi smiled and said, “The answer to that problem is very simple. Repent now.”
Source: Leonard Sweet, SoulSalsa (Zondervan, 2002)