Posts tagged Buddha

Where is the Rosary? – Zen Story


“The prayer beads are gone, but the Buddha is still with us!”


There was a temple known for possessing a string of beads that had been worn by Buddha, and only the old abbot and seven disciples knew where they had enshrined the beads.

The seven disciples were very savvy, and the old abbot felt that he could have entrusted any of them to brighten Dharma.

Unexpectedly, the beads suddenly disappeared.

The old abbot asked seven disciples: “As long as the beads are put back in its place, I will not pursue the matter, and neither will the Buddha.”

The disciples shook their heads, and no one admitted to anything!

Seven days passed, and still nobody knew the whereabouts of the rosary.

Image result for image of buddhist rosary


The old abbot said, “He who took it and admits will have the rosary.”

But seven days passed, and still no one admitted.

The old abbot was disappointed and demanded: “You will all go down to the Mountain tomorrow. He who took the beads can stay if he wants to.”

The next day, six of the disciples packed their things and said goodbye. Only one stayed behind.

The abbot asked him: “Where is the rosary?”

The disciple said, “I did not take it.”

“Why did you stay behind to be called a thief, if you did not take it?”

The disciple said: “We have been suspicious of each other. Someone needs to bear the responsibility so that the rest of us will get relief. Besides, the rosary is gone, but the Buddha is still with us.”

The old abbot smiled and took the rosary from within his robes and put it on the disciple.

This story gives me a lot of enlightenment.

Not all things need to be made clear.

Some things are more important than the ability to speak clearly: the ability to bear and act; the resolve to do so; to reverse; to change; to think of themselves, but also others; to take care of the overall situation, this is the law.

This is not only a realm; it is great wisdom.

Eight Winds


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In the Song dynasty, there lived a famous author, inventor, and statesman, Su Tung-po (Su Shi). He was respected for his essays and calligraphy art and was good friends with a monk. They often gathered to discuss Buddhist works, as Su respected the monk’s opinion. One day, Su wrote what he thought was an excellent poem. Proud of himself, he sent a messenger to the monk’s temple and asked for comments on the poem. It read, “I bow to the greatest Buddha and receive the baptism of this light. I am as peaceful as Buddha on the lotus flower – so calm and so steady. Nothing can move me at all, not even the eight winds.”

Su Tung-po (Su Shi)

There are “eight winds” in Buddhism: prosperity, decline, disgrace, honor, praise, censure, suffering and pleasure. Su thought his poem stated that he was immune to the eight winds. In reality, the monk felt he tried to boast of his accomplishments and compare himself to Buddha. After reading the poem, the monk laughed. He wrote to Su the Chinese equivalent of “BS.”

Su thought the monk would praise him for what he wrote. Instead, when he opened his correspondence, he became furious. He made his way over to the temple to yell at the monk. When he went to the Jin San Temple where the monk resided, the door was locked. A piece of paper hung on the door, and it read, “8 winds would not have blown you here. But the BS brought you here.”

Jin San Temple
It is easy to think that we have already achieved understanding, as Su Shi believed. However, had he attained it, he would not have been swayed to express his grievances with the monk.

Position and Perception


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One day, the famous Chinese poet Su Shi was taking a walk with the Zen master. Su asked him, “What do I look like?”

Su was a little pudgy, so the master replied, “You look like a statue of Buddha.” Delighted, Su pestered the master to ask him the same question. “What do I need to ask you? I have nothing to ask,” the master replied. “You should ask me what you look like,” Su said.

“Okay. What do I look like?”

“You look like dog poop!”

Later that day at home, Su boasted about his feat. He told his little sister, “Today I won.” She asked how he won and asked him to tell her about it. He said, “I asked the Zen master what I looked like. He said I was a statue of Buddha. He asked me what he looked like. I said he looked like a dog poop. See, I was Buddha, and he was dog poop. So I won!”

His sister replied, “No, you lost.” Confused, Su asked her how that could be. She explained, “The Zen master has the heart of Buddha. Because they are so similar, what he sees is Buddha. But you are dog poop because dog poop sees everything else as dog poop.”


Su Shi (January 8, 1037 – August 24, 1101), also known as Su Tungpo, was a Chinese writer, poet, painter, calligrapher, pharmacologist, gastronome, and a statesman of the Song dynasty. A major personality of the Song era, Su was an important figure in Song Dynasty politics, aligning himself with Sima Guang and others, against the New Policy party led by Wang Anshi. Su Shi was famed as an essayist, and his prose writings lucidly contribute to the understanding of topics such as 11th-century Chinese travel literature or detailed information on the contemporary Chinese iron industry. His poetry has a long history of popularity and influence in China, Japan, and other areas in the near vicinity and is well known in the English-speaking parts of the world through the translations by Arthur Waley, among others. In terms of the arts, Su Shi has some claim to being “the pre-eminent personality of the eleventh century.”[1] Dongpo pork, a prominent dish in Hangzhou cuisine, is named in his honor.

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