Category Archives: Stories

The Art of mind control

zen archer

After having won many archery contests, the town champion went to the Zen master.

– I am the best of all – he said. – I didn’t study religion, never sought help from the monks, and succeeded in becoming the finest archer in the whole region. I heard that, for a time, you were the best archer in the region, and ask you: was it necessary to become a monk in order to learn to shoot?

– No – replied the Zen master.

But the champion was not satisfied: he took an arrow, placed it in the bow, fired it and hit a cherry which was very far away. Smiling, as if to say: “you might have saved your time, devoting yourself only to technique.” And he said:

– I doubt whether you could do that.

Without looking in the least bit worried, the master went inside, fetched his bow, and began to walk towards a nearby mountain.On the way, there was an abyss which could only be crossed by an old bridge made of rotting rope, and which was almost collapsing.The Zen master went to the middle of the bridge, took his bow and placed an arrow in it, then aimed at a tree on the far side of the precipice, and hit his target.

– Now it is your turn – he kindly told the young man, as he returned to firm ground.

Terrified as he gazed down at the abyss below his feet, the young man went to the spot and fired, but his arrow veered wide of the mark.

– That is why the discipline of meditation was worthwhile – concluded the master, when the young man returned to him.

“You may have great skill with the instrument you choose for your livelihood, but it us useless, if you cannot command the mind which uses that instrument.”

The above post was taken form PauloCoelho’s Blog.

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August 12, 2012 · 1:24 pm

God will help me

Flood man on roof

There was an man who had a dream one night that he would be protected from a ravaging storm that would engulf his whole village.

The next day, as expected, a terrible storm came to his region. The first day a neighbor of his offered help for him to flee – help that he denied since he was sure God was going to help him.

The second day, when he had to take refuge in the second floor of his house given that the waters had taken over all of the first floor, a rescue team came to his house and offered him to get out of there – help that he again refused given that God had promised him to get out of there.

The third day came a helicopter to rescue him but he was adamant that God was going to save him.

Not long after he drowned and died. Once in heaven he complained to God: “why didn’t you help me as you promised?”
To which God replied: ” I sent your neighbor, a rescue squad and even a helicopter to which you simply declined!”

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July 7, 2012 · 11:02 am

The Bell Sound

the bell

One day, as the big temple bell was being rung, the Buddha asked Ananda, “Where does the bell sound come from?”

“The bell.”

The Buddha said, “The bell? But if there were no bell stick, how would the sound appear?”

Ananda hastily corrected himself. “The stick! The stick!”

“The stick? If there were no air, how could the sound come here?”

“Yes! Of course! It comes from the air!”

The Buddha asked, “Air? But unless you have an ear, you cannot hear the bell sound.”

“Yes! I need an ear to hear it. So it comes from my ear.”

The Buddha replied, “Your ear? If you have no consciousness, how can you understand the bell sound?”

“My consciousness makes the sound.”

“Your consciousness? So,Ananda, if you have no mind, how do you hear the bell sound?”

“IT WAS CREATED BY MIND ALONE.”

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July 4, 2012 · 9:06 am

Being True, Good and Useful

socrates with friends

“In ancient Greece, Socrates was reputed to hold knowledge in high esteem. One day an acquaintance met the great philosopher and said, “Do you know what I just heard about your friend?”

“Hold on a minute,” Socrates replied. “Before you talk to me about my friend, it might be good idea to take a moment and filter what you’re going to say. That’s why I call it the triple filter test. The first filter is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?”

“Well, no,” the man said, “actually I just heard about it and…”

“All right,” said Socrates. “So you don’t really know if it’s true or not. Now, let’s try the second filter, the filter of Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about my friend something good?”

“Umm, no, on the contrary…”

“So,” Socrates continued, “you want to tell me something bad about my friend, but you’re not certain it’s true. You may still pass the test though, because there’s one filter left—the filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about my friend going to be useful to me?”

“No, not really.”

“Well,” concluded Socrates, “if what you want to tell me is neither true, nor good, nor even useful, why tell it to me at all?”

The above texts originally appeared in Priya Sher’s Blog

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June 30, 2012 · 8:55 am

True Way

just do it

Joju once asked Master Nam Cheon, “What is the true way?”

Nam Cheon replied, “Everyday mind is the true way.”

“Then should I try to keep it or not?”

Nam Cheon said, “If you try to keep it, you are already mistaken.”

“If I do not try to keep it, how can I understand the true way?”

Nam Cheon replied, “The true way is not dependent on understanding or not understanding. Understanding is illusion; not understanding is blankness. If you completely attain the true way of not thinking, it is like space, clear and void. So why do you make right or wrong?”

Joju heard that, and got enlightenment.

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June 30, 2012 · 8:37 am

Death Speaks

There was a merchant in Bagdad who sent his servant to market to buy provisions and in a little while the servant came back, white and trembling, and said, Master, just now when I was in the market-place I was jostled by a woman in the crowd and when I turned I saw it was death that jostled me.

She looked at me and made a threatening gesture; now, lend me your horse, and I will ride away from this city and avoid my fate. I will go to Samarra and there death will not find me. The merchant lent him his horse, and the servant mounted it, and he dug his spurs in its flanks and as fast as the horse could gallop he went.

Then the merchant went down to the market-place and he saw me standing in the crowd and he came to me and said, Why did you make a threatening gesture to my servant when you saw him this morning?

That was not a threatening gesture, I said, it was only a start of surprise. I was astonished to see him in Bagdad for I had an appointment with him tonight in Samarra.

The original story appeared in the play ‘Sheppey’ by ‘W. Somerset Maugham’.

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April 4, 2012 · 11:42 pm

The Ugly Duckling

the ugly duckling

Once upon a time down on an old farm, lived a duck family, and Mother Duck had been sitting on a clutch of new eggs. One nice morning, the eggs hatched and out popped six chirpy ducklings. But one egg was bigger than the rest, and it didn’t hatch. Mother Duck couldn’t recall laying that seventh egg. How did it get there? TOCK! TOCK! The little prisoner was pecking inside his shell.

“Did I count the eggs wrongly?” Mother Duck wondered. But before she had time to think about it, the last egg finally hatched. A strange looking duckling with gray feathers that should have been yellow gazed at a worried mother. The ducklings grew quickly, but Mother Duck had a secret worry.

“I can’t understand how this ugly duckling can be one of mine!” she said to herself, shaking her head as she looked at her last born. Well, the gray duckling certainly wasn’t pretty, and since he ate far more than his brothers, he was outgrowing them. As the days went by, the poor ugly duckling became more and more unhappy. His brothers didn’t want to play with him, he was so
clumsy, and all the farmyard folks simply laughed at him. He felt sad and lonely, while Mother Duck did her best to console him.

“Poor little ugly duckling!” she would say. “Why are you so different from the others?” And the ugly duckling felt worse than ever. He secretly wept at night. He felt nobody wanted him.

“Nobody loves me, they all tease me! Why am I different from my brothers?”

Then one day, at sunrise, he ran away from the farmyard. He stopped at a pond and began to question all the other birds. “Do you know of any ducklings with gray feathers like mine?” But everyone shook their heads in scorn.

“We don’t know anyone as ugly as you.” The ugly duckling did not lose heart, however, and kept on making inquiries. He went to another pond, where a pair of large geese gave him the same answer to his question. What’s more, they warned him: “Don’t stay here! Go away! It’s dangerous. There are men with guns around here!” The duckling was sorry he had ever left the farmyard.

Then one day, his travels took him near an old countrywoman’s cottage. Thinking he was a stray goose, she caught him.

“I’ll put this in a hutch. I hope it’s a female and lays plenty of eggs!” said the old woman, whose eyesight was poor. But the ugly duckling laid not a single egg. The hen kept frightening him.

“Just wait! If you don’t lay eggs, the old woman will wring your neck and pop you into the pot!” And the cat chipped in: “Hee! Hee! I hope the woman cooks you, then I can gnaw at your bones!” The poor ugly duckling was so scared that he lost his appetite, though the old woman kept stuffing him with food and grumbling: “If you won’t lay eggs, at least hurry up and get plump!”

“Oh, dear me!” moaned the now terrified duckling. “I’ll die of fright first! And I did so hope someone would love me!”

Then one night, finding the hutch door ajar, he escaped. Once again he was all alone. He fled as far away as he could, and at dawn, he found himself in a thick bed of reeds. “If nobody wants me, I’ll hid here forever.” There was plenty a food, and the duckling began to feel a little happier, though he was lonely. One day at sunrise, he saw a flight of beautiful birds wing overhead. White, with long slender necks, yellow beaks and large wings, they were migrating south.

“If only I could look like them, just for a day!” said the duckling, admiringly. Winter came and the water in the reed bed froze. The poor duckling left home to seek food in the snow. He dropped exhausted to the ground, but a farmer found him and put him in his big jacket pocket.

“I’ll take him home to my children. They’ll look after him. Poor thing, he’s frozen!” The duckling was showered with kindly care at the farmer’s house. In this way, the ugly duckling was able to survive the bitterly cold winter.

However, by springtime, he had grown so big that the farmer decided: “I’ll set him free by the pond!” That was when the duckling saw himself mirrored in the water.

“Goodness! How I’ve changed! I hardly recognize myself!” The flight of swans winged north again and glided on to the pond. When the duckling saw them, he realized he was one of their kind, and soon made friends.

“We’re swans like you!” they said, warmly. “Where have you been hiding?”

“It’s a long story,” replied the young swan, still astounded. Now, he swam majestically with his fellow swans. One day, he heard children on the river bank exclaim: “Look at that young swan! He’s the finest of them all!”

And he almost burst with happiness.

The Ugly Duckling is a famous child literary fairy tale.

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March 23, 2012 · 11:12 am