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Podcast Episode 66: Judgment, Burning Hearts, Inuits, and Monkey Attacks

Podcast Episode 66:

Welcome back, this is Daily Buddhism audio show number Sixty-Six recorded March 22nd, 2014. My name is Brian Schell, and I am your host for the show.


I’d like to start answering more of your questions, so be sure to ask! Send in your questions pertaining to . . . → Read More: Podcast Episode 66: Judgment, Burning Hearts, Inuits, and Monkey Attacks

Koan: The Gates of Paradise

The Gates of Paradise


Samurai with Sword

A soldier named Nobushige came to Hakuin, and asked: “Is there really a paradise and a hell?”

“Who are you?” inquired Hakuin.

“I am a samurai,” the warrior replied.

“You, a soldier!” exclaimed Hakuin. “What kind of ruler would have you as his guard? Your face looks like that of a beggar.”

Nobushige became . . . → Read More: Koan: The Gates of Paradise

Koan: Accurate Proportion

Koan: Accurate Proportion

Sen-no Rikyu, a tea-master, wished to hang a flower basket on a column. he asked a carpenter to help him, directing the man to place it a little higher or lower, to the right or left, until he had found exactly the right spot. “That’s the place,” said Sen-no Rikyu at long last.

The carpenter, . . . → Read More: Koan: Accurate Proportion

Koan: Ryonen’s Clear Realization

Koan: Ryonen’s Clear Realization

The Buddhist nun known as Ryonen was born in 1797. She was a granddaughter of the famous Japanese warrior Shingen. Her poetic genius and alluring beauty were such that at seventeen she was serving the empress as one of the ladies of the court. Even at such a youthful age fame awaited her.

The . . . → Read More: Koan: Ryonen’s Clear Realization

Koan: Black-Nosed Buddha

Koan: Black-Nosed Buddha

A nun who was searching for enlightenment made a statue of Buddha and covered it with gold leaf. Wherever she went she carried this golden Buddha with her.

Years passed and, still carrying her Buddha, the nun came to live in a small temple in a country where there were many Buddhas, each one with . . . → Read More: Koan: Black-Nosed Buddha

Koan: My Heart Burns Like Fire

My Heart Burns Like Fire

Soyen Shaku, the first Zen teacher to come to America, said: “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 of . . . → Read More: Koan: My Heart Burns Like Fire

Koan: The Stone Mind

The Stone Mind

Hogen, a Chinese Zen teacher, lived alone in a small temple in the country. One day four traveling monks appeared and asked if they might make a fire in his yard to warm themselves.

While they were building the fire, Hogen heard them arguing about subjectivity and objectivity. He joined them and said: “There is . . . → Read More: Koan: The Stone Mind

Koan: Midnight Excursion

Koan: Midnight Excursion

Many Zen pupils were studying meditation under the Zen master Sengai. One of them used to arise at night, climb over the temple wall, and go to town on a pleasure jaunt.

Sengai, inspecting the dormitory quarters, found this pupil missing one night and also discovered the high stool he had used to scale the . . . → Read More: Koan: Midnight Excursion

Koan: The Stingy Artist

Koan: The Stingy Artist

Gessen was an artist monk. Before he would start a drawing or painting he always insisted upon being paid in advance, and his fees were high. He was known as the “Stingy Artist.”

A geisha once gave him a commission for a painting. “How much can you pay?” inquired Gessen.

“Whatever you charge,” replied the . . . → Read More: Koan: The Stingy Artist

Koan: How Grass and Trees Become Enlightened

Koan: How Grass & Trees Become Enlightened

During the Kamakura period, Shinkan studied Tendai six years and then studied Zen seven years; then he went to China and contemplated Zen for thirteen years more.

When he returned to Japan many desired to interview him and asked obscure questions. But when Shinkan received visitors, which was infrequently, he seldom . . . → Read More: Koan: How Grass and Trees Become Enlightened