Reading stories is my all time favorite hobbies. I read a lot of short stories and I am sharing a few best Zen stories I have been reading recently.
1. Carrying A Woman!Tanzan and Ekido were once travelling together down a muddy road. A heavy rain was still falling.
Coming around a bend, they met a lovely girl in a silk kimono and sash, unable to cross the intersection.
"Come on, girl," said Tanzan at once. Lifting her in his arms, he carried her over the mud.
Ekido did not speak again until that night when they reached a lodging temple. Then he no longer could restrain himself.
"We monks don't do near females," he told Tanzan, "especially not young and lovely
ones. It is dangerous. Why did you do that?"
"I left the girl there," said Tanzan. "Are you still carrying her?"
2. If You Love, Love OpenlyTwenty monks and one nun, who was named Eshun, were practicing meditation with a certain Zen master.
Eshun was very pretty even though her head was shaved and her dress plain. Several monks secretly fell in love with her. One of them wrote her a love letter, insisting upon a private meeting.
Eshun did not reply. The following day the master gave a lecture to the group, and when it was over, Eshun arose. Addressing the one who had written her, she said: "If you really love me so much, come and embrace me now."
3. Too Much LoveAn aged monk, who had lived a long and active life, was assigned a chaplain's role at an academy for girls. In discussion groups he often found that the subject of love became a central topic.
This comprised his warning to the young women: "Understand the danger of anything-too-much in your lives. Too much anger in combat can lead to recklessness and death. Too much ador in religious beliefs can lead to close mindedness and persecution. Too much passion in love creates dream images of the beloved - images that ultimately prove false and generate anger. To love too much is to lick honey from the point of a knife."
"But as a celebate monk," asked one young woman, "how can you know of love between a man and a woman?"
"Sometime, dear children," replied the old teacher, "I will tell you why I became a monk."
A Chinese emperor known for his foul temper entered the bedroom of his soon-to-be-bride, who was one of the most beautiful women in all of China. She was being made to marry him against her will, as her parents were forcing her into it.
Little did the emperor know however that she had also been taught by wise sages as a child. She sat expressionless, staring at the wall. "Hello, pretty," he said to her, but she didn't respond.
"I said hello to you, and you will respond when I address you, do you understand me??" he snarled. But still, she didn't reply.
Most people would have answered him by now, so despite himself he grew curious, and gruffly asked, "What is it you are thinking?"
Finally she answered him. "Two things. One, that I do not wish to marry you because you are so callous and mean-spirited. And the other thing, is that I was wondering if you have it within your power to have a certain something changed."
"What?!" the emperor exclaimed with outrage. "You bitch! How dare you question my authority! ... But ... I admit I'm curious. Since I have it within my power to snap my fingers and whatever I command within my kingdom will be obeyed, what is it you are wondering if I could change?"
"Your attitude," she replied. And with that she got up and walked out of the room, leaving him in stunned silence.