Sunday, March 6, 2011

Zen Stories # 6 - The real miracle

When Bankei was preaching at Ryumon temple, a Shinshu priest, who believed in salvation through repetition of the name of the Buddha of Love, was jealous of his large audience and wanted to debate with him.

Bankei was in the midst of a talk when the priest appeared, but the fellow made such a disturbance that Bankei stopped his discourse and asked about the noise.

"The founder of our sect," boasted the priest, "had such miraculous powers that he held a brush in his hand on one bank of the river, his attendant held up a paper on the other bank, and the teacher wrote the holy name of Amida through the air. Can you do such a wonderful thing?"

Bankei replied lightly: "Perhaps your fox can perform that trick, but that is not the manner of Zen. My miracle is that when I feel hungry I eat, and when I feel thirsty I drink."

Zen principle: Every thing that moves around is a creation of the mind, and if we firmly have our feet on the ground, we will see that every moment we live life itself is a miracle of nature. The way our organs work, the way we breathe without any sound, the way the earth spins without we spinning - all are perfect examples of miracles at work.

We do not realize the miracles already around us, and instead, are searching for new miracles - which are transient in nature. Learn to identify the temporary from the permanent ones, and focus on gaining wisdom for life.

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