Koan – Zen Dialogue

Zen teachers train their young pupils to express themselves. Two Zen temples each had a child protégé. One child, going to obtain vegetables each morning, would meet the other on the way.

“Where are you going?” asked the one.

“I am going wherever my feet go,” the other responded.

Camino montañas

This reply puzzled the first child who went to his teacher for help. “Tomorrow morning,” the teacher told him, “when you meet that little fellow, ask him the same question. He will give you the same answer, and then you ask him: ‘Suppose you have no feet, then where are you going?’ That will fix him.”

The children met again the following morning.

“Where are you going?” asked the first child.

“I am going wherever the wind blows,” answered the other.

viento soplando

This again nonplussed the youngster, who took his defeat to the teacher.

Ask him where he is going if there is no wind,” suggested the teacher.

The next day the children met a third time.

“Where are you going?” asked the first child.

“I am going to the market to buy vegetables,” the other replied.


If life is constant change, why do you expect the same answer for the same question?



Koan – The Moon Cannot Be Stolen

Ryokan, a Zen master, lived the simplest kind of life in a little hut at the foot of a mountain.

hut in the mountains

One evening a thief visited the hut only to discover there was nothing to steal.

empty room

Ryokan returned and caught him. “You have come a long way to visit me,” he told the prowler, “and you should not return empty-handed. Please take my clothes as a gift.”

shirt in the wind

The thief was bewildered. He took the clothes and slunk away.

Ryoken sat naked, watching the moon. “Poor fellow,” he mused, “I wish I could have given him this beautiful moon.”



Koan – Obedience

The master Bankei’s talks were attended not only by Zen students but by persons of all ranks and sects. He never quoted sutras not indulged in scholastic dissertations. Instead, his words were spoken directly from his heart to the hearts of his listeners.

motivational speaker

His large audience angered a priest of the Nichiren sect because the adherents had left to hear about Zen. The self-centered Nichiren priest came to the temple, determined to have a debate with Bankei.

monk in tibet

“Hey, Zen teacher!” he called out. “Wait a minute. Whoever respects you will obey what you say, but a man like myself does not respect you. Can you make me obey you?”

“Come up beside me and I will show you,” said Bankei.

Proudly the priest pushed his way through the crowd to the teacher.

Bankei smiled. “Come over to my left side.”

The priest obeyed.

“No,” said Bankei, “we may talk better if you are on the right side. Step over here.”

The priest proudly stepped over to the right.

“You see,” observed Bankei, “you are obeying me and I think you are a very gentle person. Now sit down and listen.”

old tibetan man


Thank you!


In only 3 months!

I’m really grateful to all of you whom take the time to have a look at the articles, fables, koan and basically the posts I share which I think will be of interest.

And even more to those who take the time (data suggests it’s in the line of 0,3 seconds) to like them.

Don’t want to pull a long post, so basically:

Thank you heart

Koan – The First Principle

When one goes to Obaku temple in Kyoto he sees carved over the gate the words “The First Principle”.

Ruedas de rezo

The letters are unusually large, and those who appreciate calligraphy always admire them as being a mastepiece.

They were drawn by Kosen two hundred years ago.

When the master drew them he did so on paper, from which the workmen made the large carving in wood.

As Kosen sketched the letters a bold pupil was with him who had made several gallons of ink for the calligraphy and who never failed to criticise his master’s work.

Pruebas caligrafía

“That is not good,” he told Kosen after his first effort.

“How is this one?”

“Poor. Worse than before,” pronounced the pupil.

Kosen patiently wrote one sheet after another until eighty-four First Principles had accumulated, still without the approval of the pupil.

Then when the young man stepped outside for a few moments, Kosen thought: “Now this is my chance to escape his keen eye,” and he wrote hurriedly, with a mind free from distraction: “The First Principle.”

Maestro caligrafia

“A masterpiece,” pronounced the pupil.


Has it ever happened to you that once you simple let go and stop worrying things simply flowed?

Fables – The four candles

Once upon a time, four candles were burning.

The place was so silent that the dialogue between them could be heard.

The first said:

I am the Peace, and even with my light, people cannot manage to keep me lit.

Soon, the flame extinguished.

 velas volando

The second said:

I am Faith!

Sadly, I am not needed by people. They don’t want to know about God or their Spirit, it doesn’t make sense to continue burning.

When she finished talking, a soft wind blew her out.

 vela fe

Very quietly and sad, the third candle spoke:

I am Love!

I can’t continue burning, I am tired. People put me aside, only interested in taking care of themselves up to the point of forgetting those around them.

It too went out.

vela amor

Suddenly, a boy arrives and sees the three extinguished candles…

– What is this! You must be lit and burn until the end!

Then the fourth candle spoke:

– Fear not, my son.

While I am lit, we can re-ignite the other candles.

 vela esperanza

Then the boy took the candle of Hope and re-kindled the other candles.

 Author: unknown

May the candle of Hope never extinguish for you, for it is the light at the end of the tunnel.

Reflection – How close are you to your heart?

Long ago, a wise man asked his followers:

Why do people shout when they are angry?

pareja gritándose

They thought for some time:

– Because we lose our calm – said one – that is why we shout.

– But, why shout to a person that is right next to you? Isn’t it possible to talk quietly? – said the wise man.

Others gave their answers but none satisfied the wise man.


Finally, he explained:

When two people are upset, their hearts are very far apart. To cover that distance, they must shout in order to be heard.

The more angry they are, the louder they will have to shout in order to hear each other in this great distance.

Gran cañón

The wise men then asked:

What happens when two people are in love?

They do not shout, they speak softly.


Why? Because their hearts are very close.

The distance between them is very small.

The wise man continued, when they love even more, do you know what happens? The don’t speak, only whisper and they get even closer in their love.

In the end, they don’t even need to whisper, they simply look at each other and it is all. That is how close two people are when they love each other.


Then he said:

– When you argue, do not allow your hearts to go far away, do not speak words that will push them even further, for one day the distance will be so big they will not be able to find their way back.

Author: traditional tibet tale

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Fables – You are I and I am You

Once upon a time there was an honest student.

Alumnos budda

In his heart lived the desire of perfectioning himself. One dawn, when the crickets started to break the silence of the late afternoon, he traveled to a humble house in the mountains where a yogui dwelled and knocked on his door.

casita en la montaña

– Who is it? – asked the yogui

– It is me, respected master. I have come to seek spiritual guiding from you

– You are not prepared enough – answered the yogui without opening the door. Spend a year in a cave and meditate. Meditate without break. Then, come back and I will guide you.

rays of light

In the begining, the student felt his heart sink, but since he was fully determined, he obeyed the yogui.

He found a cave in the base of the mountain and during a year he practiced deep meditation. He learned how to be with himself and Being.

cueva himalaya

When the monsoon arrived, he knew a year had past since he arrived to the cave. He left to meet again with the yogui and knocked at his door.

– Who is it? – asked the yogui-

– I am You – answered the student.

– If that is so -said the yogui – enter. There was no place in this house for two “I”s

dos pájaros en la luz

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Fables – All you need is fear

Once upon a time there was a king with a pure heart and very interested in spiritual growth.

He was visited often by yogis and mystical masters that could provide him with advice and methods for his personal enlightment.


News reached him about a very suspicious aesthet and resolved to call him to try him.

The aesther presented himself to the monarch and the later stated:

“Proof you are an authentic aesthet or I will have you hanged!”


The yogi said:

Majesty, I promise I have very strange and supernatural visions. I see a golden bird in the sky and the daemons under the earth. I can see them right now!

“How is it possible – inquired the king –  that through these thick walls you can see what you claim in the sky and under the earth?”

The aesther answered:

“I only needed fear”

Mujer al borde

Author: traditional Indian tale

We always speak badly of fear…but it does have its uses! Have you had a situation where fear has aided you?

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Fable – The Oak and the reed

An oak and a reed shared the riverbank on a late Summer afternoon.

Roble con cañas

The tree told the reed:

You have all the right to feel angry with Nature.

A simple bird is great burden for you.

The lightest breeze, which only ruffles the surface of the water, makes you bow.

My top not only stops the light of the Sun but defies the Storm.

If only you had grown up under my protection you would not suffer.

I could defend you of the wind!

But since you usually grow next to the water, little can I do for you!

caña doblándose

The reed replied:

Your compassion proves your good will

But fear not.

The winds are not as fearsome for me as they are for you. I bend and bow, but I don’t break. Up to now, you have been capable of weathering the strongest winds without so much as tilting, but in the end nobody is so lucky.

As soon as these words were said, in the horizon appeared a terrible hurricane.

The oak resists, the reed bends.

The wind redoubles its efforts and finally uproots the Oak that streched from the skies to the earth.

roble caido

Author:  Esopo

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