My attempt at a Zen story

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My attempt at a Zen story

Postby Guy » Sun Jan 31, 2010 8:42 am

I know this is a Theravada forum but I thought I would share a "Zen" story that I just wrote...

Once upon a time there was a very wealthy young man who had enough money to buy whatever he wanted whenever he wanted it. For a long time he was living very happily just doing as he pleased until one day when a poor old man approached him on a busy street.

"Excuse me, young man, do you happen to have the time?"

The young man noticed that the old man had a shiny gold wrist watch on and was puzzled why this old man was asking him for the time. He also wondered how this poor old man living in rags could have afforded such an expensive wrist watch.

"Old man, you have a wrist watch already, and quite a nice one I might add, why would you ask me for the time?" Replied the young man.

"Young man, my eyes don't work as well as they used to, I can no longer see the face of my wrist watch." Said the old man.

In classic Zen-like fashion, the young man became awakened.
Four types of letting go:

1) Giving; expecting nothing back in return
2) Throwing things away
3) Contentment; wanting to be here, not wanting to be anywhere else
4) "Teflon Mind"; having a mind which doesn't accumulate things

- Ajahn Brahm
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Re: My attempt at a Zen story

Postby Ben » Sun Jan 31, 2010 8:58 am

Yes, but did he tell the old guy the time?
And what is the time, guy?
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

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Re: My attempt at a Zen story

Postby Guy » Sun Jan 31, 2010 9:08 am

The time (for Dhamma practice) is now, it was the old man who taught the young man this.
Four types of letting go:

1) Giving; expecting nothing back in return
2) Throwing things away
3) Contentment; wanting to be here, not wanting to be anywhere else
4) "Teflon Mind"; having a mind which doesn't accumulate things

- Ajahn Brahm
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Re: My attempt at a Zen story

Postby Dan74 » Sun Jan 31, 2010 10:43 am

I like the story, but I wouldn't say it's a "Zen story" because I think Zen stories are actually extremely direct (that's what makes them hard to understand - they are not conceptual) and this story is kind of oblique.

Still a nice story!

Kind of has more of a Sufi feel to me (like Nasruddin's stories).

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Re: My attempt at a Zen story

Postby 8fold » Sun Jan 31, 2010 6:00 pm

I give the story an A+.
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