Tags pointing to:  koan (13 found)

Calamities Can Bring…

“Calamities can bring growth and enlightenment,” said the Master. He explained like this: “Each day a bird would shelter in the withered branches of a tree that stood in the middle of a vast deserted plain. One day a whirlwind uprooted the tree, forcing the poor bird to fly a hundred miles in search of […]

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To Write Something

To write something and leave it behind us, It is but a dream. When we awake we know There is not even anyone to read it. — Ikkyu [via] The same day I read Owen’s pondering over the lack of comments on deeply personal posts (plus his follow-up), I came across the koan above. My […]

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The Four Wives

Found this in my email inbox… Once upon a time there was a rich King who had four wives. He loved the fourth wife the most and adorned her with rich robes and treated her to the finest of delicacies. He gave her nothing but the best. He also loved the third wife very much […]

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Who are the Poor?

I found this story attributed to Fr. Jerry Orbos. (via and via) There is a story about a rich father who takes his son on a trip to the countryside to show how poor some people are. The child is quiet through the whole trip. On their way home, the father asks his son what […]

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A Foul Question

Some pointless ponderings on an age-old question: Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Aristotle: Actuality precedes potentiality in terms of value. An egg is a potential chicken. A chicken is actual. Therefore, the chicken came first. Evolutionist: There existed a bird, a proto-chicken, whose DNA mutated when it laid an egg from which […]

What Are You Leaving Out?

I knew there were many interesting sights, but I didn’t want any more of the little answers, I wanted the big answer. So I asked the guestmaster to show me directly to the House of God. I sat myself down, quite willing to wait for the big answer. I remained silent all day, far into […]

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Faith and Feeling

Fact, Faith, and Feeling are three men walking along the top of a well. As long as Faith keeps his eyes on Fact, ahead of him, all three keep walking. But when Faith takes his eyes off Fact and turns around to worry about how Feeling is doing, both Faith and Feeling fall off the […]

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The Little Fish

A little fish went looking for the ocean. He swims up to a big fish and asks, “Where can I find the ocean?” The big fish replied, “Why little one, you are in the ocean.” “This?” replied the little fish. “This is just water. Where can I find the ocean?” The big fish repeated his […]

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Focus is Important

A man goes to his priest and says, “Father, I try to be a good Christian, but I also smoke. Is it alright if I smoke while praying?” The priest frowns and replies, “My son, praying is a conversation with God; it is for the purification of the soul. It would be a shame to […]

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The Little Fish

“Excuse me,” said an ocean fish. “You are older than I, so can you tell me where to find this thing they call the ocean?” “The ocean,” said the older fish, “is the thing you are in now.” “Oh, this? But this is water. What I’m seeking is the ocean,” said the disappointed fish as […]

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Truth?

The devil once went for a walk with a friend. They saw a man ahead of them stoop down and pick up something from the ground. “What did that man find?” asked the friend. “A piece of the truth,” said the devil. “Doesn’t that disturb you?” asked the friend. “No,” said the devil, “I shall […]

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What are Koans?

I have stumbled upon a set of stories by Anthony de Mello. Some people might call them koans. Koans are stories that come from many different traditions, most notably Zen, but others are Buddhist, Christian, Hasidic, Russian, Chinese, Hindu, Sufi. They can be ancient or contemporary. As de Mello writes, they “have a special quality: […]

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The Singer and His Song

“How does one seek union with God?” / “The harder you seek, the more distance you create between Him and you.” / “So what does one do about the distance?” / “Understand that it isn’t there.” / “Does that mean that God and I are one?” / “Not one. Not two.” / “How is that possible?” / “The sun and its light, the ocean and the wave, the singer and his song—not one. Not two.” — Anthony de Mello