Saturday, May 28, 2005


Zen Buddhism may not be the best religion, but it certainly has the best jokes.

These are from Paul Reps, Zen Flesh, Zen Bones:
Ikkyu, the Zen master, was very clever even as a boy. His teacher had a precious teacup, a rare antique. Ikkyu happened to break this cup and was greatly perplexed. Hearing the footsteps of his teacher, he held the pieces of the cup behind him. when the master appeared, Ikkyu asked: 'Why do people have to die?'
'This is natural,' explained the older man. 'Everything has to die and has just so long to live.'
Ikkyu, producing the shattered cup, added: 'It was time for your cup to die.'

Tanzan and Ekido were 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 Tansan 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 go 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?'

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