Ripped Veil

The disciples asked the master to speak to them of death: “What will it be like?” “It will be as if a veil is ripped apart and you will say in wonder, ‘So it was You all along!’”   Bonus […]

The Earthquake

One day there was an earthquake that shook the entire Zen temple. Parts of it even collapsed! Many of the monks were terrified. When the earthquake stopped the teacher said, “Now you have had the opportunity to see how a […]

Dragon Slayer

There was once a huge dragon in China who went from village to village killing cattle and dogs and chicken and people indiscriminately. So the villagers called upon a wizard to help them in their distress. The wizard said, “I […]


Once a group of beggars afflicted with leprosy came to the assembly of Zen master Bankei, a greathearted teacher of the masses. Bankei admitted them to his company, and when he initiated them, he even washed and shaved their heads […]


Once upon a time there was a stonecutter. Each day he went up to the mountains to cut stones. And while he worked he sang, for though he was a poor man, he desired no more than he had, so […]

Just Two Words

There once was a monastery that was very strict. Following a vow of silence, no one was allowed to speak at all. But there was one exception to this rule. Every ten years, the monks were permitted to speak just […]