Nuggets of Wisdom from Zen

The word ‘Zen’ is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Dhyana’. …

Zen lays emphasis on the attainment of enlightenment through zazen (meditation) and interaction with an accomplished teacher; and, it de-emphasises mere knowledge of sutras and doctrine.

…Let us gather some nuggets of wisdom from Zen this time and enrich ourselves both in our mundane as well as spiritual lives.

… Do you know Why the laughing Buddha Remains Happy 24X7?

Happy Chinaman… Do you know who he is? Well, it is another name of someone you have often heard about. Yes, it’s none other than the ‘Laughing Buddha’. Would you like to know the secret of his happiness, which remains alive all the time? Here it is as was revealed before a Zen student once…

This Hotei lived in the T’ang dynasty. He used to walk with a big sack on his back… carrying candies, fruits, doughnuts and…   and for whom? For the little children who would surround him while playing.

But, one of his acts was quite surprising. It was that whenever he met any Zen devotee, desiring to gain some wisdom from him, he would extend his hand and say, “Give me one penny.” And, he would put those pennies in his sack and distribute them as well.

Once, a Zen Master approached him with utmost inquisitiveness.  He wanted to judge the height of wisdom of him. So, he asked him, “What is the significance of Zen?”

The Hotei, in answer, immediately plopped his sack on his floor without saying a word and emptied its contents.

The Zen Master smiled and asked further, “If this is Zen, then what is the actualisation of Zen?”

This time also, the reply came not in words but through a demonstration. The Hotei picked up the empty sack, dropped it over his shoulder and started walking ahead with the same happiness…

What significant principle of life he was demonstrating through it? To know this in complete and many more nuggets of wisdom from Zen, read the complete article of April 2014 edition of English Akhand Gyan monthly magazine.

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