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Zen Stories

Zen Stories

Zen Story One

A Karate student went to his teacher, Miyagi Sensei, and said earnestly, "I am devoted to studying your kind of Karate, Goju Ryu. How long will it take me to master it."

The teacher's reply was casual, "Ten years."

Impatiently, the student answered, "But I want to master it faster than that. I will work very hard. I will practice everyday, ten or more hours a day if I have to. How long will it take then?"

The teacher thought for a moment, "20 years."

Zen Story Two

During the civil wars in old Japan, an invading army would quickly sweep into a town and take control.

In one particular village, everyone ran away just before the army arrived - everyone except the Zen master. Curious about this old fellow, the general went to the temple to see for himself what kind of man this master was.

The master was respectful to the general, but kept on doing his usual work. The general couldn’t believe that the old master didn’t bow down to him, and acted as though he was just an ordinary person.

The general burst into anger. "You fool," he shouted as he reached for his sword, "don't you realize you are standing before a man who could run you through without blinking an eye!"

But despite the threat, the master seemed unmoved. "And do you realize," the master replied calmly, "that you are standing before a man who can be run through without blinking an eye?"