Zen Story About Obedience

Zen Story About Obedience
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The Story

The master Bankei’s talks were attended not only by Zen students but by persons of all ranks and sects. He never quoted sutras nor indulged in scholastic dissertations. Instead, his words were spoken directly from his heart to the hearts of his listeners. His large audiences angered a priest of the Nichiren sect because the adherents had left to hear about Zen. The self-centered Nichiren priest came to the temple, determined to debate with Bankei.

Nichiren priest: “Hey, Zen teacher!” – he called out. “Wait a minute. Whoever respects you will obey what you say, but a man like myself does not respect you. Can you make me obey you?”
Bankei: “Come up beside me and I will show you,”

Proudly the priest pushed his way through the crowd to the teacher.

Bankei: “Come over to my left side.”

The priest obeyed.

Bankei: “No, we may talk better if you are on the right side. Step over here.”

The priest proudly stepped over to the right

Bankei: “You see, you are obeying me and I think you are a very gentle person. Now sit down and listen.”

BlueTail’s Comment

Sometimes we are not even recognize, that we act like we did not want to. We are doing what we have learned from our parents, or from the society around us. Realize, most of our actions does not belong to us. Act consciously.

 

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