This is an absolute gem:

The Master Bankei’s talks were attended, not only by Zen students, but by persons of all ranks and sects. He never quoted sutra’s nor indulged in scholastic dissertation’s, instead his words were spoken directly from his heart, to the hearts of his listeners. His large audiences angered a priest of the Nichiran sect, because the adherents had left to go to hear about Zen. This self centred Nichiran priest came to the temple determined to debate with Bankei. “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?” “Come up beside me and I will show you,” said Bankei. Proudly the priest pushed his way through the crowd to the teacher, and Bankei smiled. “Come over to my left side,” priest obeyed. “No no,” said Bankei, “we may talk better if you are on the right side, step over here.” The priest proudly stepped over to the right. “You see,” observed Bankei, “you are obeying me and I think that you are a very gentle person. Now sit down and listen!”



Filed under Zen

4 responses to “Obedience

  1. Bankei is one of my favourites among the Zen teachers. His teaching that all we need to do is simply rest in the unborn (his term for our true nature, or present awareness) is very close to my heart.


  2. Renard Moreau

    [ Smiles ] I LOVE this story!


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