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Why Are You Still Carrying Her?

Here’s a good story about what happened when two very different Buddhist monks encountered a damsel in distress:

An old monk and a young monk were walking on a path and they came to a great river. Picture of a Buddhist monk standing by a river and thinking.

There was no denying that the river was rife with danger. One only had to stand at its edge to see that though it was possible to cross you could very well lose your life in the raging water.

Next to them by the river stood a woman who was staring into the water, she needed to cross the river but was frozen with fear.

The young monk glanced at the woman and went into the river, he battled with the current and after a time was able to get to the ground on the other side.

The old monk saw the woman and scooped her up. Carrying her in his arms he battled with the current and after a time was able to get to the ground on the other side.

The younger monk’s eyes went large, he was horrified but didn’t say anything out of respect for the older monk. They both continued on their way together but the farther they went down the path the more what the older monk had done bothered him and finally the words came bursting out of his mouth:

“How could you have carried that woman? You know very well that as monks we are not allowed to touch women even for a moment, yet you carried her all the way across the river!”

The older monk turned to his friend and was calm. He said simply:

“I left that woman way back at the river, why are you still carrying her?”

Oh snap LOL. It is a good point though don’t you think?

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The Story Of Prince Five Weapons And The Monster Called Sticky Hair

There once lived a prince and when he was very young he was sent off to study under a great warrior. His parents hoped that through this training he too would become great.A picture representing Prince Five Weapons with a bow and arrow, previous incarnation of Buddha.

He studied and worked very hard for many years and when he had learned everything he could from the great warrior it was time for him to go out into the world.

Because he had been such a gifted student before he left his teacher presented him with five powerful weapons and so the prince forever after became known as Prince Five Weapons.

On the road home Prince Five Weapons came to the edge of a forbidding forest. The people who lived near the forest begged him: ‘Beloved prince, do not go in the forest for in there lives a monster called Sticky Hair and he kills all who come across him.’

But Prince Five Weapons was brave and fearless, confident not only in his skill as a warrior but in the five powerful weapons his teacher had given him.

So into the forest he went and as you can imagine he ran right into the monster Sticky Hair.A painting of a scary forest with strong blue overtones.

Sticky Hair was not only gigantic but very nasty looking, with huge fangs and yellowed eyes peering out from his long tangled hair. ‘You have dared come into my forest and now your days are at an end’ he said ‘Today I will have you as my dinner!’

‘I am not afraid!’ cried Prince Five Weapons and with that he took out the first of the weapons that his teacher had given him, a powerful bow and arrow.

With expert skill he launched the arrow at Sticky Hair but the arrow did not hit it’s target instead simply sticking right to the hair of the monster.

He drew his next weapon, a fiersome sword, and struck Sticky Hair with its blade. Instead of cutting the monster down the sword simply got stuck like it was suddenly glued to the hair of Sticky Hair.

One by one the prince’s weapons met this same fate, neither the quality of the weapons nor his extreme skill seemed to be able to harm the monster. But Prince Five Weapons was not afraid.

A picture representing the demon monster Sticky Hair from Buddhist legend.As Sticky Hair started to laugh a horrible victory laugh and the prince rushed towards him ready to fight with the only weapons that he had left, his fists and his feet. Can you imagine what happened next? Yes, his fists and feet got stuck to Sticky Hair.

All that he had left now for a weapon was his head and this he used to strike at the monster but this too became stuck. Now he was stuck to the monster in five places and could move no more, but still he was not even a bit afraid.

Now Sticky Hair started to feel something he had never felt before: fear. In all his life of attacking people in the forest he had never encountered someone as calm and brave as Prince Five Weapons. In fact he was now starting to feel a little afraid to eat him.

‘Why are you not afraid of death?’ asked Sticky Hair nervously.

And the prince said, ‘Why should I be afraid? All who are born will surely die and that is that!’

This was a kind of thing that Sticky Hair had never heard before and he hesitated to act as fear started to grip him. The prince saw his opportunity and quickly put a plan into action.

‘There is one more weapon that I have that you do not know about’ he said ‘Inside my belly is a powerful weapon, a weapon with the light of a thousand diamonds that you cannot digest and will tear you apart if you eat me. There is no need for me to be afraid for if I die you will die as well.’A picture showing the forehead of the Buddha as a prince and representing his enlightenment of mind.

By this time Sticky Hair had such and impression of Prince Five Weapons’ character that he believed every word about the hidden weapon. And being afraid of death he released the prince and set him on the ground in front of him.

And so Prince Five Weapons defeated Sticky Hair by using a weapon more powerful than any that could be made by man yet one that all possess: the mind.

This is an old Buddhist story and tradition says that Prince Five Weapons did not kill Sticky Hair that day but taught him the ways of peace and enlightenment.

He transformed Sticky Hair into the guardian of that forest and after telling all the people of that land that the forest paths were now safe, he continued on his journey home, destined to be a great king and wise ruler of the kingdom.

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The Monk Who Broke His Teacher’s Tea Cup

Even monks screw up sometimes… here’s a story about a monk who screwed up and how he handled it…

A young monk named Ikkyu was waiting for his Zen teacher to arrive when he accidentally knocked his teacher’s tea cup on to the hard floor, shattering it into many pieces.

It wasn’t any ordinary tea cup either, it was a beautiful antique that his teacher treasured and considered his prize possession.

Hearing his teacher’s footsteps coming, Ikkyu panicked and did the only thing he could think of: scooped up the tea cup pieces into his hand and then tucked them into his robe, safely out of view.

By the time his teacher had arrived Ikkyu had formulated a plan. He asked his teacher:

‘Why do people have to die?’

‘Everything in the world experiences both life and death,’ his teacher said, ‘Everything must die eventually, it’s perfectly natural.’


‘Everything,’ his teacher said with certainty.

Ikkyu then pulled the broken pieces of the tea cup out from his robe and showing it to his teacher he said:

‘It was time for your cup to die.’

:D I love funny Buddhist/Zen stories like this. One thing that the story doesn’t say though is how Ikkyu’s teacher reacted.

Was he mad that the cup was broken or did he get the point that Ikkyu was trying to make? Or maybe the just thought Ikkyu was being a brat lol?

In any case a Zen master that’s so attached to a tea cup probably had a long way to go in the study of Zen, hopefully the incident with Ikkyu helped to move him along a bit.