Possessions can own us

Zen drawing

The Moon cannot be stolen

Ryokan, a Zen master, lived the simplest kind of life in a little hut at the foot of a mountain.

One evening a thief visited the hut only to discover there was nothing in it to steal.

Ryokan returned and caught him.

"You may have come a long way to visit me," he told the prowler, "and you should not return empty handed. Please take my clothes as a gift."

The thief was bewildered. He took the clothes and slunk away. Ryokan sat naked, watching the moon.

"Poor fellow, " he mused, "I wish I could give him this beautiful moon."

Buddhist Stories Home

web analytics