"Zen teaches nothing; it merely enables us to wake up and become aware. It does not teach, it points." ~D.T. Suzuki

Friday, March 23, 2018

The Gates of Paradise

The Gates
of Paradise
A soldier named Nobushige

came to Zen monk Hakuin,

and asked:

“Is there really a paradise and a hell?”

“Who are you?” inquired Hakuin.

“I am a samurai,” the warrior replied.
“You, a soldier!” exclaimed Hakuin.

“What kind of ruler would have you as his guard?

Your face looks like that of a beggar.
Nobushige became so angry

that he began to draw his sword,
but Hakuin continued:

“So you have a sword!

Your weapon is probably much too dull

to cut off my head.”
As Nobushige drew his sword

Hakuin remarked:
“Here open the gates of hell!”
At these words the samurai,

perceiving the master’s discipline,

sheathed his sword and bowed.
“Here open the gates of paradise,”

said Hakuin.
© 2018 MU-Peter Shimon

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