Sunday, February 7, 2010

The thief who became a disciple





One evening as Shichiri Kojun was reciting sutras a thief with a sharp sword entered, demanding either his money or his life.

Shichiri told him:  "Do not disturb me.  You can find the money in that drawer."  Then he resumed his recitation.
A little while afterwards he stopped and called:  "Don't take it all.  I need some to pay taxes with tomorrow."

The intruder gathered up most of the money and started to leave.  "Thank a person when you receive a gift,"  Shichiri added.  The man thanked him and made off.

A few days afterwards the fellow was caught and confessed, among others, the offence against Shichiri.  When Shichiri was called as a witness he said:   "This man is no thief, at least as far as I am concerned.  I gave him the money and he thanked me for it."
After he had finished his prison term, the man went to Shichiri and became his disciple.




~ from 'Zen Flesh Zen Bones', compiled by Paul Reps and Nyogen Senzaki

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