Right & Wrong

When Bankei held his seclusion-weeks of meditation, pupils from many parts of Japan came to attend. During one of these gatherings a pupil was caught stealing. The matter was reported to Bankei with the request that the culprit be expelled. Bankei ignored the case.bodhisattva

Later the pupil was caught in a similar act, and again Bankei disregarded the matter. This angered the other pupils, who drew up a petition asking for the dismissal of the thief, stating that otherwise they would leave in a body.

When Bankei had read the petition he called everyone before him. “You are wise brothers,” he told them. “You know what is right and what is not right. You may go somewhere else to study if you wish, but this poor brother does not even know right from wrong. Who will teach him if I do not? I am going to keep him here even if all the rest of you leave.”

A torrent of tears cleansed the face of the brother who had stolen. All desire to steal had vanished.

The image is of Avalokitesvara, the bodhisattva of compassion. ~sekanblogger

For a picture of the seated bodhisattva



Filed under Life Lessons, Religion

3 responses to “Right & Wrong

  1. Not only did we have girls for “Lon Gisland” we had many students from Japan. One of my favorites told me a story I will never forget.

    Tashai (that may be an incorrect spelling) told me that his parents sent him to a Buddhist summer camps of sorts. Their Zen master got up in front of the group of students the first day to introduce them to the subject matter. The teacher had two associates standing up front with him.

    One of the associates handed the Zen master a stick. The Zen master held the stick up and asked, “Students, what is this?”

    A reluctant student stood up and said, “Zen Master, that is a stick.”

    The Zen master replied, “Sit down, you know nothing of Zen.”

    Another wary student student stood up, “Zen master that is part of a tree.”

    The Zen master shouted, “Sit down, you nothing of Zen!”

    The second associate came up, grabbed the stick from the Zen master, and broke the stick over his knee.

    The Zen master said, “Ahhh, you know Zen.”

    My friend at that moment knew he did not have much of a chance as a Zen Buddhist. He instead went to America to study business.

    Maybe that was the ultimate loss for the U.S.A.

    • I confess that I have only a vague notion of Zen’s actual practice. Some of the teachings only dumbfound me. I really enjoy the Buddhist artwork and statuary. How shallow huh?

      On a related note, iggy….
      I’m sure you’re aware of who Dr. Wayne Dyer is.
      I was watching him last weekend and he mentioned that he was a student of Ramm Dass (aka Richard Alpert).

      Iggy or anybody else here familiar with Ramm Dass? He came the closest to making sense of eastern religous and spiritual thought for me.
      The Richard Alpert story is fascinating.

  2. wicked

    Beautiful piece, sekan. Just looking at it brings a little feeling of peace.