Archive for the ‘Short Stories’ Category

Zen Painting by Osho

Posted: September 5, 2014 in Short Stories
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A Zen master was making a painting, and he had his chief disciple sit by his side to tell him when the painting was perfect. The disciple was worried and the master was also worried, because the disciple had never seen the master do anything imperfect. But that day things started going wrong. The master tried, and the more he tried, the more it was a mess….

In Japan or in China, the whole art of calligraphy is done on rice paper, on a certain paper, a very sensitive paper, very fragile. If you hesitate a little, for centuries it can be known where the calligrapher hesitated – because more ink spreads into the rice paper and makes it a mess. It is very difficult to deceive on rice paper. You have to go on flowing; you are not to hesitate. Even for a single moment. split moment, if you hesitate – what to do? – missed, already missed. And one who has a keen eye will immediately say, “It is not a Zen painting at all” – because a Zen painting has to be a spontaneous painting, flowing.

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Footprint by Osho

Posted: September 5, 2014 in Short Stories
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A Frenchman was crossing the desert with an Arab guide. Day after day, the Arab never failed to kneel on the burning sand and call upon his God. At last, one evening the unbeliever said to the Arab, “How do you know there is a God?”

The guide fixed his eye upon the scoffer for a moment and then replied: “How do I know there is a God? How did I know that a camel and not a man passed last night? Was is not by the print of his hoof in the sand?” And pointing to the sun whose last rays were fading over the horizon, he added, “That footprint is not of man.”

The Madman by Khalil Gibran

Posted: April 7, 2014 in Short Stories

It was in the garden of a madhouse that I met a youth with a face pale and lovely and full of wonder.

And I sat beside him upon the bench, and I said, “Why are you here?”

And he looked at me in astonishment, and he said, “It is an unseemly question, yet I will answer you. My father would make of me a reproduction of himself; so also would my uncle. My mother would have me the image of her seafaring husband as the perfect example for me to follow. My brother thinks I should be like him, a fine athlete.

“And my teachers also, the doctor of philosophy, and the music-master, and the logician, they too were determined, and each would have me but a reflection of his own face in a mirror.

“Therefore I came to this place. I find it more sane here. At least, I can be myself.”

Then of a sudden he turned to me and he said, “But tell me, were you also driven to this place by education and good counsel?”

And I answered, “No, I am a visitor.”

And he answered, “Oh, you are one of those who live in the madhouse on the other side of the wall.”

Poverty of Spirit

Posted: March 4, 2014 in Short Stories
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A poor man asked the Buddha,
“Why am I so poor?”

The Buddha said, “you do not learn to give.”

So the poor man said, “If I’m not having anything?”

Buddha said: “You have a few things,
The Face, which can give a smile;
Mouth, you can praise or comfort others;
The Heart, it can open up to others;
Eyes, who can look the other with the eyes of goodness;
Body, which can be used to help others.”

So, actually we are not poor at all, poverty of spirit is the real poverty.

Become a Lake

Posted: January 6, 2014 in Short Stories

An ageing master grew tired of his apprentice’s complaints. One morning, he sent him to get some salt. When the apprentice returned, the master told him to mix a handful of salt in a glass of water and then drink it.

“How does it taste?” the master asked.

“Bitter,” said the apprentice.

The master chuckled and then asked the young man to take the same handful of salt and put it in the lake. The two walked in silence to the nearby lake and once the apprentice swirled his handful of salt in the water, the old man said, “Now drink from the lake.”

As the water dripped down the young man’s chin, the master asked, “How does it taste?”

“Fresh,” remarked the apprentice.

“Do you taste the salt?” asked the master.

“No,” said the young man.

At this the master sat beside this serious young man, and explained softly, “The pain of life is pure salt; no more, no less. The amount of pain in life remains exactly the same. However, the amount of bitterness we taste depends on the container we put the pain in. So when you are in pain, the only thing you can do is to enlarge your sense of things. Stop being a glass. Become a lake.”

The Lesson of the Butterfly

Posted: August 11, 2013 in Short Stories
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Once a little boy was playing outdoors and found a fascinating caterpillar. He carefully picked it up and took it home to show his mother. He asked his mother if he could keep it, and she said he could if he would take good care of it.

The little boy got a large jar from his mother and put plants to eat, and a stick to climb on, in the jar. Every day he watched the caterpillar and brought it new plants to eat.

One day the caterpillar climbed up the stick and started acting strangely. The boy worriedly called his mother who came and understood that the caterpillar was creating a cocoon. The mother explained to the boy how the caterpillar was going to go through a metamorphosis and become a butterfly.

The little boy was thrilled to hear about the changes his caterpillar would go through. He watched every day, waiting for the butterfly to emerge. One day it happened, a small hole appeared in the cocoon and the butterfly started to struggle to come out.

At first the boy was excited, but soon he became concerned. The butterfly was struggling so hard to get out! It looked like it couldn’t break free! It looked desperate! It looked like it was making no progress!

The boy was so concerned he decided to help. He ran to get scissors, and then walked back (because he had learned not to run with scissors…). He snipped the cocoon to make the hole bigger and the butterfly quickly emerged!

As the butterfly came out the boy was surprised. It had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. He continued to watch the butterfly expecting that, at any moment, the wings would dry out, enlarge and expand to support the swollen body. He knew that in time the body would shrink and the butterfly’s wings would expand.

But neither happened!

The butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings.

It never was able to fly…

As the boy tried to figure out what had gone wrong his mother took him to talk to a scientist from a local college. He learned that the butterfly was SUPPOSED to struggle. In fact, the butterfly’s struggle to push its way through the tiny opening of the cocoon pushes the fluid out of its body and into its wings. Without the struggle, the butterfly would never, ever fly. The boy’s good intentions hurt the butterfly.

As you go through life, keep in mind that struggling is an important part of any growth experience. In fact, it is the struggle that causes you to develop your ability to fly.

The Jigsaw Puzzle of Life

Posted: February 27, 2013 in Short Stories
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Life is a giant jigsaw puzzle and each day we are given a fresh piece of the mystery.

These individual pieces come in oddly shapes and they often do not seem to fit in with one another. As a result, we feel disheartened and unsure of our place in the bigger picture of things. To our delight sometimes, we would discover that several of the tiles interlock snugly together to reveal a glimpse of the whole. And in those moments, we think to ourselves that we have it all figured out.

As our collection grows, we come into focus what our life is turning out to be. We do not always like what we see and feel uncertain of the right action to take. We long for a life of order and meaning, but life seems to flow on, not caring for our deeply entrenched desires.

The previous collectors of the puzzle explain to us that the secret to the game is to carry on living each day fully and treasure every piece in the same manner; for our life is only complete when we have assembled all the pieces.

What do you think of this approach?

The Businessman and the Fisherman

Posted: December 18, 2012 in Short Stories

An American businessman was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them. The Mexican replied, that it only took a little while. The American then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish. The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs.

The American then asked, “But what do you do with the rest of your time?”

The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life, señor.”

The American scoffed. “I am a Wharton MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats. Eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually NYC where you will run your expanding enterprise.”

The Mexican fisherman asked, “But señor, how long will this all take?”

To which the American replied, “Fifteen or twenty years.”

“But what then, señor?”

The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions.”

“Millions, señor? Then what?”

The American said, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”

Heaven and Hell

Posted: October 21, 2012 in Short Stories
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Once there was a man who was very curious about the difference between heaven and hell. He knew that beings in heaven were very happy and that those in hell were very unhappy. One day, he met a sage who told him that he could take him to both heaven and hell so that he could see for himself what the differences between them were. The man said that he was ready to go immediately.

Suddenly, the sage transported them to hell. The man was surprised at first because the scene before him was very similar to a scene on earth. A group of people were seated at a table eating dinner. When he looked more closely, however, he saw that the people were using chopsticks that were three feet long. Since the chopsticks were so long, the people at the table kept bumping each other and dropping their food. No one was getting enough to eat and everyone was very irritable and nasty.

Suddenly the scene changed, and the man knew that he was in heaven. But once again he was surprised at what he saw. Before him there was a group of people not all that different from the group he had seen in hell. This group, too, was seated at a table eating dinner, and they, too, were using chopsticks that were three feet long. When the man looked more closely, however, he saw that instead of dropping their food and becoming irritable as the beings in hell had been doing, the heavenly beings were using their long chopsticks to feed each other. Everyone was laughing and smiling and they were all getting plenty to eat.