Zen and Taoist Stories

Taoist Arts Center New York:
Chinese Philosophy

On these pages you will find articles and research on the healing effects of tai chi, chi kung (qigong), Taoist Meditation, and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Doctors and medical researchers continue to investigate the effects of these arts on conditions including diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, pain, and stress management. This page presents a selection of health articles along with others on Chinese philosophy and culture.

Tai Chi, Chi Kung, Meditation

Chinese Philosophy

Medicine & Research

 Zen and Taoist Stories
Stories like the following one called "Go with the Flow" and others on  subjects like Ego, Obsession, Meditation, and Surprise make this short  article a must read for everyone.

Go With The Flow -- This Taoist story tells of an old man who  accidentally fell into the river rapids leading to a high and dangerous  waterfall. Onlookers feared for his life. Miraculously, he came out  alive and unharmed downstream at the bottom of the falls. People asked  him how he managed to survive. "I accommodated myself to the water, not  the water to me. Without thinking, I allowed myself to be shaped by it.  Plunging into the swirl, I came out with the swirl. This is how I  survived."

Egotism -- The Prime Minister of the Tang Dynasty was a national hero  for his success as both a statesman and military leader. But despite his fame, power, and wealth, he considered himself a humble and devout  Buddhist. Often he visited his favorite Zen master to study under him,  and they seemed to get along very well. The fact that he was prime  minister apparently had no effect on their relationship, which seemed to be simply one of a revered master and respectful student. One day,  during his usual visit, the Prime Minister asked the master, "Your  Reverence, what is egotism according to Buddhism?" The master's face  turned red, and in a very condescending and insulting tone of voice, he  shot back, "What kind of stupid question is that?" This unexpected  response so shocked the Prime Minister that he became sullen and angry.  The Zen master then smiled and said, "THIS, Your Excellency, is  egotism."

Spider -- A Tibetan story that tells of a meditation student who, while  meditating in his room, believed he saw a spider descending in front of  him. Each day the menacing creature returned, growing larger and larger  each time. So frightened was the student, that he went to his teacher to report his dilemma. He said he planned to place a knife in his lap  during meditation, so when the spider appeared he would kill it. The  teacher advised him against this plan. Instead, he suggested, bring a  piece of chalk to meditation, and when the spider appeared, mark an "X"  on its belly. Then report back. The student returned to his meditation.  When the spider again appeared, he resisted the urge to attack it, and  instead did just what the master suggested. When he later reported back  to the master, the teacher told him to lift up his shirt and look at his own belly. There was the "X".

 For the original see Why Read Zen and Taoist Stroies at The University of Utah

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