10 Classic Buddhist Stories

Buddhism is one of the three major religions in the world and is widely spread in Asia and around the world. There are many stories about Buddhism, usually in the form of storytelling to explain and interpret Buddhist principles, philosophy of life, truth of cause and effect reincarnation, etc. This article will share with you the top ten classic Buddhist stories, namely a cup of tea, different angles, sending a bright moon, who buried you in your previous life, asking for others is better than asking for yourself, the value of stones, etc. If you are interested, let’s learn about it together.

Cartoon Buddha
Cartoon Buddha

1.A cup of tea

There are many Buddhist stories, such as the classic Zen story of “A Cup of Tea”, which tells the story of a university professor who came to ask a famous Zen master for Zen, and the Zen master treated each other with tea. He poured the tea into the guest’s cup until the cup was full, and then continued to pour it. After a while, the professor couldn’t help but tell the Zen master that the water was already overflowing, so there was no need to pour it again. The Zen master looked at him and said, “You are like this cup, which is full of your own opinions and thoughts. How can I tell you Zen without emptying your own cup first?” This little story of Buddhist enlightenment tells us that if we carry the success or failure of each stage on our shoulders, the road in the future will only go farther and farther. Only by “pouring out the water in the teacup” and facing a new future with a new self can life have a new beginning.

2.Different angles

The Zen master wandered around and stayed overnight at an old woman’s house. For several days, the old woman kept crying. The Zen master was very puzzled, so he asked the reason. It turned out that the old woman had 2 daughters. The eldest daughter married a cloth shoe seller, and the youngest daughter married an umbrella seller. When the weather is fine, I think that the younger daughter’s umbrella will not sell, and when it rains, the eldest daughter’s cloth shoes will definitely not sell. The Zen master said that you should change your mind. When the weather is fine, the eldest daughter’s cloth shoes sell well; when it rains, the second daughter’s umbrella sells well, and you should be happy. After the old woman figured it out, she smiled every day since then. This story tells us that learning to look at problems comprehensively from different perspectives can lead to a more correct and positive attitude and way of life. It belongs to one of the 12 classic Zen stories.

3.Send a bright moon

A Zen master who was practicing in the mountains, one night, just came back from a walk in the bright moonlight, and found that there were thieves at home, so he stood waiting at the door. The thief did not find anything valuable, and when he left, he met the Zen master. He was panicking, but the Zen master said to him, “Come all the way to see me, I can’t let you go home empty-handed.” With that said, he took off his coat and put it on the thief, and the thief slipped away at a loss. The Zen master saw the thief’s back and said, “I wish I could send you a bright moon.” The next day at dawn, the Zen master opened the door and found that the coat was neatly folded at the door. The Zen master was very happy and said, “I finally gave him a bright moon!” This Buddhist story tells us that to be a kind and tolerant person, maybe just a faint smile, or a warm hug, or a small act of kindness can warm and touch people.

buddhist believer meditating
buddhist believer meditating

4.Who buried you in your past life

Speaking of the touching story of enlightenment in Buddhism, maigoo thought of the Buddhist story of “Who Buried You in a Past Life”. In the past, a scholar and his fiancée agreed to get married one day in the future. However, on that day, the fiancée married someone else. Scholars were hit by this and fell ill. At this time, passing by a visiting monk, he took out a mirror from his arms and let the scholar see their past life experiences. After the scholar finished reading it, the monk explained that the female corpse on the beach was his fiancée’s past life, and you were the second person who passed by and dressed her. She fell in love with you in this life just to repay you. In the end, it was the person who buried her in the end, and that person was her current husband. Only then did the scholar untie the knot in his heart. This is a little Buddhist cause and effect story, which tells “a peck and a drink, there is a predestination”, so there is no need to be obsessed with gains and losses, but grasp the moment and live a happy life.

5.It is better to ask for others than to ask for yourself

The Buddhist folk tale “It is better to ask for others than to ask for yourself”, which must be very familiar to everyone. It tells the story of a very Buddhist person who went to a temple to burn incense and worship the Buddha whenever he encountered anything. He thought that as long as he burned incense and worshipped the Buddha, everything would be solved. One day when he was praying to the Buddha, he suddenly found that someone around him was also paying homage, and he looked exactly like the Guanyin Bodhisattva on the altar. The person was puzzled and asked softly, “Are you the Guanyin Bodhisattva?” The person replied, “Exactly.” The person was even more confused and asked, “Then why do you still pay homage yourself?” Guanyin Bodhisattva replied: “Because I know that it is better to ask for others than to ask for yourself.” This Buddhist allusion tells us that there has never been a free lunch in this world, nor is there a low-hanging fruit and a once-and-for-all achievement; we can only practice step by step, go through the baptism of wind and rain, and accept many tests to get everything you want.

6.The value of the stone

Once upon a time there was an orphan who was very confused and hesitant about the future, so he ran to ask the eminent monk. The eminent monk gave him an idea to sell stones, and he went to different markets to sell them every once in a while, but no matter how high others asked, the stones could not be sold. The orphan listened to the words of the eminent monk, and sure enough, the stones became more and more popular. Since the orphan did not sell them anyway, the price had been bid higher than the price of jewelry. The orphan was puzzled and asked the eminent monk, and the eminent monk replied, “This is the case with people and things in the world. If you believe that you are a poor stone, then you may always be a poor stone; if you believe that you are a priceless gem, then you are a priceless gem.” This classic Buddhist story tells people that people’s value is determined by themselves, and each person’s destiny is also in their own hands.

cartoon buddha statue
cartoon buddha statue

7.Lose and win

A samurai came to the Zen master’s room holding a fish in his hand. He said, “Let’s make a bet, the Zen master said this fish in my hand is dead or alive?” The Zen master knew that if he said it was dead, the samurai would definitely let go of his hand; if he said it was alive, the samurai would secretly squeeze the fish to death. So the Zen master said, “It’s dead.” The samurai immediately released his hand and smiled. “Haha, Zen master, you lost, you see this fish is alive.” The Zen master smiled lightly and said, “Yes, I lost.” This Buddhist story tells us that sometimes we care too much about winning or losing. It is obvious that you have won, but in fact you have lost. Of course, you should “reason” when dealing with others, but you do not have to “strive” there with a red face. The attitude of “and” is definitely more acceptable than “strong”.

8.How to become a happy person

The young man asked the wise man: “How can I become a person who is happy for myself and brings happiness to others?” The wise man smiled: “There are four realms, and you can experience the beauty of them: first, you have to think of yourself as someone else, which is selflessness; second, you have to think of others as yourself, which is compassion; then, you have to think of others as others, which is wisdom; finally, you have to think of yourself as yourself, which is freedom.” This story is a Buddhist story, and it is also a small story of Buddhist enlightenment. Look down on the vicissitudes of the world, and your heart is safe and sound. People are tired because there are too many things that can control your mood. Only by truly letting go of your heart and facing everything with a casual heart can you live comfortably and become happy.

9.Keys and locks

A large solid lock hung on the door, and an iron rod could not be pried open after a lot of effort. The key came, and his thin body got into the keyhole, and with a slight turn, the big lock “snapped” open. The iron rod asked strangely: “Why can’t I open it with so much effort, but you can easily open it?” The key said: “Because I know his heart best.” This story is one of the top ten classic Buddhist stories, telling us that only by prescribing the right medicine can we solve the problem from the root; only by careful care can we turn ourselves into a delicate key to open your “lock” that needs to be opened.

10.Fill the room

In order to test which of his three disciples was the smartest, a Zen master gave each of them ten cents of silver and asked them to find a way to fill a huge room with what they bought. The first two disciples thought of buying things to fill the room, and the third, who spent only two cents to buy candles and matches, closed the doors and windows, and lit the candles. Although the light was faint, it illuminated every corner of the room. This classic Zen story tells us that people’s hearts cannot be filled with a lot of money, but need a piece of true love and a trace of warmth to fill.

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