Be a Lamp (Nirvana Sutra)
World Honored One Flicks Dirt with His Toe (Vimalakirti Sutra)
Order of Enlightenment (Maka Shikan)
Calming and Contemplation of Anger (Maka Shikan)
Effect of Thunderbolts on Ivory (Maka Shikan)
Blind Heir of a Wealthy Merchant (Maka Shikan)
Mongolian Wisdom (ancient sayings)
Mighty Bodhisattva Warriors (13th Dalai Lama)
Seeing Ourselves as Suchness (Shinnyo kan)
Wu-lung and I-lung (Writings of Nichiren Daishonin)
The Dancing Monk and the Self-Denying Monk
During the time of Gautama Siddhartha there were no telephones or Internet or even a written language. Because communication is so vital for transmitting the teachings of the Buddha, a class of disciples called traveling monks arose to facilitate communication between the Buddha and his supporters.
Those who were chosen had to be in good physical condition, be completely honest, and have excellent memories. One such monk was Sadhonna.
Sadhonna was returning to the Deer Park where the Buddha was staying when he encountered a monk practicing the Sadmadhi of self denial.
The self-denying monk resembled cobwebs stretched over a skeleton. He was sitting on an anthill in the Lotus Position. He did not even twitch as ants pulled at his flesh.
Sadhonna called to him, "Fellow monk, I am on my way to see the Buddha. Is there any message you would like to convey?"
The self-denying monk grimaced and said, "Ask the Buddha, how many more lifetimes I will endure before attaining Buddhahood."
Sadhonna assured the self-denying monk that he would ask, and then continued on his journey.
Just before nightfall, he heard someone singing a little off key. He could see someone, dressed in monk's clothing, clumsily dancing in a little clearing in the woods.
He called out to him saying "Fellow monk, I am on my way to see the Buddha. Is there any message you would like to convey?"
The dancing monk thought for a moment and said "Yes, ask him when will I reach my enlightenment."
Sadhonna assured the dancing monk he would ask, and then he walked on to see the Buddha.
A few months later Sadhonna returned and encountered the self-denying monk. His flesh was so thin that his bones were visible. "The Buddha answered your question," Sadhonna said.
"How long until I reach my enlightenment?" whispered the self-denying monk.
"Four more lifetimes," answered Sadhonna.
The self-denying monk grimaced.
Sadhonna traveled a bit further and encountered the dancing monk. "The Buddha has answered your question," he said.
How many more lifetimes?" asked the
The dancing monk laughed and attained