A zen story:

WHILE Bankei was preaching quietly to his followers, his talk was interrupted by a Shinshu priest who believed in miracles, and thought salvation came from repeating holy words.

Bankei was unable to go on with his talk, and asked the priest what he wanted to say.

“The founder of my religion,” boasted the priest, “stood on one shore of a river with a writing brush in his hand. His disciple stood on the other shore holding a sheet of paper. And the founder wrote the holy name of Amida onto the paper across the river through the air. Can you do anything so miraculous?”

“No,” said Bankei, “I can do only little miracles. Like: when I am hungry, I eat; when I am thirsty, I drink; when I am insulted, I forgive.”

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About Daniel Scharpenburg

Daniel Scharpenburg is an independent dharma teacher living in Kansas City. He gives online teachings through the Open Heart Project. He also runs the Monday Night Zen Group at the Rime Buddhist Center. His writing has appeared in Lion's Roar, Patheos, Tattooed Buddha, and Elephant Journal.

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